Sports (819)

West Caldwell is in search of a new head football coach. Chip English is taking another job out of state as he announced on Monday.

English leaves the Warriors after three seasons. English compiled a record of 21-16 in that time. His first team in 2014 missed out on the playoffs, but in the last two seasons, the Warriors advanced into the second round of the playoffs. This season, West Caldwell shared the Southern District-7 title with Lincolnton with a 6-1 conference mark.

Junior guard Madi Story hit a layup with three seconds left to push Appalachian State University women’s basketball (6-7, 1-1 SBC) to a gritty 66-64 victory over Texas State (6-7, 1-1 SBC) on New Year’s Eve in Strahan Coliseum.

Story paced the Apps with a game-high 14 points while chipping in with five boards. Ashley Bassett-Smith scored 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. Bria Carter stuffed the box score with nine points, a game-best seven boards and four assists, and Q. Murray rounded out the leading scorers with eight points.

App State went on to shoot a season-high 47.4 percent from the field while scoring 42 of its 66 points in the paint.

Appalachian snaps the Bobcats’ three-game win streak, which was a Sun Belt best going into today’s contest. Despite TXST shooting 50 percent from the field and 3-point range, Appalachian made the plays it needed to down the stretch to pull out the first SBC win of the season.

Trailing 54-48 with 9:19 left in the game, Appalachian outscored the hosts 18-10 the rest of the way. The Black and Gold shot 9-for-15 (60 percent) during the stretch while limiting the Bobcats to just four made buckets.

Following a layup from Texas State’s McKinley Bostad with eight seconds left in the game, Murray found a cutting Story down the baseline before going through traffic to hit the game-winning shot. TXST had a chance to win the game, but the Bobcats’ go-ahead attempt fell short.

App State and Texas State went back-and-forth in a contest that saw seven ties and 14 lead changes. App State took its first lead of the game, 10-9, with 2:55 thanks to a 6-0 spurt capped off by Bayley Plummer. The Bobcats would retake the lead with a 15-13 advantage going into the second frame.

The second quarter was much of the same, where the Apps and Bobcats couldn’t gain any separation from each other. Bassett-Smith hit a shot down low to put App ahead 22-18 during the makings of what looked like a big run for the Black and Gold, but the Bobcats outscored the Apps 13-5 over the final 7:48 of the first half thanks to three trifectas and a 31-27 lead going into the break.

App State would score the first eight points of the second half to go out in front, 35-31, while three different Mountaineers scored during the charge. TXST answered with two treys to retake the lead that it wouldn’t give up and eventually went into the final quarter with a 49-46 edge.

After the Bobcats took their largest lead of the game with 9:19 left, 54-48. Appalachian kicked it into gear with a 14-3 run over the next six minutes to take a five-point lead, 62-57. Appalachian clamped down on defense forcing TXST into five turnovers and a 4:27 scoring drought.

Six different players scored for the Apps, three of which came off the bench. Amber Driver hit her lone field goal of the game to begin the run while two freshmen in Brooklyn Allen and Armani Hampton hit clutch back-to-back layups to cap off the stretch. Allen and Hampton played less than 15 minutes each, but both players came up big in crunch time.

TXST wouldn’t give up as it came back to tie the game before the thrilling finish, which both teams would exchange leads in the 1:08, including Bassett-Smith’s layup that gave App a 64-62 advantage.

Appalachian shot 58 percent in the second half (34.6 percent in first half) while scoring 30 of their 39 points in the second half in the box.

App State will return home on Thursday, Jan. 5 against Arkansas State at 7 p.m. for the Sun Belt home opener inside the Holmes Center.


On the Win (Coach Elderkin)
“Today was a great team win. I loved the grit and toughness our team played with, especially in the last 10 minutes.”

On the final play (Coach Elderkin)
“Our last play was obviously designed to get the ball in Joi’s hands. We discussed if they didn’t guard the inbounds, to look to throw the ball back. But give all the credit to Ashley [Bassett-Smith] flashing to the ball and then Q. [Murray] making a great pass to Madi [Story] for the great finish.

- Despite not scoring 20 points like the past two games, the bench did shoot 5-of-7 with 13 points.
- App State has scored 30 or more points in the paint in all six wins (6-0).
- The Mountaineers are 3-2 this season in games decided by five points or more.
- Appalachian is 3-2 against Texas State, and it’s the first win on the road against either Texas team in the Sun Belt (UT Arlington).

Despite a late surge in the second half behind a powerful 1:22 run that saw Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) pour in three consecutive triples to help bring Appalachian State University men’s basketball within just two points at 50-48 following a 19-7 run; Texas State would hold off the inspired rally and prevail 67-58.

The Mountaineers (5-7, 0-1 Sun Belt) were led offensively by Shabazz who would finish with a team-high 19 points, including 13 in the second half. Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) picked up his second career double-double and second in as many games - finishing with 13 points and a new career-high 11 rebounds.

The Apps fell behind in the early going to the Bobcats (8-5, 1-0 Sun Belt), after Texas State up a 17-5 advantage at the 13:41 mark of the opening half. However, over the course of the next 7:06, the Mountaineers would battle back to within just six points at 25-19 after a jumper from Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day).

From there, the Bobcats would score 10 unanswered points to end the half and lead the Mountaineers 35-19 at the break.

After trading buckets early in the second period, Appalachian State would go on an ensuing 24-10 run to cut what was an 18-point Bobcat advantage down to just two points at 50-48 with 8:11 to play. In the early going of the second half, App State garnered some momentum from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) swatting shots on back-to-back attempts in the paint near the Bobcat basket. He finished with a career-high four in the game.

Following the furious run by the Black and Gold and behind Shabazz’s heroics from downtown, the Bobcats would not give in and push its two-point lead back up to nine with a 7-0 run.

Appalachian would not get closer than eight points the rest of the way and Texas State sealed the win in what was both teams’ Sun Belt Conference opener.

App State will get back on the court on Monday, Jan. 2 when they square off against UT Arlington at 8 p.m. ET from the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.

Notes: With the loss, App State moves to 3-3 all time against Texas State … Ronshad Shabazz’s 19 points was his 11th double-digit scoring game of the season and 29th of his career … Shabazz also tied his season high with four 3-pointers … Griffin Kinney picked up his second double-double of the season and of his career … Kinney also posted a career-high 11 rebounds … the Mountaineers 19 points in the first half was their lowest total of the season … App State collected 40 rebounds for the sixth time this season … Appalachian outrebounded its opponent for the eighth time this year … Tyrell Johnson swatted a career-high four blocks and now leads the team with 14 on the season.

Monday, 02 January 2017 07:57

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Lose at Catawba

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The Catawba Women’s Basketball Team (8-3, 5-1) scored the final 14 points of the contest to rally and defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (7-4, 3-3), 71-67, Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at Goodman Gymnasium.

Catawba’s Bri Johnson (Statesville, N.C.) led all scorers with 20 points as the Indians held the Bears scoreless for the final 3:33 to take the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by sophomore forward Madi Suddreth (Taylorsville, N.C.) with 18 points while both senior forward Brooke Robinson (Vale, N.C.) and sophomore guard Kendall Toineeta (Cherokee, N.C.) added 12 points each but the Bears saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.

Catawba, which remained tied for second place in the league standings, also received 15 points and nine assists from Serena Brown (Fort Washington, Md.) in the win.

The Indians scored 28 points in the final period in addition to hitting nine three-pointers and forcing the Bears into 19 turnovers in the contest. The Bears also lost despite shooting 57 percent (26-of-46) for the game.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns to Salisbury, N.C., to face Livingstone on Monday afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (5-6) stepped out of league play and suffered a 79-67 loss to Chowan (8-2) Friday night at the Helms Center.

Chowan’s Jeremy Smith (Kenansville, N.C.) came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points while Kevin Kuteyi (Lanham, Md.) added 15 points for the Hawks, who won their fourth straight game.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by senior guard Darrion Evans (Morganton, N.C.) with a team-high 15 points while junior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) added 14 points and hit four treys but the Bears suffered their second loss to the Hawks this year.

Chowan defeated Lenoir-Rhyne at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium by a 78-76 score on Sunday, November 27, in Hickory, N.C.

Chowan, which led by a 37-27 score at halftime, held the advantage the rest of the way. The Hawks shot 55 percent (29-of-53) from the field and held a 30-22 edge in rebounding.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior guard Jalen Variste (Baton Rouge, La.) added 13 points and junior guard Billy Bales (Elizabethton, Tenn.) hit three treys and scored 10 points off the bench despite the loss. The Bears also saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns to South Atlantic Conference play this Wednesday, January 4, when the Bears host Newberry beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Tom Brown is stepping down as the head coach at East Burke High School.

Brown has been with East Burke for three seasons, compiling a record of 13-23 while participating in the South Mountain Athletic Conference that included Shelby who won the state championship in the 2A class each year Brown was at East Burke, and Crest who won the 3A championship in 2014.

With stops at Bunker Hill and then Maiden, Brown leaves with a career 365 wins, 140 losses and seven ties.

Brown is leaving to take care of his wife. A search for a new head coach at East Burke is underway.

Dick's Sporting Goods Classic - Girls:
7th place game:
Fred T. Foard: 57
Bunker Hill:52

5th place game:
Alexander Central: 42
Newton-Conover: 39

3rd place game:
St. Stephens: 50
Maiden: 43

Hickory: 40
South Caldwell: 32

Freedom Invitational - Girls:
Friday's schedule:
Championship: East Burke vs. Freedom, 7pm

Wildcat Christmas Torunament - Girls
3rd place game:
Patton: 48
Highland Tech: 39

Avery County: 85
Draughn: 55

Dick's Sporting Goods Classic - Boys:
7th place game:
Newton-Conover: 61
Bunker Hill: 42

5th place game:
St. Stephens: 45
Fred T. Foard: 42

3rd place game:
South Caldwell: 45
Alexander Central: 39

Hickory: 56
Maiden: 45

Freedom Invitational - Boys:
Friday's schedule:
3rd place game: East Burke vs. McDowell, 5:30pm
Championship: Hibriten vs. Freedom, 8:30pm

Wildcat Christmas Tournament - Boys
3rd place game:
Patton: 68
Highland Tech: 31

Draughn: 65
Western Guilford: 60

Appalachian State University women’s basketball (5-7, 0-1 SBC) fell in mark performance in the Sun Belt opener, 74-63, to UT Arlington (8-3, 1-0 SBC) Thursday evening in the College Park Center.

Bria Carter (Spotsylvania,Va./Spotsylvania) put in her second double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 10 boards, while Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a team-high 12 points to round out the leading scorers.

The Apps withstood an early Maverick 16-2 start in the first quarter where the Sun Belt Preseason favorites made five of the first eight field goals while limiting Appalachian to a 1-for-6 start before Amber Driver (Houston, Texas/Tyler JC) scored three of her seven points with a 3-pointer to stop the run.

However, the Apps didn’t back down to the hosts as they outscored the hosts 31-19 the rest of the half, which was highlighted by a 20-8 run stretching into the second quarter. Appalachian began the surge by going on a 12-4 run to slice the deficit to six at the end of the first quarter, 20-14.

Appalachian continued the momentum into the second quarter hitting 6-of-8 to start the second frame during a 10-2 run. Cydni Cole’s (Glen Burnie, Md./George Mason) layup with 6:07 left capped off a string of five-straight made buckets and the Apps’ first lead of the game, 26-24. UTA responded by scoring eight of the next 10 points to go in front, 32-28. But App State was able to cut the lead to a possession thanks to Jones’ trifecta and a Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) layup before the horn sounded.

During the comeback, App State held UTA to 5-of-25 from the field since the 6:05 mark in the first quarter. Appalachian picked it up on offense shooting 12-for-23 from the floor. Appalachian also held Sun Belt’s Preseason Player of the Year Rebekah VanDijk to 3-for-9 shooting in the first half.

UTA held the lead for the entire third quarter, but the Apps stayed on its heels despite facing a lead by as much as six, 53-47, with 1:34 left in the frame. Appalachian continued to battle back as the senior duo of Carter and Jones scored five-straight points including a layup by Jones with three seconds left that floated over the long arms of VanDijk to close the gap to one, 53-52, going into the final quarter.

In a quarter that featured two ties and eight lead changes, the Apps had the Mavs right where they wanted them, with a 57-55 lead following an and-1 by Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin). Bassett-Smith later found Driver in the corner for a wide-open shot to give App the 61-60 advantage after a pair of traded baskets between both teams.

With 6:43 left in the game, both teams wouldn’t score again until 2:09 left in the game. Appalachian had UTA on the ropes, but the Mavericks went on a 14-2 run to end the game with the win, forcing App State into five turnovers and scoring nine points off the miscues.

App State outrebounded the Mavs, 40-36, and held the edge in second chance points, 13-12. However, UTA forced 22 App State turnovers into 26 points while outscoring Appalachian 31-12 at the free throw line and 21-6 beyond the arc.

VanDijk led all scorers with 20 points while Cierra Johnson (15 points) and Aysia Evans chipped in with 11 points to round out the Mavericks' leaders in scoring.


- Carter has registered both of the Apps’ double-doubles this season.
- The bench’s 21 points marks the first time the reserves have scored 20 points in consecutive games.
- Bassett-Smith’s two blocks moved her past Brittany Mixon (2005-09) into fifth place all-time with 108 career blocks. She is now 21 away from passing KeKe Cooper.
- For the second-straight game, the duo of Plummer and Driver played well off the bench, combining for 15 points and 11 boards. Plummer tied her career high with nine rebounds and scored eight points, while Driver chipped in with seven points.

For her dedication, commitment and courageous spirit, Appalachian State University women’s basketball head coach Angel Elderkin is a recipient of the 2017 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, as announced on Thursday by the USBWA.

For the first time in the history of the award, the USBWA has chosen two very deserving recipients as ESPN reporter Holly Rowe will join Coach Elderkin as an award winner. Like coach Elderkin, Rowe has been in an ongoing battle with the deadly disease, but has continued to do what she loves while fighting it.

Named after legendary Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt in 2012, the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award honors individuals associated with women’s college basketball.

“This award is extra special to me because of its connection to Pat (Summitt),” Elderkin mentioned. “I was lucky enough to to work with her and see what an amazing woman, coach and mother she was. She made such an impact on me and what I learned from her still impacts me every day.”

Coach Elderkin epitomizes what the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award stands for. Elderkin was diagnosed with Stage III Endometrial Cancer during the summer, but continued to coach the Mountaineers. All of the visible cancer was removed through surgery, but Coach Elderkin still had to complete a rigorous treatment plan before the season started. This plan included six chemotherapy treatment cycles & a period of radiation, which required her to be at the Lineberger Cancer Center five days a week. During her chemo treatments, she would commute from Chapel Hill, N.C. for treatments to Boone, N.C. to continue being with the team for practices. During her radiation treatment, she would leave Monday after a morning workout and return Friday for an afternoon workout, rarely missing any workouts or events with her players. She remained visible to her players throughout one of the toughest battles she ever had to fight.

Heading into Thursday’s contest against UT Arlington, coach Elderkin has yet to miss a game this season, including five-straight road games to start the season. Following her final chemo treatment, the Mountaineers began a stretch of two games in four days on the road.

Coach Elderkin’s will to fight, her courage and bravery has inspired the Mountaineers’ staff, fan base and countless coaches and players across the nation. Her passion for basketball and the will to coach through adversity shows you can do what you love while battling this deadly disease.

“When I was given my diagnosis, I knew that I had only one choice -- and that was to fight with everything I have to give,” said Elderkin. “I have received so much support from the entire women’s basketball community, and it has made such a difference as I continue to fight and beat this disease. I am so thankful to the USBWA, not only for this recognition, but for the support of its members over the last six months. Women’s basketball is truly a community and I am thankful to be part of it.”

Coach Elderkin and Rowe will receive their awards at USBWA Awards press conference at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Dallas in March.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

“Coach Angel deserves this award because she exudes courage. To have courage means to face obstacles head on even if you are afraid. Taking on a bunch of young women she hadn’t recruited for her basketball team and wanting to better them is courageous. Fighting an illness that she has no complete control over and still giving us 100% is brave. She inspires me to love others regardless of outcomes, regardless of whether or not they can do things for me. She inspires me to be a better version of myself by being selfless. When I see others down, I make an effort to lift them up. When I see someone struggling, I make an effort to go the extra mile to give them my hand. Coach Elderkin is shining a light in my world.” - Senior forward Bria Carter

“She’s one of the few coaches in my career that cares about her players as people outside of basketball. It’s more than just a business to her; this is her life. That fact that she was diagnosed with cancer and immediately asked the doctor if her treatments would interfere with practice exhibits the bravery she shows. She’s the strongest coach I have ever had, and there’s no one else who deserves this more. She’s the very epitome of her name. Our Angel! “ - Senior guard Jasmine Ogunjimi

“Coach Angel deserves this award because she is one of the most selfless coaches I have played for. She always puts the team first and in dealing with her health this past summer, she never once let her team down. She always kept us first, almost to the point where we had to ask her to focus on her health. Coach Angel deserves this award because she has fought this battle and WON! She always brings passion and energy to the court and never lets up on the team. Out of anybody in my life or I have come across, I can’t think of a better recipient for this award.” - Senior forward Ashley Bassett-Smith

“Courage is what she has shown throughout her battle with cancer. There has not been a day that I have seen where she has let this adversity from being the loving coach, mentor, leader, and friend that she is. I have learned that serving others is one of the strongest forms of courage and to do so willingly and out of love is incredible. Her name fits her perfectly because she is truly an angel to those of us who have been blessed to know her. The Pat Summitt Courage Award will be represented substantially by a person who I consider one of the most courageous people I know.” - Senior guard Joi Jones

“Coach Angel is one of the strongest people I know. She has sacrificed her time, sleep and even her health for the benefits of the team. She has made a home for us at App; somewhere we feel comfortable both on and off the court. At the end of the day, no matter the outcome, I know she loves her team and would do anything for us to be successful. Coach Elderkin is more than deserving of this award. Thank you for everything Coach Angel” - Senior forward Mia Marshall


Thursday, 29 December 2016 10:04

Hickory Crawdads to Host Winter Caravan in January

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The Hickory Crawdads have scheduled their 2017 Winter Caravan Luncheon for Wednesday, January 11th at Rock Barn Golf & Spa, with the event scheduled to run from 12:00 pm - 1:30pm.

To kick off the 25th season of Crawdads baseball, the luncheon will feature a slate of Rangers personnel including manager Jeff Banister, new Crawdads manager Spike Owen, and Major League Field Coordinator Josh Bonifay (all speakers are tentative and subject to change at any time).

Banister, entering his third season at the helm, led the Rangers to back-to-back American League West Division Championships and last year's best record in the American League. He was named 2015 American League Manager of the Year.

Owen, originally named the Crawdads manager for the 2016 season, spent last year with the Texas Rangers as the interim third base coach. He made his managerial debut with the Class-A Advanced High Desert Mavericks in 2015, where he guided the team to a 78-62 record and a Second Half South Division title in the California League.

Bonifay played for the Crawdads from 2000-01 and also served as the 'Dads assistant coach in 2008. The Hickory resident was promoted to Major League Field Coordinator in November.

In addition to the featured speakers, the 'Dads will also reveal a new logo to celebrate 25 years of Crawdads baseball in Hickory.

"With pitchers and catchers reporting just three weeks after the luncheon and the unveiling of our 25th anniversary logo, this event is the perfect way to prepare for the 2017 season," said Crawdads GM Mark Seaman. "We're excited to welcome a great group of Rangers, especially someone of Jeff Banister's caliber, to Hickory."

Tickets for the Winter Caravan Luncheon are now available for $25. Ticket price includes the main event and a picnic-style buffet. For more information, or to order tickets, call the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000 or stop by the 'Dads front office at L.P. Frans Stadium. Tickets may also be ordered online at

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