Sports (663)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:39

App State Men's Basketball Falls to Troy on the Road

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Trailing by just one at halftime, Appalachian State University men’s basketball couldn’t overcome a late 13-2 Troy run and would fall on the road for the second consecutive contest, 76-66 on Monday night.

The Mountaineers (8-18, 3-12 Sun Belt) got 15 points and seven rebounds from junior forward Griffin Kinney. For the game, Kinney finished 7-for-11 from the field. His seven rebounds shared the team lead on the night with Isaac Johnson.

In his first game back from injury, Kelvin Robinson finished with 12 points on five made field goals - connecting on two 3-pointers. Robinson finished a team-best +15 on the floor.

Both teams would trade leads in the early going and with the Trojans (16-12, 8-6 Sun Belt) leading 13-12, the Mountaineers would use a small 4-0 run to grab a 16-13 lead behind a free throw from Kinney and a three from Craig Hinton.

Troy led by as many as nine at 27-18, but the Black and Gold finished the half on a 14-6 run which was capped by a crazy sequence that saw Patrick Good hit a mid-range buzzer beater right before the break.

A Kinney layup to begin the second period would give Appalachian its last lead of the game at 34-33. Up by nine at 49-40, the Trojans’ lead was whittled down to just two at 52-50 after a 7-3 run from the Apps. The run was sparked by a three from Robinson and capped by a layup from Robinson.

Unfortunately, App State couldn’t maintain that momentum and the Trojans would engineer a 13-2 run that opened up the game at 65-52 at the 8:39 mark of the second half.

The Mountaineers would get as close as five points following a Bennett Holley 3-pointer to cut the Troy lead to 71-66 with 1:04 left in regulation. The Trojans added four more points at the foul line late in the contest to seal the win.

Troy managed to commit just six fouls in the contest. The Trojans were led by Jordon Varnado who finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Notes: The loss marked the Mountaineers’ first all-time to Troy (came into tonight a perfect 6-0) … Griffin Kinney’s 15 points marked his 15th double-digit scoring game of the season and 22nd of his career … Kelvin Robinson’s 12 points marked his fifth double-digit scoring game of the season … for the 11th time this season, Isaac Johnson led the Mountaineers in rebounding (shared the lead with seven tonight).

Appalachian State has announced a three-game series with the University of North Carolina beginning in 2019, App State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Monday afternoon.

North Carolina will host the Mountaineers in 2019 and 2023, while the two teams will square off in Boone in 2022. The series opener is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, N.C. with the Tar Heels coming to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Sept. 3, 2022 to open the season. The series finale is Sept. 9, 2023 back in Chapel Hill.

“This series is the next addition in bringing Power 5 programs to Kidd Brewer Stadium,” Gillin said Monday. “With a record crowd for Miami last year, Wake Forest this season, and North Carolina in 2022 we are continuously looking for opportunities to bring great opponents to The Rock. Our goal is to continue to bring Power 5 opponents, when available, and quality Group of 5 opponents to Boone, which benefits our students, student-athletes, university and community. I truly enjoyed working with the UNC administration in constructing a series that is a win-win. Playing regional and in-state opponents makes a lot of sense for us. We will see an increase in tickets sales both home and away, reduced travel costs and less missed class time for our students. Over the next eight seasons we will be playing the series with UNC, in addition to a four-game series with ECU, and home-and-home series with Wake Forest, Charlotte, and Marshall.”

UNC will be the third ACC opponent to play at Kidd Brewer in a seven-year span. App hosted Miami in September of 2016 in front of a record crowd of almost 35,000 and Wake Forest comes to Kidd Brewer on Sept. 23 this season.

App State and UNC have met only once in football, back in 1940.

Appalachian was 10-3 in 2016 capturing the program’s first Sun Belt Conference Championship and winning a second consecutive Camellia Bowl. The Mountaineers are at the midway point of spring practice and open the 2017 season on Sept. 2 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

Series Dates: Appalachian State-North Carolina Football

Game 1 - Sept. 21, 2019 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Game 2 - Sept. 3, 2022 in Boone, N.C.

Game 3 - Sept. 9, 2023 in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team fell to 12th ranked Guilford Tech 79-75 in overtime Monday night.

The Red Hawks outscored Guilford Tech 23-15 in the 4th quarter including a Shaniya Lester three-pointer with five seconds left to force overtime. The Red Hawks had a chance to tie in overtime with a three-point shot from Tory Agrusa that bounced off the rim with four seconds left. Guilford Tech was able to make a free throw to give them a four point lead and the game.

Ieshia Love and Lester each scored 18 points to lead the Red Hawks despite the loss. Nikki McCaskill scored 13 points. Jala Daniels pulled down eight rebounds.

With the loss, the Red Hawks fall to 18-6 overall, 12-5 in conference play.

CVCC will return home on Wednesday, March 1 for their final home game of the season and sophomore night against Louisburg College at 6:00pm.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Joe Buduo has been named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Offensive Player Of The Week, league officials announced today.

Buduo, a sophomore attacker from Shrewsbury, Mass., scored three goals and tallied two assists in the Bears’ 14-12 victory over No. 20 Rollins last Saturday in Savannah, Ga. Buduo also tallied three ground balls in the contest.

Buduo was one of the top first-year players in the league last year, totaling 26 goals, 12 assists and 38 points in helping the Bears win both the conference regular season and tournament championships.

Mars Hill’s Ryan Kearney was named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Defensive Player Of The Week.

Lenoir-Rhyne (1-1), ranked No. 14 in NCAA Division II, returns to the field on Saturday at Noon against Wheeling Jesuit in a home match at Moretz Stadium.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer midfielder Raheem Somersall (Basseterre, St. Kitts/Southern School of Energy and Sustainability) will join his national team and participate in the U20 CONCACAF Championship for the World Cup.

Somersall arrived in Costa Rica two weeks before the main event, preparing by playing two friendly matches against professional club Saprissa and another under-20 team that qualified. The sophomore then opened up competitive play against Haiti on Feb. 18 where the team fell 5-1 but will have a second match against Panama on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The final group stage match will be against the United States on Friday, Feb. 24.

“I am honored to be a part of my national team at the youth level and to be able to participate in a World Cup Qualifiers,” Somersall said. “This is important for me because I have been selected as one of 22 members to represent my country and I feel like every footballer dreams of playing professionally or being able to represent their country.”

This is the second time that St. Kitts and Nevis have qualified to the U20 CONCACAF Championship for the World Cup. The team is locally based with 19 amateur players that play in the SKNFA Premier League in St. Kitts & Nevis and one player that plays overseas: Somersall. A talented team, many of their players have been chosen to practice in Brazil and represent the Caribbean Football Union team that played in Texas last year.

“I am very excited for Raheem to get another opportunity to represent his country in a World Cup qualifying event,” Appalachian head men’s soccer coach Jason O’Keefe said. “We are proud of him and know he will continue to represent his family, App State and his country of St. Kitts & Nevis in a great way. It is a tremendous achievement for Raheem and our program. He is an inspiration to everyone in our locker room and future Mountaineers that you can achieve all your dreams from the environment here at App State.”

If St. Kitts & Nevis qualify, Raheem will be with the U20 team until the first week of March.

“This is a challenge for me as I will be playing against top players from North, Central & South America, and I’ll also be tested on my ability to focus on school while being away from school,” Somersall continued. “I just want to thank God for bringing me this far and blessing me with this opportunity, Coach O’Keefe for making sure that I’m laser focused at all times, my advisor Cliff Poole, my professors for allowing me to be away for this period of time, my strength coach and my teammates who push me to get better every day and in every way possible.”

Newcomer Zeiko Harris (Sandys Parish, Bermuda/South Kent) is also playing in the U20 Championship in Costa Rica representing his home country of Bermuda. They tied Trinidad 1-1 on Sunday and will face El Salvador on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and Costa Rica on Saturday, Feb. 25.

To follow Somersall and Harris and the St. Kitts & Nevis and Bermuda U20 national teams, head to

Monday, 20 February 2017 09:21

High School Basketball Playoff Pairings Released

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The North Carolina High School Athletic Association finalized the 2017 Basketball playoff brackets this afternoon. Play will begin at the higher regional seeded team on Tuesday. Rounds one through four will all be held at the home of the higher seed. The Regional Finals (Round 5) will be played in Fayetteville for the East and Greensboro and Winston-Salem for the West.

Of Hickory Metro teams:


W1 (1) Smoky Mountain (24-2) vs. MW16 (32) Bandys (8-15)

W5 (12) Maiden (19-7) vs. MW12 (25) West Davidson (13-13)

W3 (4) East Burke (23-3) vs. MW14 (29) Mount Pleasant (10-14)

MW3 (7) North Surry (21-5) vs. W14 (26) West Caldwell (12-11)

MW7 (11) East Davidson (19-6) vs. W10 (19) Newton-Conover (16-10)

W1 (3) Freedom (25-1) v. MW16 (32) Cox Mill (9-15)

MW8 (16) Southwestern Randolph (16-9) vs. W9 (20) St. Stephens (14-11)

W7 (14) Hickory (19-6) vs. MW10 (18) Piedmont (17-10), Tuesday on 1290 AM, 102.3 FM, starting at 6:30pm.

MW4 (6) Rocky River (19-7) vs. W13 (24) Alexander Central (16-10)

MW3 (5) Page (19-7) vs. W14 (25) South Caldwell (16-9)

MW4 (7) T. Wingate Andrews (17-8) vs. W13 (23) Maiden (15-10)

MW6 (13) Monroe (13-9) vs. W11 (19) West Caldwell (17-7)

MW3 (5) North Surry (22-4) vs. W14 (25) Draughn (14-11)

W1 (1) Freedom (24-2) vs. MW16 (30) Concord (10-15)

W7 (14) Hibriten (16-9) vs. MW10 (21) Marvin Ridge (16-11)

MW5 (11) Hickory Ridge (19-7) vs. W12 (24) Patton (12-13)

MW3 (6) North Forsyth (18-9) vs. W14 (29) Foard (10-15)

W6 (10) Hickory (21-6) vs. MW11 (22) Sun Valley (15-11), Tuesday on 1290 AM, 102.3 FM, after the girls game

W7 (11) Alexander Central (19-8) vs. MW10 (20) Ben L. Smith (16-9)

W6 (9) South Caldwell (14-11) vs. MW11 (21) High Point Central (15-9)

In the final game of the Hughes Bros. Challenge, Appalachian State University faced-off against the host-team UNC Wilmington in a wild, dramatic, back-and-forth affair on Sunday afternoon at Brooks Field.

The Mountaineers (1-3) fell 6-5 on a walkoff single through the middle after leading the 24th-ranked Seahawks (3-0) 5-3 going into the ninth.

Momentum seemed to change a little bit toward UNCW’s way when the leadoff hitter to the bottom of the ninth, Robbie Thorburn, reached first on a struck out swinging, past ball. After that, the Seahawks worked the small ball game and brought around the two runs they needed to win.

Appalachian once again received incredible pitching from its bullpen. Making his first career start after 30 relief appearances, was junior Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central). The right-handed thrower went a career-long 5.0 innings, allowed just five hits, two runs and struck out a career-high seven batters – more than doubling his previous career high of three.

Watts finished the day throwing an impressive 60 strikes on 97 pitches for the afternoon.

Providing relief on the day was senior Sean Mason (Austin, Texas/McNeil), junior Tristan Helms (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest), sophomore Will Herman (Dunwoody, Ga./St. Pius X Catholic) and senior Matt Schaeffer (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carrol Catholic (Tallahassee CC). UNC Wilmington went to the bullpen quite a bit on the day, using six pitchers in the four-hour game.

The Black and Gold knew they needed to be able to put pressure on the pitcher in order to contend with nationally ranked UNCW’s offense, and they did just that, having five players get a hit on the day.

Senior Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) went 1-2 on the day, scoring an RBI and crossing the plate twice. He also drew two walks. Junior Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) continues the hot start to the season by going 2-2 on the day, with one run and one walk.

Perhaps the best eyes at the plate for the Mountaineers came from App State freshman third-baseman and leadoff hitter, Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll). In five total plate appearances, Grubbs drew three walks and went 1-2, crossing the plate once as well. Through the first weekend, the freshman leads the team in batting (.308), slugging (.385), on-base (.500), runs (three) and hits (four).

Senior Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech) once again came up in the clutch for App as he got his lone hit in the eighth with the lead only one. Vernon drilled a double down the right-field line to drive home Grubbs, extending the lead.

The Mountaineers will have the midweek off before traveling to Boiling Springs, N.C. where they will play Gardner-Webb in a three-game series. Game 1 begins on Friday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Big South Network.

Monday, 20 February 2017 09:09

Appalachian State Softball Picks Up Win Over UMBC

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Appalachian State University softball played Valparaiso on Sunday morning and crushed the UMBC Retrievers 9-2 in an afternoon rematch on the final day of the Aggie Invitational in Greensboro, N.C. Due to the fact that Appalachian and Valparaiso only completed four innings at dead time, the ballgame was voided.

App State improved to an overall .500 record (4-4) after claiming a victory against UMBC. In the rematch, seven Mountaineers crashed out hits and five dished out RBI with Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) registering two on a double.

In the circle, Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./ La Habra (Delaware State)) started the game off by shutting out UMBC in 2.2 innings, and Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) (3-2) came in relief for 4.1 innings and had two hits and two earned runs, and fired out seven strikeouts. Longanecker totaled 17 strikeouts this weekend in three games.

Game One: App State 6, Valpo 6 (4) (Voided due to four innings played)

App State got into a hole early in the first after Valparaiso (4-0) hit a 3 RBI homerun over center field, but the Black and Gold quickly climbed out of the ditch tying up the score at three apiece. In the second, Valpo regained a one-run lead, but the Mountaineers answered back with a pair of runs to take the 5-4 advantage heading into the third.

After the Mountaineers had held the Crusaders scoreless in the top of the third, App tagged on another run, but Valpo bounced back and evened up the score at six apiece after a 2 RBI homerun to end the fourth.

In a back-and-forth tied game, both teams were prepared to make the next offensive play to take the lead, but the game ended in dead time to stop the bout at 6-6.

Game Two: App State 9, UMBC 2

Appalachian jumped on the boards first when Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) hustled home on a wild pitch in the top of the third. After neutralizing UMBC’s (3-5) offense in the second half of the inning, Alisha Josey (Garner, N.C./Garner) opened up the fourth with a single to middle infield, and Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) followed with a double that tapped danced down the left line. Then in a blink of an eye, App earned three more runs after back-to-back wild pitches and a sacrifice fly by Parker.

In the fifth inning, App went on a scoring spree racking up five runs on three hits and one error. The Black and Gold Bunting Squad opened up the inning with an error off a bunt, a bunt single and a sac. bunt that allowed A. Josey to lift up a RBI sacrifice fly to widen Apps’ gap to five runs. Directly after that, Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) jetted home on a wild pitch, and Stewart bombed a double to right center to bat in pinch runners Gabby Buruato (Valdese, N.C./Jimmy C. Draughn) and Caitlin Shepherd (North Wilkesboro, N.C./West Wilkes) for the 8-0 lead.

The Mountaineers were not done cranking out bombs when Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) pinched in at the eighth slot and bounced the ball off the middle of the left field fence for a double to bring home Stewart and conclude Appalachian’s multi-run inning at 9-0.

Up by nine, Appalachian sensed a five-inning victory was near, but the Retrievers kept themselves in the ballgame. With bases loaded, UMBC scored two straight runs off a single and a wild pitch, but their scoring threat was halted when Parker ended the inning diving on the ground in middle infield for the out.

After the fifth, both teams held each other scoreless in the sixth and seventh and App captured the 9-2 victory.

The Black and Gold will travel back down to Greensboro for the third-straight time to play North Carolina A&T for the second half of the two-game series on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.

Appalachian State University wrestling dropped its first home match of the season in the NWCA Division I Championship Series matchup with Indiana on Sunday afternoon, 21-12.

In a rematch of last year’s National Duals match, the 19th-ranked Mountaineers (12-3, 7-0 SoCon) battled toe-to-toe once again with the Hoosiers (10-8, 2-6 Big Ten), but the score would up being almost exactly reversed to 2015.

Highlighting the match for the Black and Gold, the team won five weight classes on the day. No. 24 freshman Colby Smith (Wentzville, Mo./Holt) downed Indiana’s Garrett Pepple in a 5-0 decision at 133 pounds to tie the team score at 3 apiece. No. 18 sophomore Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) took down Chris Perez in a 5-1 decision at 149 pounds to once again tie the score at 6-6.

Sophomore 197-pounder Randall Diabe (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) shut out IU’s Jake Hinz in a 4-0 decision before No. 9 senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) overthrew Fletcher Miller in a 4-1 decision, but it wouldn’t be enough as two bonus point victories by the Hoosiers put the match out of reach.

The Mountaineers fell in a momentum-shifting start to the match at 125 pounds when Elijah Oliver got a late takedown in overtime for the sudden victory over No. 20 senior Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers). Another neck-and-neck match came at 141 pounds when sophomore Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) fell 5-4 to IU’s Cole Weaver.

The match changed entirely, however, when the Hoosiers rattled off three-straight wins at 165, 174 and 184 pounds. Bryce Martin took down No. 29 junior Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) before Elliott Raiford (Branch, Ga./West Hall) dropped an 18-2 technical fall to Devin Skatzka. Sixth-ranked Nate Jackson sealed the win with a 15-3 major decision over junior David Peters-Logue (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange) to give the Indiana 21 team points.

Appalachian wrestling now has two weeks off before heading to Charleston, S.C. to participate in the Southern Conference Tournament. The tournament takes place March 4 at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House. Ticket information is to-be-determined but will be announced when available on

Appalachian State University men’s tennis (3-5) fell to Coastal Carolina in its first conference match of the year 6-1 at Coastal Carolina Tennis Facility.

Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia / Lambton) was the lone Mountaineer to score a point for the Black and Gold on Sunday afternoon. He defeated Luiz Faria in the No. 2 singles match, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to improve to 4-3 in singles action.

In No. 1 doubles, Scott Webster (Perth, Australia / Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England / Bullerswood) beat Francesco Migliano and Sebastian Schneider, 6-0.

The Chanticleers came away with the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches, as Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C. / Abraham Baldwin Agricultural) and Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia / Mansfield State) fell 7-5 to Vuk Velikovic and Jose Ortega. Maddocks and Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) were defeated 7-5 by Francesco Gamero Cori and Faria.

Webster was outlasted by Velickovic, 6-1, 6-3, in the No. 1 singles match, and Morris fell to Schneider, 6-2, 6-2.

Bargeron was lined up in the No. 4 slot but dropped the match 6-3, 6-4 to Migliano.

In No. 5 singles, Pavkovich was defeated by Ortega, and in No. 6 singles, Brea took Gamero Cori to the tiebreaker but eventually fell 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

The Apps look to stop the skid on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Wofford on the road at 12 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C.


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