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Appalachian State University women's basketball pulled out the win in a close game against South Alabama on Thursday with a score of 67-63.

The Mountaineers (7-5, 2-1 Sun Belt) struggled to maintain a steady lead, as South Alabama (3-10, 0-4) stayed with the Apps until the last minute of the game.

Joi Jones would score the first two points of the game, putting the Apps on the board at the 19:06 minute mark. Katie Mallow hit a three-pointer, putting the Mountaineers up 7-4 with 16:43 to play in the first half, but South Alabama responded with three free throws from Breanna Hall to tie the game.

Hall continued to score for the Jaguars, hitting a three-pointer to help South Alabama take the lead, 10-7. From there the Appalachian would go on a 8-0 run to take a 15-10 lead with 11:41 to play in the first.

A four minute drought would follow for both teams, until Bria Carter would hit a free throw for the Mountaineers at the 7:54 minute mark. South Alabama went on 12-4 run from there, featuring two three-pointers from Hall to take a 22-20 lead.

Neither team could pull away as the Apps went into the locker room at halftime with the score tied, 30-30.

Maryah Sydnor led the Mountaineers with six points and ten rebounds in the first as the team recorded a 40.0 percent field throw percentage.

South Alabama's Hall had 20 points in the first half, 11 from free throws alone. The team shot 31.6 percent from the floor in the first half.

South Alabama came out in the second half with a 5-0 run, but Jones kept the Apps in the game, hitting two layups and two free throws as the Jaguars led, 39-38 at the 15:42 minute mark.

The Jaguars responded by going on a 7-0 run, taking a 50-43 lead with 12:32 to play. It would not be until the 7:20 minute mark that Appalachian would catch up, as Madi Story hit a jumper and was fouled. Story converted on the free throw to tie the game, 55-55.

With the Mountaineers leading 57-56, South Alabama would score four-straight points, but Mallow hit a shot from behind the arc with two minutes to play, tying the score again.

Sydnor scored four-straight free throws for the Mountaineers, propelling them to a 64-60 lead with 30 seconds in the game, but South Alabama hit a jumper to pull within two.

Jones closed out the game for the Apps by hitting two free throws as Appalchian got the win, 67-63.

Jones led the team with 15 points in the win, while Sydnor tallied 12 points and tied a career-high with 15 rebounds. Mallow added ten points for the Mountaineers and Bria Huffman tied a career-high of seven rebounds.

App State shot 40.0 percent from the floor, recording 40 rebounds and 18 turnovers.

The Jaguars were led by Hall's 28 points, while the team recorded a 39.6 field goal percentage. The team tallied 32 rebounds and 18 turnovers.

The Mountaineers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 10 for a 3 p.m. game at UALR.

The Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team fell to Walters State, 65-59 Thursday night.

Kelantra Allen scored 22 points to lead CVCC. Shakira Allen added 14 points and Keyara McKnight chipped in 10 points despite the loss.

Walters State is ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association, Division 1 polls.

The Red Hawks fall to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Thursday, 08 January 2015 11:36

Pait Steps Down as Head Baseball Coach at CVCC

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In an emotional meeting with his team, Catawba Valley Community College men’s baseball Head Coach, Frank Pait announced that he has stepped down and will assume a new role as a counselor at Hickory High School. Assistant baseball coach Paul Rozzelle has been named interim head coach of the Red Hawks for the spring 2014 season.

“It was time to start spending more time with family,” said Pait. “I am excited to handoff a great program to a skilled staff that will continue to keep the program in national prominence.”

Pait has been an integral part in the creation and immediate success of CVCC baseball in 2010. He was brought on staff in 2009 to recruit and set up the college’s first baseball team. In the spring of 2010 the team played its first season under Pait and saw immediate success with a 31-19 record. The team continued a streak of more than 30 wins in the next four years, including a college record of 41 wins last season.

In five seasons with the CVCC baseball team, Pait recorded three conference titles, and a region and district title. In 2012, the team earned its first berth to the NJCAA World Series and secured a fifth place finish. Pait leaves CVCC with a 188-78 record, a 71 winning percentage and a career record in the collegiate ranks of 479-317-1.

“I am very sad to see him go,” said CVCC Athletic Director Nick Schroeder. “Frank has not only been a coach, but a mentor for me and the best supporter of the CVCC athletic program I could ask for. He built the solid winning foundation of CVCC baseball, and I am sure he will continue to remain a chief supporter of CVCC as a whole and all our athletic programs.”

Assistant CVCC Baseball Coach Paul Rozzelle, a Hickory High School graduate and CVCC Alumni, will step in to take over the program immediately, according to Schroeder. Coach Rozzelle has been with the CVCC baseball program from the first season in 2010. Rozzelle focused on strength and conditioning for the team while he began a business specializing in speed, agility, and strength training of athletes where he trained numerous collegiate All-Americans and professional athletes.

In 2013 he was hired as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the Bandy’s High School athletic program and returned to CVCC as an assistant baseball coach in 2014. This last summer Rozzelle served as head coach of the Morganton Militia, which competes in a summer collegiate league. His team included players from the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA in North America, Hawaii and Canada. Rozzelle earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and will complete his master’s degree in sport administration at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., in February.

“I am sad to see Coach Pait go as he has meant so much to me, not only as a coach, but more importantly, a person.” stated Rozzelle. “I have a special place in my heart for this program and will do everything within my power to ensure its continued success. We will miss Coach Pait and never forget what he has done for CVCC. We will continue to move forward and build upon the foundation that he laid. We will do our best to continue Coach Pait’s legacy of recruiting great young men that will make us proud in the classroom and on the field. Our goal every year is to have our student-athletes receive a great education, compete for a championship and have the opportunity to advance to four-year institutions to continue their education and playing career.”

The Red Hawks will look to begin a difficult schedule on the road with Division I opponent USC Sumter on January 31. In the season home opener February 14, the Red Hawks will play Division I #5 Spartanburg Methodist. The CVCC Baseball team has been ranked the last four years in the NJCAA Division II Top 20 Poll, three NJCAA All-Americans and more than 35 former players moving on to NCAA schools including App State, ECU, Cornell, Hofstra, UNCG, Western Carolina and UNC Asheville.

“The opportunity to start a collegiate baseball team with the support of Dr. Hinshaw at an institution like CVCC is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Pait. “I will never forget the support I received from the administration, faculty, staff, students and the greater community for CVCC baseball. I am so proud of all our accomplishments and the young men who made our program what it is. I will never forget my time here, and I am excited to hand the program over and see it achieve even greater things.”

WHKY will speak to Rozzelle next Thursday night on WHKY Sports Talk, heard on 1290 WHKY and streaming at whky.com at 7pm.

Thursday, 08 January 2015 10:17

CVCC Men's Basketball Defeats Wake Tech CC

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Catawba Valley Community College went to Raliegh to play Wake Tech Community College Wednesday, and won 102-80.

Leading scorers for the RedHawks were Trevin Miller who had 19 points and Seth Martin chipped in 12.

CVCC improves to 8-8 on the season. They travel to Pitt Community College on Sunday.

In its first Southern Conference action of the season, Appalachian State University wrestling jumped out to a big lead against SIUE and didn't look back winning 34-9.

Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) gave Appalachian a quick start by pinning Cameron Kelly 1:32 into the match. The win was Parisi's 20th of the season. At 133, Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) stretched the Appalachian lead to 11 with a 16-0 technical fall over Kenny Baldridge.

Michael Longo (Corona, Calif./Santiago) followed up Pasone's victory with his fourth pin of the season. Longo pinned Angelo Silvestro 7:41 into the match to give App State a 17-0. The Mountaineers continued to roll when Javon Johnson (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) earned a 9-2 decision victory over Karsten Van Velsor.

At 157 pounds, Zack Strickland (Muncy, Pa./Muncy) pinned Erik Travers 5:28 into the bout to increase the Appalachian lead before Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) won a major decision victory at 165 pounds.

The Mountaineers would then drop three decisions in a row at 174 pounds, 184 pounds, and 197 pounds. Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) finished the night off with a major decision win over Chris Johnson.

Appalachian improved to 3-6 in dual meets and will host a tri-meet versus Campbell and Binghamton at Varsity Gym on Sunday.

Appalachian State 34 SIUE 9
125 - Dominic Parisi (APP) pinned Cameron Kelly (SIUE), 1:32 (6-0, App)
133 - Vito Pasone (APP) wins by technical fall Kenny Baldridge (SIUE), 16-0 (11-0, App)
141 - Mike Longo (APP) pinned Angelo Silvestro (SIUE), 4-2 SV1, 7:41 (17-0, App)
149 - Javon Johnson (APP) def. Karsten Van Velsor (SIUE), 9-2 (12-0, App)
157 - Zachary Strickland (APP) pinned Erik Travers (SIUE), 5:28 (26-0, App)
165 - Nick Kee (APP) maj. dec. Connor McMahon (SIUE), 12-4 (30-0, App)
174 - Jake Residori (SIUE) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP), 7-4 (30-3, App)
184 - Derek Nagel (SIUE) def. Dominick Vetell (APP), 7-3 (30-6, App)
197 - Jake Tindle (SIUE) def. Tyler Radford (APP), 6-0 (30-9, App)
285 - Denzel Dejournette (APP) maj. dec. Chris Johnson (SIUE), 10-1 (34-9, App)

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (4-7, 2-5) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 67-57 upset win over Wingate (7-6, 4-3) in a South Atlantic Conference game Wednesday night at Cuddy Arena.

Lenoir-Rhyne redshirt freshman guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) led all scorers with 20 points while junior forward Rob Noyes (Morganton, N.C.) added a double-double – 11 points and 14 rebounds – as the Bears avenged an earlier loss to the Bulldogs in November at home.

Wingate, losers of five straight games, was paced by Ryan Daye’s (Burlington, N.C.) 18 points off the bench but the Bulldogs shot just 25 percent (13-of-52) from the field in the loss.

Junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) also scored 16 points for the Bears, who led by as many as 17 points – 53-36 with 10:17 left in the second half – and held off a furious rally by the Bulldogs to take the win.

Wingate cut the margin to 60-57 with 1:40 left on a pair of free throws by Keith Griffin (Concord, N.C.) but Lenoir-Rhyne responded with the final seven points of the contest.

Lucas was nine-for-11 from the field and Lenoir-Rhyne also limited Wingate to just four three-pointers in 23 attempts. The Bears, meanwhile, connected on 51 percent (22-of-43) of their shots for the contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to face Tusculum in Greeneville, Tenn. in a South Atlantic Conference games tip off on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

The Wingate Women’s Basketball Team (8-6, 6-1) remained tied atop the South Atlantic Conference standings with a 71-54 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (4-7, 3-4) Wednesday evening at Cuddy Arena.

The Bulldogs’ Kelli Bonner (Yadkinville, N.C.) finished with a team-high 15 points and hit five treys as Wingate won its fourth straight game and completed the season sweep of the Bears.

Chantal Dunbar (Virginia Beach, Va.) added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Wingate, who remained tied for first in the conference with Carson-Newman.

Lenoir-Rhyne was led by senior guard Jenni Gust (Colfax, Wis.) with 16 points, a game-high, while senior All-American guard Jazmine Charles (Lexington, N.C.) added 11 points but the Bears shot just 41 percent (21-of-51) for the game in the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne cut the lead to 35-32 just over two minutes into the second half on a field goal by junior guard Jordan Hiatt (Mount Airy, N.C.) but Wingate responded with 13-1 run to take control of the game. Hiatt finished with 10 points as well in the losing effort.

Wingate also held a 39-22 advantage in rebounding and hit 15-of-17 free attempts (88 percent) in the victory as well.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Greeneville, Tenn., to take on Tusculum.

North Piedmont:
Alexander Central: 61
Statesville: 59

Freedom: 81
Watauga: 46

Hickory: 41
South Caldwell: 34

St. Stephens: 53
Patton: 41

South Mountain Athletic:
Draughn: 69
Burns: 45

R-S Central: 48
East Burke: 37

Southern District 7:
Bandys: 53
Bunker Hill: 36

Newton-Conover: 49
Lincolnton: 39

West Caldwell: 55
East Lincoln: 48

West Lincoln: 52
Maiden: 39

North Piedmont:
Statesville: 59
Alexander Central: 45

Freedom: 66
Watauga: 65

Hibriten: 62
Fred T. Foard: 56

Hickory: 72
South Caldwell: 39

Patton: 79
St. Stephens: 62

South Mountain Athletic:
Burns: 54
Draughn: 44, OT

East Burke: 47
R-S Central: 39

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 79
Bandys: 66

East Lincoln: 56
West Caldwell: 50

Newton-Conover: 69
Lincolnton: 55

West Lincoln: 68
Maiden: 58

The Hickory Metro Sports Commission is seeking nominations for the 2015 class of the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame.

Established in 2000, the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame aims to recognize the extraordinary efforts and achievements of athletes, coaches, teams and contributors, while reinforcing a sense of history and tradition in Catawba County.

Deadline for nominations is Monday, Feb. 9.

"We would like for the public to get involved to find the hidden, or forgotten gems in this county's sports history," said CVSHOF Chairman JuJu Phillips.  "We are looking to unearth any coaches, players, pioneers, or contributors who deserve recognition for helping to build the sports heritage here." 

Phillips said several nominations remain on file and are part of a permanent pool of applications reviewed by the selection committee each year.

Already, 62 men and women are enshrined in the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame at Hickory’s Highland Recreation Center. Plaques representing Hall of Fame members are on permanent display and are available for public viewing daily at the recreation center.

Hall of Fame members represent a broad variety of sports, and they are individuals who distinguished themselves as athletes, coaches and/or supporters of athletic endeavors in Catawba County.

Last year’s inductees to the Hall of Fame include Jeff Barkley, John Lentz, Odell Moose and Beth L. Queen.

New members to the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted during a ceremony at the Highland Recreation Center on Monday, May 11 at 6 p.m.

To make a nomination for the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame, complete a nomination form, which is available at the Hickory Metro Sports Commission website, www.hickorymetrosports.com. Nomination forms are also available at the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce office, located at 1055 Southgate Corporate Park Southwest in Hickory.

Nomination forms detail criteria for Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame candidates, including:
The candidate must have been a resident of the Catawba County area for at least of four years.

The candidate must have been a participant in his/her sport for at least four years.

The candidate must be of good character and reputation.

While a citizen of the Catawba County area, the candidate's sports achievement(s) and/or contributions must have been recognized throughout the Catawba County area as enhancing the sports activity he/she represents.

All candidates shall be considered without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, handicap or national origin.

UL Lafayette shot 51.7 percent from the field and scored 48 points in the paint to power past Appalachian State University men’s basketball, 80-64, in the Mountaineers’ first-ever Sun Belt Conference home game on Monday night at the Holmes Center.

Brian Williams led five Ragin’ Cajuns in double-figures with a game-high 15 points and propelled UL Lafayette (9-5, 3-0 Sun Belt) to its sixth win in its last seven games.

Appalachian State (4-7, 1-1 Sun Belt) trailed by just two points midway through the first half but saw the deficit balloon to 17 after a 5:02 stretch without a field goal late in the opening period. Milos Kostic (Belgrade, Serbia/IMG Academy) ended the drought with a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer but the Mountaineers went into the locker room down 38-24.

After neither team found the bottom of the net in the first two-plus minutes, Chris Burgess (Lakeland, Fla./George Jenkins) finally put the first points on the board with a jumper at the 17:44 mark to give the Mountaineers their only lead of the game.

The Cajuns tied it on Kasey Shepherd’s layup on the ensuing possession, then took the lead on a Devonta Walker jumper 30 seconds later and never trailed again.

Appalachian remained within striking distance until the final 10 minutes of the opening half, when UL Lafayette reeled off a 10-2 run to stretch its lead to 23-13 with 7:10 to go.

After Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) cut the deficit to six points (23-17) with 6:38 remaining, App State went cold and hit just 2-of-8 from the floor to close out the period.

App State cut the deficit to 12 early in the second half but never pulled closer the rest of the way. The Ragin’ Cajuns grabbed their first 20-popint lead (56-35) on Shawn Long’s dunk with 14:27 left in the ballgame and never led by less than 14 the rest of the way.

Michael Obacha (Edo State, Nigeria/High Point Christian Academy) led Appalachian with a season-high 12 points. Tommy Spagnolo (West Jefferson, N.C./Ashe County [Radford]) added 11 points and freshman Landon Goesling (Irving, Texas/Coppell) chipped in with a career-high 10 to round out three Mountaineers in double-figures. Obacha and Spagnolo also grabbed a team-best seven rebounds each.

Obacha, Spagnolo and Goesling combined to make 13-of-25 field-goal attempts (.520) but the rest of the squad shoot just 12-of-39 (.308) from the field.

UL Lafayette saw five players score in double figures. Brian Williams poured in a game-high 15 while Bryce Washington added 14 off the bench and ripped down eight boards.

Shepherd finished with 15 while Long and Walker each added 10. Long fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds.

On the night, the Ragin’ Cajuns shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60) while limiting Appalachian to just 39.1 percent (25-of-64) from the floor. UL Lafayette hauled in 38 rebounds to App State’s 36 and dished out 18 assists.

The Mountaineers must rebound quickly as they hit the road again for Sun Belt contests at South Alabama and UALR on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Tipoff for Thursday’s contest at South Alabama is slated for 8:05 p.m. (ET).

NOTES: Appalachian State fell to 0-3 all-time against UL Lafayette ... the Ragin’ Cajuns 80 points were the second-most by an Appalachian opponent this season (84 - at Furman, Nov. 19) ... for the second-straight game, the Mountaineers shot under 60.0 percent from the charity stripe (58.8 percent) ... freshman forward Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) did not play as he returned home on Sunday to attend his grandmother’s funeral ... Monday’s game was Appalachian’s first home game in 29 days ... it was the longest stretch without a home game since the Mountaineers went 32 days without a home contest from Nov. 16-Dec. 18, 2010.