The Hickory Metro Sports Commission has announced the pairings for the 31st Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic Tournament scheduled for Wednesday, December 27th thru Friday, December 29th, 2017. The tournament will feature the men’s and women’s teams from eight area high schools competing in the three day event.

In the Men’s bracket, Hickory High will be the #1 Seed. Maiden will be #2 and St. Stephens is #3. The #4 Seed will be Alexander Central followed by #5 Bunker Hill, #6 S. Caldwell, #7 Fred T. Foard and #8 Newton-Conover. The first men’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 11:30 am on Wednesday, December 27th between #2 Maiden and #7 Fred T. Foard.

On the Women’s side, Maiden will be the #1 Seed. St. Stephens will be #2 and S. Caldwell is #3. The #4 Seed will be Newton-Conover followed by #5 Alexander Central, #6 Bunker Hill, #7 Hickory High and #8 Fred T. Foard. The first women’s contest will tip-off at 10:00 am on Wednesday, December 27th between #2 St. Stephens and #7 Hickory High.

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic has been well known throughout the region and the state of North Carolina as the premier holiday high school event for over 30 years. The Hickory Metro Sports Commission serves as the host organization for the event and distributes the gate receipts among the participating schools. Following the 2016 event, each participating high school received a donation of more than $3,000 for their athletic programs.

Tickets go on sale at 8:30am and doors open at 9am each day. Tickets for the event will be $7.00 a day. All games are played at Catawba Valley Community College's Tarlton Complex.

Dick's Sporting Goods Classic
Game 1: No. 7 Hickory vs. No. 2 St. Stephens, 10 a.m.

Game 2: No. 6 Bunker Hill vs. No. 3 South Caldwell , 1 p.m.

Game 3: No. 5 Alexander Central vs. No. 4 Newton-Conover, 4 p.m.

Game 4: No 8 Fred T. Foard vs. No. 1 Maiden, 7 p.m.

Game 5: Hickory-St. Stephens loser vs. Bunker Hill-South Caldwell loser, 10 a.m.

Game 6: Alexander Central-Newton-Conover loser vs. Fred T. Foard-Maiden loser, 1 p.m.

Game 7: Hickory-St. Stephens winner vs. Bunker Hill-South Caldwell winner, semifinal, 4 p.m.

Game 8: Alexander Central-Newton-Conover winner vs. Fred T. Foard-Maiden winner, semifinal, 7 p.m.

Game 9: Loser Game 5 s. Loser Game 6, seventh place, 10 a.m.

Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, fifth place, 1 p.m.

Game 11: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, third place, 4 p.m.

Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, championship, 7 p.m.

Game 1: No. 7 Fred T. Foard vs. No. 2 Maiden, 11:30 a.m.

Game 2: No. 6 South Caldwell vs. No. 3 St. Stephens, 2:30 p.m.

Game 3: No. 5 Bunker Hill vs. No. 4 Alexander Central, 5:30 p.m.

Game 4: No. 8 Newton-Conover vs. No. 1 Hickory, 8:30 p.m.

Game 5: Fred T. Foard-Maiden loser vs. South Caldwell-St. Stephens loser, 11:30 a.m.

Game 6: Bunker Hill-Alexander Central loser vs. Newton-Conover-Hickory loser, 2:30p.m.

Game 7: Fred T. Foard-Maiden winner vs. South Caldwell-St. Stephens winner, semifinal, 5;30 p.m.

Game 8: Bunker Hill-Alexander Central winner vs. Newton-Conover-Hickory winner, semifinal, 8:30 p.m.

Game 9: Loser Game 5 s. Loser Game 6, seventh place, 11:30 a.m.

Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, fifth place, 2:30 p.m.

Game 11: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, third place, 5:30 p.m.

Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, championship, 8:30 p.m.

Hibriten slugged their way to a 16-14 victory over East Duplin in the first football State Championship appearance, claiming the school’s first title. Hibriten used a bend but don’t break defense and a great game from their punter to bend the field position and the game in their favor.

East Duplin took their third play from scrimmage, handing it to Melvin Scott, who ripped off an 81-yard run for a score, putting East up 7-0 with just over 8 minutes to go in the first quarter. Scott was named the East Duplin Most Outstanding Offensive Player for his three-carry, 108 yard and a touchdown performance.

The two teams trade possession uneventfully until East Duplin intercepted a pass at their own two early in the second quarter, taking over deep in their own end. On the next play from scrimmage, Chris Benson was nabbed for a two-yard loss and a safety, cutting the East Duplin lead to 7-2. After the free kick, Hibriten used a halfback pass from 9McKinley Witherspoon to a wide-open Miles Simon to take a 9-7 lead with 9:26 to go in the second quarter.

Later in the quarter, Simon hauled in a 43-yard pass from quarterback Jaylen Scott for another touchdown, extending their lead to 16-7 with 1:53 to go in the first half. Simon was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, hauling in just the two catches, for a total of 96 yards and two scores.

East Duplin made a last push to make the game very interesting late, driving 99 yards on 20 plays in the fourth quarter, capped off by a 1-yard run by Chris Benson to make the score 16-14. Despite outgaining Hibriten 359-190 yards on the day, East Duplin just couldn’t overcome the tough field position they found themselves in most of the day.

Hibriten had a fantastic performance from their punter, Noah Haney, who punted six times for an average of 46 yards kept East Duplin deep in their own end most of the night. Five of those Haney punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, three of them inside the ten. He was named Hibriten’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player. The Defensive Award for Most Outstanding Player for Hibriten went to Charles Tassinari, who had 16 tackles including an assist on a tackle for loss.

East Duplin’s most outstanding player defensively was Amaru Herring. Herring registered 10 tackles on the day, including three tackles for a loss, which was the second highest tackle total on the team.


East (East Duplin) Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Amaru Herring

East (East Duplin) Most Outstanding Offensive Player – Melvin Scott

West (Hibriten) – Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Charles Tassinari

West (Hibriten) – Most Outstanding Offensive Player – Noah Haney

Championship M.V.P. – Miles Simon (Hibriten)

The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team dropped its third-straight game on Saturday, falling 76-68 on the road in Region X action to Lenoir Community College.

Myles Williams led the Red Hawks (3-6, 0-2) with 16 points in the contest, while Hughston Finklea added 15 points.

The Red Hawks led by one point at halftime — 29-28 — with Williams guiding CVCC at the break with 13 points.

The Lancers (3-8, 1-5) would storm back in the second half, paced by Michael Satterfield’s 15 points in the half. Satterfield led Lenoir in the contest with a game-high 18 points — one of five Lancer players to reach double digits in scoring in the contest.

Finklea kept the Red Hawks in the game in the second half, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the half.

However, Lenoir outscored CVCC 48-39 in the second half en route to the come-from-behind victory.

The CVCC men’s basketball team is back in action on Friday and Saturday when it hosts the two-day PDQ Classic at the Tarlton Complex.

With a standing-room-only crowd still filling Varsity Gym on a snowy weekend in the High Country, Appalachian State’s young wrestling team put up a spirited fight in a 34-3 loss to No. 6 NC State.

In the first six completed matches, App State (3-2) received a 10-4 decision from 174-pound senior Forrest Przybysz and had four losses to the Wolfpack (9-0) by decisions with a margin of three points or less.

“I thought our guys wrestled hard,” App State head coach JohnMark Bentley said. “It’s a tough test for us right here before exams start, and I was proud of the way our guys battled. There were a couple matches I felt like we kind of let slip away, but the effort was there, and mental errors made the difference in some of those matches.

“All in all, we take a lot of positives from today. We had a lot of good energy and a lot of good effort with a lot of young guys wrestling hard, and we had a great crowd here. Any time we’re in Varsity Gym, we like wrestling here because we always have really good fan attendance. I appreciate the fans of App Nation for coming out today.”

App State had strong showings in consecutive matches from Przybysz and Alan Clothier at 184 pounds before the halfway-point intermission.

Ranked 20th nationally, Przybysz fell behind 2-0 against Daniel Bullard before tying the match and taking a 4-2 lead on a takedown with 39 seconds left in the first period. Ahead 6-4 entering the third period, Przybysz seized control with an escape and takedown before winning 10-4. He improved to 11-4 this season and handed Bullard only his second loss.

Clothier, a redshirt freshman, nearly pulled off an upset of unbeaten senior Pete Renda, who is ranked No. 3 nationally at 184. Trailing 2-0 at the start of the second period, Clothier rode out Renda to prevent him from earning one point for an escape.

Clothier swung overall riding time in his favor while tying the match on a takedown with 1:09 remaining. With Clothier on top near the edge of the mat with only 16 seconds left, an out-of-bounds stoppage brought both wrestlers back to the center, and NC State coach Pat Popolizio had a discussion with the referee at the scorers table.

With time to catch his breath during the discussion, Renda executed a tiebreaking escape from the down position with nine seconds remaining. Clothier finished with 58 seconds of riding time – 2 short of the minute needed for a tying point — in a 3-2 decision that had both wrestlers engaging with the loud, large crowd.

After the Clothier-Renda match, NC State sent out another top-10 wrestler as App State’s Randall Diabe faced No. 7 Michael Macchiavello at 197 pounds.

Diabe took a 1-0 lead with a second-period escape and trailed 2-1 entering the third period. Macchiavello moved ahead 4-1 with a reversal, and Diabe was behind 4-2 when he made a late push for points, but Macchiavello used his advantage in riding time to claim a 5-2 decision.

There were also close calls at 149 pounds, as 18th-ranked Beau Donahue of NC State claimed a 6-3 decision against App State’s Gavin Londoff, and 165 pounds, where 20th-ranked NC State senior Brian Hamann won a 5-3 decision against redshirt freshman Thomas Flitz.

Flitz used an early takedown to move ahead 2-0, and Hamann broke a 3-3 tie with a third-period escape.

App State returns to action next Sunday, Jan. 17, at No. 21 Oklahoma.


NC State 34, App State 3

149: #18 Beau Donahue (NCSU) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 6-3 dec. (0-3)

157: #17 Hayden Hidlay (NCSU) def. Laken Cook (APP), fall, 6:29 (0-9)

165: #20 Brian Hamann (NCSU) def. Thomas Flitz (APP), 5-3 dec. (0-12)

174: #20 Forrest Przybysz (APP) def. Daniel Bullard (NCSU), 10-4 dec. (3-12)

184: #3 Pete Renda (NCSU) def. Alan Clothier (APP), 3-2 dec. (3-15)

197: #7 Michael Macchiavello (NCSU) def. Randall Diabe (APP), 5-2 dec. (3-18)

HWT: Malik McDonald (NCSU) def. Cary Miller (APP), 6-1 dec. (3-21)

125: Tommy Cox (NCSU) def. De’Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), fall, 2:19 (3-27)

133: Tariq Wilson (NCSU) def. Codi Russell (APP), 8-2 dec. (3-30)

141: #2 Kevin Jack (NCSU) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 15-3 maj. dec. (3-34)

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (7-4) used a balanced scoring effort and its strongest defensive performance of the season in a 67-51 victory over UNC Pembroke (2-3) Sunday afternoon at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Lenoir-Rhyne had five players score in double figures. Junior forward and preseason all-league honoree Madi Suddreth, an Alexander Central grad, posted a double-double – 13 points and 14 rebounds – in the win.

Senior guard Justyce Swango (Virginia Beach, Va.) had a good all-around game for the Bears as well, totaling four rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Bears also received 11 points from freshman center Olivia Nunn (Lexington, N.C.) and junior guard Kendall Toineeta (Chrerokee, N.C.) while senior guard Cassidy Joyner (Dobson, N.C.) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the home team with 10 points.

Lenoir-Rhyne also held advantages in both points in the paint (24-16) and points off turnovers (20-12).

The 51 points the Bears gave up today was a season-best. In addition, Lenoir-Rhyne is riding a three-game winning streak.

Suddreth ranks second in the league in scoring at 19.3 points per outing. Nunn had a career-high in points this afternoon as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne is undefeated at 7-0 this year when having a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. Today, the ratio was 18-to-13.

The Bears never trailed in the contest.

UNC Pembroke’s Nyla Allen (East Orange, N.J.) led all scorers with 20 points but the Braves shot just 26 percent (17-of-66) from the field.

Lenoir-Rhyne prepares for a two-game road trip before the Christmas Holiday Break begins, starting with a South Atlantic Conference contest on Wednesday, December 13, against Mars Hill in Mars Hill, N.C., at 6:00 p.m.

Senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) scored a career-high 28 points, but the Appalachian State men's basketball team dropped a 94-89 decision at Akron on Saturday evening.

Kinney finished 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) from the field and went 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from the free throw line. His nine made field goals mark a new career-best and his nine free throws are a season-high. He also pulled down six rebounds and dished out two assists.

Junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) shooting. He also tied his season-high in both rebounds (five) and assists (five).

Freshman Justin Forrest (Decatur, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) had 13 points and a career-high tying nine assists. Junior Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) chipped in with seven points, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks.

Appalachian State (5-6) got off to a fast start, using an early 7-0 run, capped off by a thunderous dunk by Kinney on the break, to build an early 12-4 lead. But Akron (5-2) came right back with the next eight points to tie the game at 12-12.

The Zips would build a 33-26 lead later in the half, before the Mountaineers countered with five consecutive points to pull within two points at 33-31. Akron would slowly pull away and took a 47-38 lead into the intermission.

In the second half, App State would use an early 6-0 run to trim the Zips lead to just three points at 51-48 with just under 16 minutes to play.

The Zips would push their lead back to 59-51, before the Black and Gold used a 9-1 run to cut the Akron lead to 61-60 with 11:45 left to play. Moments later, the Black and Gold jumped in front 66-64 on a dunk by Kinney.

The Mountaineers were able to open a 73-68 lead thanks to two free throws from Kinney. But Akron came right back with an 8-0 run to retake the lead at 76-73 with 5:17 left to play.

Appalachian answered right back with four straight points to open a 77-76 advantage with 4:32 remaining.

The Zips would score the next seven points to take an 83-77 lead with 2:25 to go.

After two free throws from Shabazz, Akron would score the next five points to build a nine-point lead. A three-pointer from Tyrell Johnson and a free throw from Kinney pulled the Mountaineers within five points at 88-83 with 42 seconds to play.

The Zips would split a pair of three throws and Shabazz drained a three with 22 seconds left to bring the Apps within three points at 89-86.

From there, Akron would knock down a pair of free throws to expand its lead to 91-86.

Kinney knocked down a trey with three seconds to trim the Akron lead to 91-89. The Mountaineers would foul and Virshon Cotton of Akron split a pair of free throws to make the score 92-89.

The Mountaineers full court pass on the ensuing inbound was stolen and the Zips hit a pair of free throws to put the game away.

Appalachian State went 32-of-64 (50.0 percent) from the field, while Akron shot 34-of-60 (56.7 percent). The Black and Gold committed a season low five turnovers and forced Akron into 13 turnovers, scoring 17 points off of the 13 miscues.

Malcolm Duvivier paced Akron with 24 points and three assists. Daniel Utomi posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Mountaineers will return to action on December 16 with a return trip to Ohio to face Ohio State. Tip is set for 6 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Appalachian State women's track & field captured 10 total events at the season opening Mountaineer Indoor Meet inside the Holmes Center on Friday and Saturday.

The Mountaineers finished first at the five team meet with 90 points.

In the triple jump, the Black and Gold captured the top three spots with senior Chelsey Hargrave (McLeansville, N.C./Williams) taking first with a leap of 40-6.25. Junior K'Lynn Beal (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) was second with a PR leap of 39-4.00 and junior Ilia Mumford (Rural Hill, N.C./Parkland) was third with a PR distance of 37-7.00.

The Apps also took the top three spots in the 55-meter dash. Sophomore La'Bria King (Charlotte, N.C./East Mecklenburg) crossed the finish line first in a PR 7.09 second, Hargrave was second with a PR of 7.18 second and freshman Samara Gibson(Clayton, N.C./Corinth-Holders) finished third in 7.24. King also won the 200-meter dish in 26.35 seconds.

The Mountaineers also saw success in the 300-meter dash, taking the top three spots. Freshman Jessica Dixon (Louisburg, N.C./Broughton) opened up her collegiate career with a first place finish in 40.13 seconds. Gibson crossed the tape second in 40.46 and junior Erin Morrison (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) was third in 41.38 seconds.

In the long jump, Beal finished first with a leap of 19-0.50, Hargrave finished second with a leap of 18-10.00 and Mumford took third with a PR distance of 18-5.25.

Junior Imani Chapman (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson) was victorious in the 55-meter hurdles in a PR time of 8.13 seconds and senior Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) finished first in the mile in a PR time of 5:15.10.

In the high jump, senior Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount) cleared 5-7.00 to take first place.

The 4x300-meter relay team of Dixon, Morrison, Gibson and King claimed first place in 2:46.56.

Appalachian State men's track & field won nine events to open the 2017-18 indoor season at the Mountaineer Open Meet on Friday and Saturday at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers won the six team meet with 98 total points.

In the 55-meter dash, freshman Cameron Coley-Barnhall (Leland, N.C./North Brunswick) took first in 6.37 seconds. Sophomore Jordan Johnson (Winston-Salem, N.C./East Forsyth) was second in 6.42 seconds and freshman Brenton Ervin (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) was third in 6.37 seconds.

The Apps took the top three spots in the high jump. Sophomore Jordan Dale (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) was first with a jump of 6-6.00, with senior Hampton Harvin (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) taking second with a high of 6-6.00. Sophomore Daniel Lauffenburger (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) was third, clearing 6-4.00.

In the 55-meter hurdles, sophomore Elliott Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham Early College) crossed the line first in a PR of 7.51 seconds and junior Brandon Smith (Fayetteville, N.C./Douglas Byrd) was right behind in second, also setting a new PR with a time of 7.67 seconds. Graves also won the 200-meter dash in 22.56 seconds.

Senior Ryan Hastings (Matthews, N.C./Porter Ridge) won the 800-meter run in 1:53.97 and sophomore John Fravel (Roswell, Ga./Milton) finished second in 1:59.07.

Sophomore Jabari Johnson (Yokosuka, Japan/Nile C. Kinnick) won the 300-meter dash on 35.53 seconds and Jordan Johnsoncaptured the long jump with a PR of 23-11.75.

The 4x300-meter relay team of Graves, Hastings, Jabari Johnson and freshman De'Shawn Ballard (Leland, N.C./Laney) finished first in 2:20.15.

Both squads will compete next at the ETSU Open on January 12-13.

Monday, 11 December 2017 10:59

App State Women's Golf Signs Garner Standout

The Appalachian State women’s golf team has received a national letter of intent from Kayla Ward to join the 2018-19 roster, head coach Heather Brown announced Friday.

During her high school career, Ward was an all-conference golfer all four years and won the individual SWAC championship all four years. Playing at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, N.C., Ward she led the Lady Trojans to three consecutive conference titles her final three seasons on the team.

“I think Kayla is the epitome of a ‘sleeper,’” Brown said. “I am looking forward to watching Kayla flourish at App State, and I am excited about the character she will bring to this program.”

Ward showed her grit on the highest stages. In 2016, she finished runner-up at Regionals with an even par 72, then followed that with a top-10 finish in the state championship carding a 9-over total for the tournament (77-76).

She returned to the championship again her final season, qualifying at the region tournament with a 2-over 74, good for second place, then following that with a pair of 73’s to finish runner-up once again at the state championship.

Ward now looks to finish out her high school career and prepare over the summer to join the team next fall and bolster Brown’s Mountaineer lineup.

Girls basketball:
East Burke: 64
McDowell: 38

Freedom: 49
Draughn: 39

Robinson: 56
Hickory: 50

Boys basketball:
Freedom: 68
Draughn: 60

Hickory: 77
Robinson: 58

McDowell: 85
East Burke: 39

App State University women's basketball (1-8) suffered a 78-49 decision to Wake Forest (5-5) on Thursday evening inside LJVM Coliseum.

LaPresha Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) paced the Mountaineers with a team and career-high 16 points while grabbing a team-best seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) also scored in double figures with 11 points, and Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) rounded out the leading scorers with eight points.

The battle inside the paint proved to be pivotal in the outcome as the Deacs posted a 52-24 edge in rebounding, particularly a 22-7 advantage on the offensive end that led to a 26-3 output in second-chance points. WF would score 46 of its points inside the paint with Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) and Maya Calder (Landover, Md./National Christian Academy) facing foul trouble.

App State got off to a strong start thanks to back-to-back field goals from Hampton and Plummer to give the Mountaineers a 4-0 lead. App's defense held WF scoreless for the first 3:11 of the contest. From that point on, both teams went back and forth with neither squad having a lead by more than two points. With the scored tied, 10-10, Wilson scored three straight points followed by a nifty layup from Nicola Mathews (Adelaide, Australia/College of Central Florida) that capped off a 5-2 spurt to give the Black and Gold a 15-12 lead. However, WF also responded by going on a 5-0 spurt to end the first period with a 17-15 edge.

Calder scored both of her field goals in the opening 1:04 of the second period to lift App back into the lead, 19-17. With the Mountaineers having the lead and the momentum, it looked like they were about to go on a run. But the hosts went on a 16-0 run over 5:37 while App missed seven straight shots during the stretch, giving the Demon Deacons a commanding lead.

After WF had come out of the half with a 39-24 lead, the Apps started strong out of the gate with a 6-0 surge that cut the deficit to single digits, 39-30. Stanley had a hand in the first four points with a layup and found Hampton for a jumper on the ensuing offensive possession. But Wake Forest responded with a field goal from Amber Campbell that put the advantage back in double digits, which it would never go back below 10 points the rest of the contest.

Appalachian ended the game with a season-low 14 turnovers, which is an area that the Mountaineers have been improving in.

App State will have an eight-day break before returning to action. The Apps will face Marshall on Saturday, Dec. 16 for the third of a four-game road swing.

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