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The Hickory Crawdads, Class-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, are proud to announce a pre-season, exhibition game against the Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears, with the friendly match scheduled for 6 pm on Tuesday, April 7th at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Any student, faculty, or other employee of Lenoir-Rhyne will receive free admission to the game with a valid university ID, while all other tickets will be $5. All seats for the game will be general admission. The Crawdads will also offer Thirsty Thursday drink specials, with all 12 oz. beer and 22 oz. Pepsi products costing $2.

"We're excited about the opportunity to kick off the season with an exhibition against the Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Bears," said Crawdads GM Mark Seaman. "The Crawdads players may be professionals while LR's are amateurs, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Bears' average age is higher than the 'Dads! These two teams haven't played since 2007, so we're expecting a good game and fun atmosphere with the college players getting to compete on a professional field."

Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased online at www.hickorycrawdads.com, over the phone at (828) 322-3000, or in person at the Crawdads front office in L.P. Frans Stadium. The Crawdads open their regular season on Thursday, April 9th as a part of a weeklong, 7-game home stand at L.P. Frans Stadium. Single game tickets for the 'Dads regular season will be released on March 14th.

Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]) recorded his sixth double-double of the season and Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) added 15 points and a career-high-tying seven rebounds to lead Appalachian State University men’s basketball to its third-straight win, a 64-53 Sun Belt Conference triumph over South Alabama on Thursday evening at the Holmes Center.

With the victory, Appalachian State (7-10, 4-4 Sun Belt) matched its longest winning streak of the season and pulled to .500 in Sun Belt play for the first time since it split its first two conference games of the campaign on Jan. 3-5. The Mountaineer victory also snapped a two-game winning streak for the Jaguars (6-13, 4-5) and avenged a 104-95 loss when the teams met in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 8.

The game was a back-and-forth affair for much of the evening, featuring eight lead changes and six ties through the first 26 minutes of the contest.

However, after USA took a 36-35 advantage on a Taishaun Johnson layup with just under 14 minutes to go in the ballgame, the Mountaineers answered with a 23-7 run, capped by a Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) three-pointer that gave Appalachian a 58-43 lead with 6:28 remaining. App State maintained the double-digit advantage the rest of the way to earn a two-game season split with the Jaguars.

Neither team was able to gain much of an advantage in a tightly-contested first half despite going ahead by two scores on multiple occasions. USA was the first to gain a two-score edge when it grabbed a 13-9 lead on John Brown’s dunk with 11:40 in the first frame.

Appalachian State responded with a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes to grab their largest lead of the first half at 22-17 on an Eaves three-pointer with 4:20 on the clock. South Alabama tied the game at 28-28 when Brown nailed a shot from long range with 26 seconds to go but Spagnolo hit a layup jut seconds before the end of the half to send the Apps to the locker room with a 30-28 halftime lead.

The Apps extended their lead to five points (35-30) in the first five minutes of the second half, but the Jaguars scored six-straight points to regain the advantage, 36-35, when Johnson nailed a fastbreak layup with 13:50 to play.

That’s when the Mountaineers turned it on, scoring 23 points over the next seven-plus minutes to put the game completely out of reach. Spagnolo hit just his fourth three-pointer of the year to put the Mountaineers back in front, 38-36, and it was game over from there as Appalachian hit three more shots from beyond the arc during the run and sent the Jaguars to their fifth league loss.

Spagnolo finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Eaves added five assists to his 15 points and seven boards. Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) and Jacob Lawson (Reidsville, N.C./Oak Ridge Military Academy [Purdue]) both had strong showings off the bench as each finished with seven points, three rebounds and a block.

South Alabama was paced by Ken Williams’ game-high 16 points, but no other Jaguar was able to score in double figures as the Mountaineers held USA to just 36.0 percent (18-of-50) from the floor, the lowest for an Appalachian opponent this season.

Appalachian State also finished with a 41-30 edge in rebounds including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass. For the fourth-straight game, the Mountaineers finished with a double-digit assists total as they dished out 14 assists.

The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday when they square off against Texas State at 5:30 p.m. (ET) in San Marcos, Texas.

NOTES: Appalachian State improved to 1-1 all-time against South Alabama and 11-10 all-time against teams from the state of Alabama (2-2 this year with wins over South Alabama/Troy and losses to Alabama/South Alabama) ... during its three-game winning streak, Appalachian State has recorded 47 assists on 79 made shots (59.5 percent) ... South Alabama’s 53 points were a season-low for an Appalachian opponent and the lowest by any opponent since the Citadel scored 45 in Appalachian State’s 54-45 win on Feb. 6, 2014 ... former Mountaineer and 2013 Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Healy was in attendance at Thursday’s game ... Healy has spent the last two years playing professionally in Hungary, the Netherlands and Poland ... Thursday marked the first time that Appalachian State has swept a doubleheader all year as the women topped South Alabama, 70-59 in the first game ... the Mountaineer coaching staff wore sneakers for the second-straight game in support of Coaches vs. Cancer.

Appalachian State University women's basketball got a win on Thursday night in the Holmes Center, pushing past South Alabama for a 70-59 victory.

The Mountaineers (9-8, 4-4 Sun Belt) trailed the Jaguars (3-15, 0-9) for most of the first half, but were able to come out in the second without giving up the lead once.

The Apps struck first in the game, leading 8-2 at the 16:08 minute mark, featuring four points from Bria Carter. The Jags would respond by going on a 12-0 run, leading the Mountaineers 14-8 with 12:13 to play in the first half.

South Alabama continued to score, hitting two threes for a 22-15 lead at the 7:25 minute mark, but Appalachian slowly began to chip away at the score, as Mia Marshall hit a layup and Peggy Smith followed that up with a three-pointer. Maryah Sydnor tied the score at 25 when she converted on a three-point play with 3:54 to play in the first half.

The Jaguars would pull ahead again, but App State found points from Katie Mallow, Katelyn Doub and Sydnor in the remaining two minutes to give App a 35-29 lead at halftime.

Sydnor led the Apps with 11 points in the first, while the team shot 50.0 percent from the field.

South Alabama was led by Juliann Miller's seven points as the Jaguars recorded a 43.5 percent field goal percentage.

The Apps came out in the second half by going on an 8-1 run, six of the eight points coming from Sydnor. Carter wold score four-straight to put Appalachian up 45-33 at the 15:18 minute mark.

The Mountaineers maintained lengthened their lead to 22 points off a shot from behind the arc from Mallow with eight minutes to play, but the Jaguars would go on a 7-2 run.

With four minutes to play South Alabama got hot again, scoring nine straight points, but it would be too little too late as the Mountaineers took the game, 70-59.

Sydnor led the Apps with 19 points and ten rebounds for her second-straight double-double. Carter added a career-high of 13 points, going 6-7 from the floor in the win. Carter also added five steals in the game, while Bria Huffman had five assists.

The team recorded a 50.0 percent field goal percentage in the win, grabbing 31 rebounds and turning the ball over 18 times.

Breanna Hall led South Alabama with ten points, while the Jags shot 40.0 percent from the floor. The Jaguars recorded 34 rebounds and 25 turnovers.

The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 24 when they travel to San Marcos, Texas for a game against Texas State.

Friday, 23 January 2015 07:30

CVCC Women's Basketball Ranked in NJCAA D2 Polls

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The Catawba Valley Community College Red Hawks women's basketball jumped into the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2 poll for the first time this year at the 17 spot. They are the only unranked team to join the poll this week.

The Red Hawks went 3-0 last week including beating then #11 Louisburg College 67-63 at Louisburg.

The Red Hawks are 12-6 and 7-2 in the Carolinas-Virginia Conference which boasts two other ranked teams #12 Louisburg and #14 Guilford Tech.

The Red Hawks will play two conference games this weekend. They play Brunswick CC on Saturday at 4pm and Cape Fear CC on Sunday at 1pm.

The Queens Men’s Basketball Team (10-7, 7-4) used a strong first half to take a 78-59 victory from Lenoir-Rhyne (7-8, 5-6) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium in a South Atlantic Conference game.

The Royals’ Rob Lewis (Houston, Texas) led all scorers with 17 points as Queens raced to a 41-23 halftime advantage and never looked back. Queens also snapped Lenoir-Rhyne’s four-game winning streak.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman guard Justice Morgan (Kennesaw, Ga.) came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points in addition to four three-pointers but the Bears’ deficit was too great to overcome.

Junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) and redshirt freshman guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) each scored 11 points as well for the Bears, who couldn’t get within 11 points after halftime the rest of the way.

Logan Evans (Raleigh, N.C.) added 12 points off the bench for the Royals, who shot 55 percent (29-of-53) for the game and forced the Bears into 23 turnovers.

The Bears hit six of their nine three-pointers after halftime but suffered the season sweep to the hands of the Royals. Queens also ended a two-game losing streak in the process.

Lenoir-Rhyne faces Mars Hill on the road in Mars Hill, N.C., on Saturday afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:26

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Edged out by Queens

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The Queens University of Charlotte Women’s Basketball Team (5-11, 3-8) pulled out a 52-50 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (5-10, 4-7) Wednesday evening in South Atlantic Conference action at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Erin Brundage (Alpharetta, Ga.) came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points while Lacey Singletary (Burlington, N.C.) added a double-double – 12 points and 12 rebounds – for the Royals, who saw their three-game losing streak come to an end.

Lenoir-Rhyne, which suffered its third straight loss, was led by senior All-American guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) with a game-high 23 points. Senior guard Jenni Gust (Colfax, Wis.) and junior guard Jordan Hiatt (Mount Airy, N.C.) added eight points each in the setback as well for the Bears.

The Royals limited the Bears to just 27 percent shooting (15-of-56) for the game and avenged an earlier loss to Lenoir-Rhyne. Queens also held a 42-33 edge in rebounding.

Lenoir-Rhyne cut an eight-point deficit – 46-38 with 50 seconds left – to three points thanks to three treys in 17 seconds but Queens’ Carmen Richardson (Rocky Mount, N.C.) hit three free throws to ice the game.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday, Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Mars Hill, N.C., to face Mars Hill at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:25

CVCC Men's Basketball Defeat Vance-Granville

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Wednesday night, Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team defeated Vance-Granville Community College 89-76. CVCC used a 56-43 advantage in the second half to pull away for the win.

Tryle Poindexter scored 28 points and Trevin MIller had 20 to pace CVCC. The Red Hawks also got 10 points from Ray'Quelle Days.

The win improves CVCC to 10-10 overall and 5-5 in conference play. The Red Hawks play again on Saturday at Louisburg College.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:11

High School Basketball Results from Tuesday, 1/20/15

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Girls
Northwestern:
Freedom: 78
Patton: 43

Hickory: 78
Hibriten: 29

South Caldwell: 55
Watauga: 43

St. Stephens: 64
Fred T. Foard: 37

South Mountain Athletic:
East Burke: 65
East Rutherford: 52

Boys
Northwestern:
Fred T. Foard: 76
St. Stephens: 49

Freedom: 67
Patton: 62

Hickory: 61
Hibriten: 52

Watauga: 72
South Caldwell: 60

South Mountain Athletic:
East Burke: 78
East Rutherford: 58

Justin Watts, a 14-year Division I coaching veteran, has joined Appalachian State University’s football staff as wide receivers coach, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Tuesday.

Watts comes to Appalachian State from Middle Tennessee, where he served as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the past nine seasons (2006-14). During his time at Middle Tennessee, he helped lead the Blue Raiders to four bowl berths, three eight-win seasons and a Sun Belt Conference championship (2006).

Known at Middle Tennessee for developing deep corps of wideouts, Watts coached 29 different receivers that caught 25 passes or more in a season during his nine-year tenure in Murfreesboro. Four receivers that he coached rank in the top seven in Middle Tennessee history in career receptions and four are among the program’s all-time top 10 in career yardage.

As Middle Tennessee’s recruiting coordinator, Watts consistently led the efforts to land classes that ranked among the best in the Sun Belt and Conference USA. Most recently, the Blue Raiders’ 2014 recruiting class ranked third in C-USA, according to Rivals.com.

“Coach Watts is a great fit for our staff on many levels,” Satterfield said. “First, he fits in extremely well personality-wise. We spend so much time together that it’s very important that everyone’s personalities mesh and that will definitely be the case with adding Coach Watts to our staff. Second, his experience as a recruiting coordinator at Middle Tennessee is huge because recruiting is so important at the FBS level. Additionally, his ties to South Carolina, which is one of our top recruiting areas, the entire region and the Sun Belt Conference are going to pay dividends on the recruiting trail. Finally, he is an experienced and talented wide receivers coach, which is vital to our program and our offensive scheme. We’re excited to have Coach Watts on our staff and we welcome him and his family to App Nation.”

Watts began his coaching career with two seasons as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Clemson (2001-02). During his stint as a GA at Clemson, he helped lead the Tigers to a pair of bowl berths.

He landed his first full-time coaching position at Appalachian State’s former Southern Conference rival, Chattanooga, where he coached the Mocs’ wide receivers for three seasons (2003-05). At UTC, he coached NCAA Division I FCS all-American Alonzo Nix, who set a single-season SoCon record with 90 receptions in 2003, and all-conference performer Emanuel Hassell, who led the league with 52 catches in 2005. In Watts’ final season at Chattanooga, the Mocs recorded their first winning season in eight years.

Watts owns the distinction of being one of only two student-athletes to ever be a five-year football letterwinner at Clemson, a feat that he accomplished as a wide receiver from 1996-2000 (he received a medical redshirt after sustaining a season-ending injury during the 1997 campaign). He caught 51 passes for 561 yards during his career and was honored as a scholar-athlete at the 1999 Peach Bowl awards luncheon. The Tigers earned bowl berths during four of his five seasons on the squad.

A Florence, S.C. native, Watts amassed 7,979 yards of total offense and accounted for 74 touchdowns as a prep quarterback at South Florence H.S. He received a B.S. in sports management from Clemson in 2000. Watts and his wife, Lauren, have a son, Chase, and a daughter, Kendall.

WATTS AT A GLANCE
Coaching Experience
2006-14: Middle Tennessee (wide receivers/recruiting coordinator)
2003-05: Chattanooga (wide receivers)
2001-02: Clemson (graduate assistant)

Playing Experience
1996-2000: Clemson (WR)

Alma Mater: Clemson, 2000
Hometown: Florence, S.C.
Birthdate: Oct. 1, 1977 (37 years old)
Wife: Lauren
Son: Chase
Daughter: Kendall

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:17

Handback Named Acting Lenoir-Rhyne Tennis Coach

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Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the hiring of Scott Handback as Acting Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach, taking over for the late Bobby McKee.

McKee, who was in the middle of his eighth season as Lenoir-Rhyne’s Director of Tennis, passed away on Thursday, January 1. Handback will serve as coach through the spring season at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Handback previously served five years as Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Queens University of Charlotte (2001-05).

“I am very excited to help carry on Bobby’s (McKee) legacy this season,” said Handback. “Bobby was one of the most respected tennis coaches in the country and I cannot think of a better way to honor him than to help his team this spring achieve the goals they set.”

Handback has worked in the private club industry for over 18 years. Currently, Handback is owner of SCOBEN Enterprises, LLC, in Asheville, N.C., and has been general manager of several country clubs including Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers, N.C., and Cleveland Country Club in Shelby, N.C.

Handback also served as Director of Athletics at the Cramer Mountain Country Club in Cramerton, N.C., from 2005 to 2007.

A United States Tennis Association High Performance Coach, Handback has coached numerous junior players who went on to compete collegiately at schools such as Virginia, Duke, Wisconsin, Clemson and East Carolina.

Handback was the USTA/Southern Junior Davis Cup Coach (2004-05), USTA National Zonal Coach (1999-2007) and a USTA National Recreation Coach Trainer (2004-10).

Handback is certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).

In 1999, Handback was named the USPTA South Carolina Tennis Professional Of The Year and won the Community Service Award by the USTA/ITA in 2004.

Handback graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in business and communications before earning his Master’s of Education from American Intercontinental University in August of 2011.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams open the 2015 spring season on Friday, February 6, against GRU Augusta in Augusta, Ga. The match time is set for 2:00 p.m.