Sports (1050)

Thanks to a 36-7 victory over Miles in the First Round of the NCAA Playoffs, the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team improved to 12-0 for the first time in program history. LR was 11-0 in 2014 before losing to Valdosta St. in the playoffs and also started 11-0 in 1962 before falling to Central Oklahoma St in game 12.

The LR defense dominated Miles, holding the Golden Bears to just 125 yards of total offense and 33 yards through the air. Miles averaged just 2.7 yards per rush and completed only five of their 19 pass attempts.

Meanwhile, the Bears grinded out 323 yards rushing on 63 attempts. The Bears were led by Ameen Stevens who pounded out 128 yards on 18 carries and added a score. Prior to today, the most individual yards rushing in a playoff game was 120 by Miles Freeman but Stevens topped that mark with a 17-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Jaquay Mitchell added 78 yards rushing on 13 carries and Dareke Young totaled 36 yards on five carries.

The Bears started fast in this one and never looked back. After Miles won the toss and elected to receive, the Golden Bears went three-and-out. On LR's first possession, Mitchell scampered for a 21-yard TD run to cap a 3-play, 43-yard scoring drive.

The defense and special teams unit would also pay dividends today. Amarrian Brown blocked a punt in the first quarter that Tre Luttrell recovered in the end zone to put LR up 14-0. After a Josh Ramseur TD catch, Trevis Robinson tackled a Miles rusher in the end zone for a safety to give the Bears a 23-0 advantage.

Chase Allbaugh booted a pair of field goals and is now 7-for-8 in field goal attempts in his career during the playoffs. Punter Michael Owen was a standout as well, dropping all four of his punts inside the 20 with three coming inside the 10.

Donte Edwards led Miles offensively with 80 yards on 15 carries including a 38-yard TD run to account for the visitors only score. On defense, Mitchell Smiley had 14 tackles and Ozzie Williams added 10 and a forced fumble.

Sherrod Williams had a team-high seven tackles for LR and Jaquan Artis added six and a pair of tackles for loss. True freshman Trevis Robinson had five tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, including the safety.

This was the 14th straight home win for the Bears, giving them sole possession of the longest current home winning streak in Division II. It also matches the longest home winning streak in program history which occured from 1958-61.

Lenoir-Rhyne improves to 24-2 over the past two seasons under head coach Drew Cronic. In that stretch, LR is outscoring opponents 1075-505.

The 33 yards passing allowed is the lowest amount allowed during the Cronic era as is the seven first downs allowed.

Lenoir-Rhyne is now 7-4 all-time in the NCAA Playoffs. All five of the Bears NCAA appearances have come since 2012.

The 9-win season for Miles is the best in program history. This was the second NCAA Playoff appearance for the Golden Bears and the first time they ever faced Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Bears are now 4-1 in their NCAA Playoff opener with the only loss coming in 2014 to Valdosta St.

LR is one of only two number two seeds to advance on an upset-riddled opening weekend. Ouachita Baptist and Tarleton St. were sent home as two seeds.

LR advances to take on a familiar foe in Carson-Newman in the Second Round of the NCAA Playoffs. The game will take place inside Moretz Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 30 with game time to be announced. The Bears and Eagles have met twice in the NCAA Playoffs with each team winning once. Most recently, LR defeated CN 27-20 in the second round in 2013.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 21:46

App State Football Clinches Sun Belt East With Win

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App State's Senior Day streak continued thanks to a second-half surge on a rainy, division-clinching afternoon at The Rock.

Darrynton Evans' three touchdown runs after halftime allowed the 24th-ranked Mountaineers to break free and claim a 35-13 victory against Sun Belt foe Texas State. Senior linebacker Noel Cook made a key interception against the Bobcats for the second straight year, and his third-quarter pick followed a pass deflection from senior defensive tackle E.J. Scott, who recorded two sacks.

The win for App State (10-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) and Georgia Southern's loss at Arkansas State means the Mountaineers have clinched the East Division title and a spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Dec. 7. If they win at Troy on Friday night, they'll host the championship game in Boone against Louisiana, which clinched the West Division title Saturday night.

"We've got a fun team, so any time we get to come out here and play with these guys is always fun," senior offensive tackle Victor Johnson said. "I'm definitely going to miss playing at The Rock, so hopefully we get one more here."

Evans rushed for 154 yards and Zac Thomas threw two touchdown passes to lead the offense Saturday for App State, which won on Senior Day at Kidd Brewer Stadium for the 22nd straight year. Seventeen players were honored before the game, and the fifth-year quintet of Johnson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Desmond Franklin, Collin Reed and Josh Thomas improved their career records to 51-12 overall, 35-5 against Sun Belt programs and 26-4 at home.

In addition to being No. 24 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the league-leading Mountaineers are No. 22 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 23 in the AP Top 25.

"It's always good to win on Senior Day," App State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. "It took us a little bit to get going. Noel Cook's interception in the third quarter was a huge momentum boost for our team. We were able to capitalize there and finish it off. I'm proud of the way our guys fought and hung in there."

Texas State (3-8, 2-5) used a 48-yard field goal to cut its second-half deficit to 14-13 before Evans scored on runs of 13 and 10 yards in the final six minutes of the third quarter. He added a 13-yard touchdown run with 6:26 remaining as App State finished with a 468-208 advantage in total offense.

The Bobcats regained possession trailing by just one midway through the third period, but Scott deflected the first-down throw, and Cook intercepted the ball at the Texas State 39 before returning it 10 yards. He had barely missed an interception off a deflected pass earlier in the game.

"I kind of just felt like I needed a redemption for missing the first one, so it just felt really good to go out there and provide the momentum we needed," Cook said. "But I have to credit that to E.J. right here because if he didn't deflect the ball, then that play wouldn't have happened."

Four plays later, Evans raced into the end zone to help push the Mountaineers ahead 21-13. Scott's first career sack and a tossing tackle from D'Marco Jackson forced another Texas State punt, and Evans capped a six-play, 67-yard drive with a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter.

App State took the lead for good on its first drive, with Zac Thomas completing a third-and-7 throw to Malik Williams for 28 yards and then hitting Corey Sutton in stride for a 45-yard touchdown.

Texas State converted a 48-yard field goal early in the second quarter, and the Mountaineers increased their advantage to 14-3 on Thomas' 19-yard touchdown pass to Keishawn Watson with one minute remaining before halftime. Evans' 47-yard run set up the pass to Watson, a graduate transfer who scored for the first time in an App State uniform.

"It's always good to get the first one," Watson said, "but it was easy because it was just me doing my job."

The Bobcats did manage to answer before the break, as Tyler Vitt threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Javen Banks with three seconds left in the half, and they briefly drew closer after halftime.

The running of Evans and defensive work from several seniors made sure that App State secured a win in its last regular-season home game. Cook, like Scott, began his college career as a walk-on.

"There were times when I felt like I didn't know if I was going to make it to this day," Cook said, "so just being able to grind it out and seeing all the hard work that me and E.J. and all the other seniors have put in to show up on the field, it just means the world to me."

App State softball head coach Shelly Hoerner has agreed to a contract extension that runs through 2023, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced. The extension was approved by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.

"Shelly is a tremendous leader for our softball program," Gillin said. "The team's progress in her two seasons as head coach is remarkable, and we look forward to our student-athletes' continued pursuit of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community."

Hoerner prepares for her third season in charge of the Mountaineers after being named the head coach on June 23, 2017. During her first season at the helm, she led the Mountaineers to their best record since 2014. App State then tied the program record for wins in a season during the 2019 campaign, notching a 31-25 record and tying the win total set by the 2013 team that won the regular-season Southern Conference title.

App State, which had not won more than two Sun Belt games in a season prior to Hoerner's arrival, posted 13 victories against league competition in 2019. The team earned its first Sun Belt Tournament berth as the No. 5 seed and its first postseason berth to the NISC.

"I am extremely grateful to Chancellor Everts, Doug Gillin and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to continue leading App State softball. The success we had last year makes it an exciting time for these young women and our team," Hoerner said. "The confidence and support Doug has shown me and the program is a true reflection of his vision for softball and the entire App State Athletic Department."

"I look forward to continuing to grow and develop our softball student-athletes on the field, in the classroom and in our App State and Boone communities. Thank you again to our App State administration in trusting me as the leader of App State softball."

Following the 2019 season, Kenzie Longanecker became the first Mountaineer named to the All-Sun Belt first team since App State joined the conference in 2014. Longanecker consistently ranked as a top pitcher in the Sun Belt all season after posting a 2.39 ERA, a 14-7 record and 92 strikeouts. Her 14 wins are tied for the second-most wins in a single season in program history.

Third baseman Keri White was named second-team All-Sun Belt, becoming the third Mountaineer to earn a spot on the second team. She joined Jenny Dodd (2018) and Sarah Warnock (2015).

Under Hoerner's tutelage, App State softball had its first-ever draft pick, as infielder Haley Stewart was selected No. 30 overall in the American Softball Association Draft. Stewart finished her senior season starting all 56 games at first base and leading the team in fielding percentage (.987). She tallied 38 hits with eight doubles and two home runs during her final season as a Mountaineer.

The slugger finished 10th in App State history with 13 career home runs and ninth with 56 career walks.

Off the field, Hoerner's team has excelled in both the classroom and in helping others in the High Country community. Twelve players made the academic honor roll for the fall 2018 semester, and softball joined all other women's teams to post a cumulative GPA over 3.0. The team also earned a perfect 1000 APR in 2017-18.

Following the 2019 season, eight Mountaineers were named NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes. App State also saw eight members recognized on the Sun Belt Commissioner's List and six members on the Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll for the 2018-19 season.

In the community, App State ranked No. 8 nationally in community service hours among softball programs in 2018-19, according to hours recorded through the Helper Helper platform.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 21:31

CVCC Men's Basketball Wins Over Pitt CC

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Returning to the court after a 14-day hiatus, the Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team avenged its only conference loss of the season, hammering rival Pitt 71-46 at the Tarlton Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Charles Bryson led the Red Hawks (2-2, 1-1 in Region 10) in their victory, scoring a career-high 18 points, while sophomores Sal-Bey Young and Byron Sanders also reached double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Powered by 14 first-half points from Bryson, Catawba Valley gained a 41-22 lead against Pitt at halftime.

In the second half, it was Young and Sanders both scoring eight points each, helping CVCC outscore Pitt 30-24 during the second half en route to Catawba Valley's second men's basketball victory of the 2019-20 campaign.

It's a quick return to the court for the CVCC men's basketball team, which plays the second game of a home doubleheader on Sunday against a new opponent — Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville from Maryland.

Appalachian State women's basketball fell to Gardner-Webb, 67-56, in the home opener at the Holmes Center.

App State falls to 0-4 on the season, while GWU improves to 2-1.

Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) and Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) took on the scoring load for the Black and Gold, as the junior duo scored season-highs of 24 and 13 points, respectively, combining for 37 of the 56 points.

Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) stepped up on the glass, coming down with a season-best 11 boards with six points. She reached double-figure boards for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

After trailing by as much as 15 late in the first half, 31-16, the Mountaineers stormed back in the third quarter with a 16-0 run over a 7:36 span to take a 32-31 advantage with 4:20 left in the third quarter. Gosnell took over by scoring eight straight points during the surge, highlighted by back-to-back trifectas.

App and GWU went back and forth the rest of the third period thanks to a free throw shooting contest, with the final nine combined points coming at the line. The Runnin' Bulldogs' Savannah Plentovich hit three at the charity stripe to give GWU a 40-37 lead going into the final frame.

Appalachian and the visitors traded baskets in the early goings of the final quarter. Stanley's field goal with 5:57 left in the game gave the Black and Gold a 53-51 edge, capping off a 6-of-7 start from the field for the Mountaineers

However, the App offense went cold, hitting just one bucket the rest of the way. The offense for GWU shot 10-for-13 from the floor for the entire period, while holding Appalachian to just three points in the final 5:57 to pull out the victory.

Appalachian outrebounded GWU 38-23, but the bench production played a pivotal role, as the Runnin' Bulldogs' reserves outscored App's 18-2.

GWU also hit nine 3-pointers, the most allowed by App State in a game this season. Carley Plentovich led GWU with 18 points, while S. Plentovich scored 12.

App State returns to action on Monday at 6:30 p.m. against ETSU in the Holmes Center.

Reidsville: 49
Newton-Conover: 13
Red Devils season ends at 8-5.

Burns: 52
Hibriten: 35
Panthers season ends at 11-2.

Shelby: 49
Maiden: 7
Blue Devils season ends at 9-4.

Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:37

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Lose in NCAA Regionals

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The No. 8 Women's Soccer was shutout by Wingate 4-0 Friday evening in the opening round of the NCAA Southeast regional tournament.

Despite holding a 15-7 advantage in shots the Bears offense was stifled. Taylor Krakower secured the game for Wingate scoring to open and close the game in the 9th and 77th minutes.

LR held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks as well.

LR was whistled for 23 fouls compared to 13 for Wingate.

This marked LRs first tournament appearance since 2016

LR's senior class of 2020 is a combined 49-20-6 in four years.

The Bears season ends at 15-4.

Saturday, 23 November 2019 19:32

L-R Women's Basketball Falls to Belmont Abbey

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Despite Madeline Hardy's career-high 24 points and her third straight double-double, the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears fell to Belmont-Abbey 88-73 Friday night in Belmont.

On a night where Belmont Abbey shot 56.3% from the field, they had six different players score in double figures.

Belmont Abbey's Maria Kuhlman had 16 points to lead them including two big three points in the third quarter to help put the Crusaders ahead.

Madeline Hardy finished with 24 points on 9-20 shooting and added 11 rebounds for the Bears.

Sophomore Kiara Moore played a career high 20 minutes pitching in a career-high 9 points for the Bears.

Moore and Kennedy Weigt had 19 of the Bears 23 bench points. Wiegt finished with 10 points including 2-4 from downtown.

Crusaders out rebound the Bears 40-30 and also assisted on 23 of their 36 baskets while the Bears only had 10 assists on their 28 baskets.

Even through the schools are only separated by 45 miles; this is the first matchup between teams since 2015.

Belmont Abbey won the last two matchup by an identical 66-63 score and leads the all-time series 20-15.

The game was originally schedule for Saturday night but was moved to Friday to accommodate Belmont Abbey hosting their volleyball conference tournament on Saturday evening.

After 5 games on the season, Madeline Hardy is averaging a double-double with 19.0 points and 10.4 rebounds a game.

The Bears are 2-3 on the season. L-R will open up SAC play with a date with Tusculum on Tuesday night in Greeneville, TN.

The Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team’s 2019-20 season came to an end on Friday during the second day of the National Junior College Athletic Association DII tournament.

The Red Hawks finish their fall campaign with a 34-6 overall record.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our girls and how they fought so hard together this weekend,” said CVCC head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson. “We’ve had some tough injuries late in the season to deal with, and the team just refused to quit. Perseverance and determination were qualities evident on the court and even though we didn’t finish as high as we would have liked to, each player gave their all and supported each other and that’s all I can ask for as a coach.”

Fifth-seeded CVCC won its opening match in consolation play on Friday, defeating 13th-seeded Waubonsee in four sets.

However, the Red Hawks fell in the second match of the day to ninth-seeded Kirkwood in four sets, eliminating them from tournament play.

Friday’s match was the final for nine Red Hawk sophomores — Macy Pope, Sage Harrington, Meredith Patterson, Bre Myers, Abigail Gordon, Emma Clark, Anna Clarke and Siena Naotala.

Catawba Valley 3, Waubonsee (Ill.) 1

Behind career-high performances from middle hitter Emma Clark and setter Macy Pope, the Red Hawks earned a four-set victory against the Chiefs in their opening game of consolation play on Friday afternoon.

Set scores were 24-26, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-22.

Pope etched a new career high with 27 assists, while Clark tied her career high in kills set on Oct. 1 with 17.

Middle hitter Sage Harrington added 12 kills in the attack for CVCC.

Defensively, the Red Hawks tallied 84 digs, including 20 from libero Bre Myers and 19 from outside hitter Aasia McNeill.

Kirkwood (Iowa) 3, Catawba Valley 1

Falling behind by two sets, a late rally by the Red Hawks came up short in a four-set loss to the Eagles on Friday night at the Charleston Civic Center.

Set scores were 25-17, 26-24, 20-25 and 25-12.

Emma Clark paced CVCC with 10 kills and four blocks, while Siena Naotala and Sage Harrington added eight kills apiece on the attack.

Setters Macy Pope (17) and Amber Barker (16) combined for 33 assists to help facilitate the Red Hawk offense.

Libero Bre Myers recorded 17 digs to help lead the defensive effort for CVCC.

In the same week he was named South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Lenoir-Rhyne football defensive end Jaquan Artis was named one of eight finalists for the Gene Upshaw Award. The award is given to the best lineman in NCAA Division II football.

Artis, a senior and native of Kinston, N.C., ranks in the top 10 in the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss. In 11 regular season games, Artis has 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss and recorded at least 0.5 sack in all but one game on the year. Artis has added eight quarterback hurries and a pair of forced fumbles as his LR defense ranks sixth in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game at 77.1.

The award is presented by the Manheim Touchdown Club and voted on by the nation's NCAA Division II sports information directors. Two finalists advance from each of the four NCAA Division II super regions. All nominees must be seniors.

Artis and Valdosta State's OL Adonis Sealey represent Super Region Two.

The national round of voting begins on Monday, Nov. 25 and closes on Sunday, Dec. 1. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The award recipient has an invitation to participate in front of professional scouts and coaches at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The winner will also be recognized at the Manheim Touchdown Club's annual banquet in May.

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