Late 97-yard drive lifts Mountaineersover Franklin 21-17 in playoff opener
Coming into their first round NCHSAA playoff opener against the Kings Mountain Mountaineers Friday, the Franklin Panthers’ game plan was obviously to run the clock and keep the ball away from the KM offense. It almost worked as the visitors took a 17-14 lead into the final two minutes of the game. But with Franklin facing a fourth and two from the KM four-yard line with 2:08 remaining, the Mountaineer defense stopped Panther quarterback Chris McGuire a yard short of the first down marker and then the offense drove 97 yards in 11 plays to score on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Lamont Littlejohn Jr. to sophomore wide receiver Bryson Brown with 17.4 seconds remaining to defeat the Panthers 21-17 and send the Mountaineers to a second round bout with the West Charlotte Lions Friday at 7:30 at the Waddell High School Stadium in Charlotte. And, if the Panthers had any hope of scoring in those final seconds it was squashed on the ensuing kickoff when they fumbled and KM’s Quay Sanders recovered the ball at the KM 31 to seal the deal. “That was an exciting finish for sure,” said Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “We made a great stand on defense, and that winning drive has to be one of the most impressive drives we’ve had since I’ve been here. We were backed up and had to convert play after play to have a chance to win. It was just awesome.” Littlejohn, who finished with 16 of 26 passing for 223 yards and no interceptions, got the winning drive started with completions of 19 yards to Brown and 30 to D’Andre Hoyle for a first down at the Franklin 48. Facing third and 10 after two incompletions, he hit Jake Lloyd for a 14-yarder to the Franklin 34 with 1:01 showing on the clock. A four-yard reception by Brown and a first down run for 11 yards out of bounds around right end by Robert Kendrick gave the Mountaineers a first down at the Panther 21 with 36.1 seconds remaining. After two incompletions – one of which was in the end zone - Littlejohn sent Brown down the right sideline and hit him with the game-winning TD. After Jaden Ellis’ PAT, the Mountaineers kicked short toward the KM sideline but the Panthers couldn’t come up with the ball and KM’s Quay Sanders recovered it. With 12.4 seconds on the clock and Franklin out of time outs, Littlejohn took a knee to cap the comeback. “I thought Littlejohn did a great job of finding his receivers,” Lloyd said. “The offensive line held up very well and the receivers made good catches.” Throughout the game, the two teams matched yardage about evenly with KM having 209 in the air and 76 on the ground and the Panthers 142 on the ground and 128 in the air, but Franklin had 64 plays to KM’s 45. KM ran the ball just 18 times with Robert Kendrick getting 55 yards on 12 carries and Micah Ward 21 on six totes. Franklin won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. Both teams were stopped on their initial drives, but after taking over following a punt at its own 45 the Mountaineers took eight plays to score on a one-yard run by Ward. Ellis’ PAT made it 7-0 at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter. Along the way, Lloyd caught two passes for 16 yards, Brown one for 20 and Kendrick had three straight carries for 19 yards to set up Ward’s TD run. With Franklin facing fourth and four at their own 19 with just 2:14 remaining in the half and facing a punting situation, KM called time-out but upon returning to the field the Mountaineers were penalized for having 12 men on the field. That gave the Panthers a first down at the 24. They got highlight reel plays of 19 yards on a run by Kellen Stiles for a first down at the 48, followed three plays later by a backward pass from McGuire to Pollack back to McGuire for a first down at the KM 19. A 15-yard completion to the two was followed by an incompletion and a late flag for interference, giving the visitors the ball at the one yard line. McGuire’s sneak sent the two teams into the halftime break tied at 7. The teams traded 3-and-outs to open the third quarter. Following KM’s punt the Mountaineers were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct and Franklin took possession at the KM 47. Seven plays later, the Panthers were on the KM 31 facing fourth and seven. Pollock then caught a tipped pass for a 14-7 lead with 3:35 on the clock. After the ensuing kickoff, KM was immediately penalized 10 yards for holding and started from its own 29. Littlejohn hit Brown for a 52-yard catch and run to the Panther 19. Kendrick and Ward worked the ball down to the five and with 0:05 left on the third quarter clock Littlejohn hit Lloyd with a five-yard TD and Ellis booted the PAT to tie the score at 14. Franklin answered quickly. Helped by a 31-yard reception by Pollock and a holding call on KM, the Panthers worked their way to the 12 before Javier Currie’s nine-yard sack put them at the 21 with a second and 18. After two incomplete passes, Erik Munoz came on to kick a field goal to put the Panthers up 17-14 with just 7:01 remaining. The Panthers pooch kicked and recovered a fumble at the KM 34. Aided by two penalties – the last of which put them at the KM four with 2:12 left – they called time to decide a play. Instead of going for a field goal – which would have only put them up by six points – they went for what would have been a clinching TD but the Mountaineers stopped McGuire at the three, setting the stage for their big comeback victory. “Stopping them down there was a great team effort,” Coach Lloyd noted. “The quarterback sort of bobbled the snap and that helped us.” Lloyd was happy with the play of all of his players, and he pointed out that in the second half the Mountaineers had only two seniors and one junior on defense. The rest were sophomores. “CJ Houser, a sophomore, did a good job,” Lloyd said. “He made several tackles and that was his first varsity experience. We had a lot of young guys out there that we threw into the fire and we’re really proud of them. Alex Jackson, on the offensive line, blocked really well and Seth Neal came in and played very well at tight end. A lot of people did very good.”
Scenes from Mountaineers Vs. Franklin
Photos by Gary Smart
Kushman 65th in State meet
Kings Mountain High’s Thalia Kushman finished 65th with a time of 22:01.57 in Saturday’s NCHSAA 3A cross country meet.
FANS, BANDS & STANDS
Photos by Gary Smart
Lady Patriot spikers open with impressive victories
Kings Mountain Middle School’s volleyball ladies got their season off to a great start last week with 3-0 victories over North Lincoln and Burns. In their opener on Tuesday, the Lady Patriots defeated a good North Lincoln team at home, 25-19, 25-22, 25-15. Thursday’s game at Burns was a good one, too, with the Lady Patriots sweeping again 25-12, 25-8, 25-4. In the opener, Camden Pasour led the Lady Patriots with 16 serve receptions, 13 digs, 11 service points, five assists and 20 kills. Ava Tipton added four serve receptions, 16 digs one assist and 13 service points. Abigail Hedgepath had two digs, eight service points, three kills and 23 assists. At Burns, Pasour had another complete game with 13 kills, eight assists, nine serve receptions, eight digs, four aces and 18 serve points. Megan Harris added four kills, 12 aces and 21 service points. Hedgepath contributed nine service points, three aces and 16 assists. “Ava Tipton, Sarah Bouchard and Madi Brooke did their job well controlling the defense and giving our setters controlled passes while Kenzlie Morris and Ruby Osborne were a definite presence on the net both offensively and defensively,” noted Coach Lindsay Ellis. “This win was a great team effort.” The Lady Patriots were scheduled to play at home Tuesday. REMAINING SCHEDULE Nov. 16 – East Lincoln; Nov. 18 at Lincolnton; Nov. 22 Burns; Nov. 23 at West Lincoln; Nov. 30 at East Lincoln; Dec. 2 Lincolnton; Dec. 7 at North Lincoln; Dec. 9 Playoffs (TBD); Nov. 14 – Conference championship (TBD).
KM Mountaineers face West Charlotte Friday at Waddell
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will travel to Waddell High School in Charlotte Friday to face a very good West Charlotte team in the second round of the NCHSAA 3A state football championship playoffs. The Lions are a perennial power in Charlotte Mecklenburg and have numerous championships to their credit. They are 7-3 on the season but those losses came to 4A powers Mallard Creek, Hough and Chambers. The Lions and Mountaineers have one common opponent. West Charlotte reached the second round of the state playoffs by defeating a good Stuart Cramer team 34-10 last week while the Mountaineers were defeating a good Franklin Panther team 21-17. In a Big South game earlier in the year, Kings Mountain defeated Stuart Cramer 41-28. “West Charlotte is a very dangerous team,” says Kings Mountain head coach Greg Lloyd. “They have a lot of great athletes and they play in a very tough conference. They have tons of speed, good size and will be the most athletic team we’ve faced. “They operate out of a spread and they pass and run the ball very effectively,” Lloyd noted. “Their quarterback is a dual threat. He has a great arm and legs. They run out of a 3-4 defense, and it is very good. “They are a well-rounded, good team,” he said. “They’ve played a very tough schedule. Two of their losses were to Hough and Chambers, two of the best teams in the state.” Without a doubt, the Lions are more experienced than the Mountaineers as most of their starters are seniors. Kings Mountain doesn’t have many seniors but their sophomores and juniors have gained valuable experience this year. “This is going to be a very tough test,” Lloyd said. “We’re happy to be going another round. We look forward to a good week of practice to get ready and hopefully keep advancing in the playoffs.” Lloyd expects his versatile senior Peyton Fisher, who was injured in the first half of last week’s game, to be back along with Zay Smith, who sat out last week with an injury. “Zay will help us a lot,” Lloyd said. “Having him out last week really hurt us, especially in the second half. “Robert Kendrick played with a turf toe last week. Hopefully he will be back at full strength.”
Paige Bagwell & teammates celebrate
Paige Bagwell’s teammates celebrate with her after she reached 1,500 career assists in last week’s state playoff win over Crest at Parker Gym.
KM spikers lose to North Iredell
Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team fell to a strong North Iredell team 29-27, 25-11, 25-10 in the quarter-final round of the NCHSAA 3A state playoffs Saturday at North Iredell. The winners advance to the state 3A semi-finals with a 25-1 overall record while the Lady Mountaineers, who won the Big South Conference with a perfect 14-0 record, ended with a 21-3 overall mark. Aaliyah Byers completed a great high school career with 16 kills and Paige Bagwell ended her career with eight digs and 24 assists. Meile Songaila had five kills and 11 digs, Myracle Davis four kills and Caroline Barber 19 digs. Before losing on Saturday, the Lady Mountaineers eliminated East Lincoln 26-24, 25-16, 25-13 in a second round playoff match Tuesday, and county rival Crest 25-17, 25-12, 25-14 in a third round match Thursday. Against East Lincoln, Songaila had 13 serve receptions, six digs, three blocks, 16 kills and 13 service points. Byers had two serve receptions, 10 digs, three blocks, two assists, 20 kills and five service points. Barber had 14 serve receptions, 15 digs, three assists and three service points. Bagwell had seven digs, five blocks, 38 assists, two kills and five service points. Davis added four digs, six blocks and six kills. Against the Lady Chargers, Bagwell dished out 31 assists to give her over 1,500 for her four-year career. She also added three blocks, two digs and eight service points. Byers had 21 kills, two blocks, five serve receptions, two digs and four service points. Songaila added nine kills, one block, eight serve receptions, 12 digs and four service points. Barber had 13 digs, six serve receptions and 27 service points.
Tough Franklin team here Friday for first round game in NCHSAA football playoffs
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will host a traditionally strong Franklin team Friday night at 7:30 in the opening round of the NCHSAA 3A state playoffs. While the Mountaineers’ record on paper is a couple games better, Coach Greg Lloyd warns that Franklin is very dangerous and capable of beating anyone. “They’re traditionally a very strong program,” he noted. “They run and pass very well. Their quarterback is a very good passer. They have a big running back and linebacker that runs hard. They are well coached and a traditionally strong program.” Franklin, whose long line of good head coaches included former Duke University head coach Fred Goldsmith, faces tough teams on a weekly basis. Those teams include the likes of Tuscola, Canton Pisgah, Smokey Mountain, West Henderson and TC Roberson, all of whom are traditionally strong and have many championships to their credit. The Mountaineers will be operating at less than a hundred percent as they have a lot of players injured, including their leading tackler AJ Richardson who is probably out for the rest of the season. Several other players were injured in last week’s Big South Conference championship game with Crest and will also be out this week. They include Zavion Smith. “He was out for the whole second half and it really hurt us when he went out,” Coach Lloyd noted. Sel Randolph, who had one of his best games of the season last week, hurt his knee and will probably be out as well. He is on crutches with a swollen knee. Running back Caleb Holland, who had just returned to the lineup for the Ashbrook game, was hurt again against Crest and will also be out. “It will be running back by committee this week with (Robert) Kendrick, Micah (Ward) and Jake (Lloyd),” Coach Lloyd noted. “Jake also plays slot so he’ll probably stay out there on offense if Sel can’t play.” Lloyd will look for Andre Willis to get more playing time, and some younger players should see some action too. “We’re pretty depleted right now,” Lloyd said. “We have a lot of people going both ways. It’s supposed to be cold Friday so that might be a good thing. “The key for us will be to stop their #15 (junior tailback/tight end Ty Handley (who comes in with 953 yards rushing and nine TDs),” Lloyd said. “He is a big kid.” The KM defense will also have to defend well against a good passing quarterback, Chris McGuire, who has passed for 1,420 yards and 14 touchdowns. His favorite target is wide receiver Keagan Pollock (#1) who has 45 catches for 821 yards and nine TDs. “They move the ball in the air and on the ground and finish drives,” Lloyd says. “We have to get a lot of people to the ball, play hard and have fun. If we do that we have a good shot at advancing.”
Mountaineers fall to Crest 42-20
Two big defensive plays late in the third quarter and early in the fourth and the running of Mari Adams were the big differences as the Crest Chargers broke open a close game for a 42-20 victory over the Mountaineers in the Big South Conference championship game Friday night at Kings Mountain’s John Gamble Stadium. Adams was an offensive highlight reel, gaining 264 yards rushing which was by far the top offensive output against the Mountaineer D this season; but during crunch time the big plays came when the Chargers intercepted a KM pass in the end zone and recovered a fumble on a potential KM TD drive early in the fourth quarter. The Mountaineers, down 21-14, were on the Crest five with a first and goal late in the third period but couldn’t get in. Three plays later with the Chargers on the 11, Adams got off a 63-yard run before being chased down by D’Andre Hoyle. But, three plays later Adams went four yards into the end zone and all of a sudden Crest had doubled the score to 28-14. Kings Mountain was able to answer with a 60-yard drive which featured a 27-yard reception by Peyton Fisher and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Littlejohn to Hoyle to get back to within a TD at 28-20. KM later made it to the Crest 41 but lost the ball on a fumble with 6:50 left in the game. Two plays later, the Chargers’ Carter Green broke a 29-yard touchdown for a 35-20 lead. After the kickoff, the Chargers’ D held the Mountaineers to three and out and they ran the clock from the 4:29 mark to 52.8 seconds to score on six straight carries by Green to account for the final margin. Kings Mountain had one of its lowest offensive outputs of the season, gaining just 107 yards rushing and 186 passing for a total of 293 yards but opened with a 74-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead on a 16-yard touchdown reception by Bryson Brown and an extra point kick by Jaden Ellis. Fisher made three key tackles, and Zaylen Ramos and Curtis Simpson had tackles for loss to hold that lead through the end of the first quarter. An 18-yard run by Robert Kendrick and 12-yard reception by Hoyle got the Mountaineers to the Crest 43 but they lost the ball on downs. Keyed by a 22-yard sneak by Green, the Chargers drove 56 yards in seven plays with Adams covering the final three to tie the score. A pass interception by Brandon McCall and return to the KM 42 set up a seven-play drive capped by Adams’ 17-yard run to put Crest up 14-7 with 3:44 left in the half. Despite an eight-yard quarterback sack, the Mountaineers got big pass receptions by Bryson Brown for 14 yards, Zay Smith for 22 and Sel Randloph for 11 to set up a 26-yard TD pass from Littlejohn to Brown for a 14-14 halftime tie. Crest took the lead for good on the first drive of the second half, moving 80 yards in 13 plays to score on a six yard run by Adams. KM answered with its drive to the Crest five but couldn’t get it in as a run for no gain followed by two incomplete passes led to the Crest INT in the end zone.
KM freshman golfer Watson plays in Western 3A Regional
Kings Mountain High freshman golfer Kaliyah Watson shot a 106 to tie for 32nd place in last week’s Western Regional tournament at Glen Oaks Golf Club in Maiden. “Unfortunately, she didn’t qualify for the 3A state championship but she gained some good experience in this tournament,” said KM Coach Kevin Moss. “She was able to see what she needs to do in preparation for the 2022 golf season and make it to the state championship. “She had a very successful freshman year,” Moss added. “She was a match medalist for one conference match and co-medalist for another. She finished fifth overall individually in the conference, made the All-Conference team and qualified for the 3A Western Regional tournament. “She loves to practice,” he added, “and has made great strides in her golf game since she started playing in the seventh grade. Most importantly, she is a good student and has a great attitude about everything. She always has a positive outlook.” Moss and Watson are appreciative to Kings Mountain Country Club for allowing them to practice and have matches there. “Ken Nantz and his staff always accommodate both our golf programs to make sure we can practice and host matches,” Moss said. “They always find a way for us to host a match even if there is a scheduling conflict. They are really good to the junior players in Kings Mountain.
KMMS golf third in county, sixth in conference tourney
Kings Mountain Middle’s golf team ended its season last week with a third place finish in the Cleveland County tournament and sixth place finish in the nine-team Tri-County Conference tournament. The Patriots shot a 195 in the county match. Burns finished first with a 181. KMMS was led by Jordan Buckner and Cameron Laye with 45s. Joseph Johnson shot 48, Brantley Deaton 57, and Mylin Eckard and Eli Caldwell 58 each. Medalist was Minyan Ou of Burns with a 39. Buckner led the Patriots with a 45 in the conference championship tournament at Lincoln Country Club. The team score was 195. Laye and Johnson both shot 48s. Caldwell had a 54, and Eckard and Lance Miller each shot 61. Rutherford County Middle School was the team champion with a 173. Individual champion was Brandon Bolinger of East Lincoln Middle with a 34.
JV Mountaineers beat Crest 20-16 in season finale, sweep Big South and finish with overall 8-1 record
Kings Mountain scored on its first three possessions to take a quick 20-0 lead, but it took a pass interception by Curtis Simpson at the five yard line to clinch a 20-16 victory over Crest in the JV season finale Thursday night at the Chargers’ stadium. The victory gave Coach Diron Bell’s Mountaineers a final record of 6-0 against Big South Conference teams and 8-1 overall. They were originally scheduled to face the Ashbrook Green Wave Thursday but that game, as well as the Chargers’ scheduled game with Hunter Huss, was cancelled. The win also gave the JVs a record of 12-1 during the 2021 calendar year. In an abbreviated four-game schedule in the spring the Mountaineers went undefeated with victories over all three Cleveland County schools and South Point. The fall 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID. On the game’s opening possession, CJ Houser broke a 61-yard run to the Crest 10 yard line to set up a three-yard touchdown run by Thomas Fair. After Max Thompson’s point-after from placement the Mountaineers appeared to be taking command. After the defense held the Chargers to three and out, it took just four more plays for the Mountaineers to complete a 77-yard drive with Houser scoring on a 37-yard pass from quarterback Kylei Anderson. Again, Thompson split the uprights for a 14-0 lead. After the ensuing kickoff, Crest fumbled on its first play and KM took possession at the Chargers’ 12 yard line. Zayvion Wilson’s one-yard run gave the Mountaineers their 20-0 lead. Crest got on the scoreboard for the first time with 2:02 left in the half when a high snap on a KM punt attempt sailed out the back of the end zone for a safety. Then, things began happening fast for the Crest offense. Tate Ruff returned the Mountaineers’ kickoff for a touchdown, and then ran a two-point conversion to cut the score to 20-10. That score stood until halftime, but on the first series of the second half the Chargers romped 63 yards in eight plays to score on a two-yard run. Their two-point conversion pass attempt was intercepted by Zayvion Wilson, and with 6:43 left on the third quarter clock the scoring was over. But, not the excitement – and the jitters! Crest was able to march to the KM 30 before Curtis Simpson intercepted a pass. But, again, the Crest D held. The Mountaineers threw Ruff for a two-yard loss to end the third quarter and the Chargers had to punt the ball away with nine minutes left in the game. The Mountaineers appeared to have the game in hand after a 12-yard run by Anderson gave them a first down at the 48 with just over two minutes left on the clock. But Crest recovered a fumble at the KM 48. Three plays later, KM got a big sack at midfield, but was penalized for a late hit and Crest was on the KM 37 with a first and ten. The Chargers went for the bomb but Simpson made the big interception at the five with 1:24 remaining. With the Chargers out of time outs, the Mountaineers took a knee twice to run out the clock.
KM volleyball sweeps BSC title, opens playoffs with big victory
Kings Mountain’s Thalia Kushman ran a 22:05 to win the women’s race and also the Big South Conference Cross Country Player of the Year Award in the annual conference meet last week at Gastonia Ashbrook. Even though the two Kings Mountain teams didn’t win a team title - those went to the South Point women and Stuart Cramer men - they did place eight runners on the All-Conference teams. Joining Kushman on the ladies’ team were Divinity Ervin in fourth place, Brooke Waseman ninth, Nicole Poston 12th and Sindy Ulloa 14th. Kings Mountain runners on the men’s All-Big South team were Parker Key who finished fourth, Isaiah Watts, ninth, and Kohen Johnson, 15th. In the women’s race, South Point was followed by Kings Mountain, Stuart Cramer, and Forestview. The Lady Mountaineers had beaten the Lady Red Raiders twice in the regular season, “but they brought out their full team for this run,” KM Coach Rayvis Key noted. Two South Point runners – Maddie Franks and Rachel Tolbert, ran second and third and another, Emme Lewandowski, finished fifth behind Kings Mountain’s Divnity Ervin, who ran the course in 23:42.19. Nicholas Willer of Cramer was the men’s individual winner in 16:20.43. Austin Brotemarkle of Forestview and Zachary Willer of Cramer finished just ahead of Key for the second and third place ribbons. Isaiah Watts finished eighth to give the Mountaineers two runners in the top 10.
KM volleyball sweeps BSC title, opens playoffs with big victory
Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team polished off an undefeated conference season last week by winning the Big South with a 14-0 record, and then opened play in the NCHSAA 3A tournament on Saturday with an impressive 3-0 victory over North Davidson at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. The Lady Mountaineers, 19-2 overall, were scheduled to host East Lincoln last night. A victory would have them hosting the winner of the Central Davidson-Crest game Thursday night. East Lincoln advanced with a 3-0 win over South Point Saturday. The East and West Regional championships will be played November 2, and the State championship November 6 in Raleigh. As usual, Kings Mountain got outstanding play from all of their ladies in the opening round 25-5, 25-5, 25-8 win over North Davidson. Paige Bagwell provided 30 assists, four kills and three service points. Aaliyah Byers, who recently registered her 1,000th kill over her four- year varsity career, added 17 more to her total while also providing six digs, two blocks and seven service points. Meile Songaila had her usual strong performance with 10 kills, three serve receptions and two blocks; as did Caroline Barber with 21 service points, three serve receptions and five digs. In their final regular season game at Crest, the Lady Mountaineers won their 14th straight BSC game over a talented Crest squad, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15. One of the amazing accomplishments of this BSC season was that the Lady Mountaineers did not drop a single set. Songaila led the way with 14 kills, two assists, three serve receptions, 16 digs, 15 service points and two blocks. Byers provided 14 kills, four digs, one block and six service points. Bagwell had five kills, 31 assists, nine digs, three blocks and four service points. Myracle Davis had five kills, five digs and six blocks. Barber had five assists, 15 serve receptions, nine digs and six service points. In JV action, the Lady Mountaineers finished off a 9-2 Big South and 14-3 season with a 25-11, 25-12 victory over Crest. Sara Kate Bridges had nine service points, 20 assists, three digs and two kills. Alexa Jones had three service points, nine kills and four digs. London Brown provided 10 service points, four kills, five serve receptions and three digs. Addi Peeler had eight service points, eight serve receptions and four digs.
KM dominates Ashbrook 51-0
It took Kings Mountain just four plays – and the first of those was an incomplete pass – to go 55 yards for a touchdown on their first possession and they continued to “roll the Wave” just about all night in a 51-0 Big South victory over Ashbrook Friday night in Gastonia. The win was the eighth straight for the Mountaineers and puts them in the Big South Conference championship game against the Crest Chargers Friday at 7:30 at KM’s John Gamble Stadium. After that incompletion, Micah Ward ripped through the Wave twice for 46 yards to set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Zay Smith with only 2:51 gone off the game clock. On the third play following the KM kickoff, the Mountaineers’ Quay Sanders picked off a pass and returned it 25 yards for a 13-0 lead. “Our defense played well,” Coach Greg Lloyd said. “They did what they had to do. Ashbrook’s quarterback was out and that hurt them some, but it gave us some momentum coming into the Crest game.” Although they didn’t seriously threaten to score, the Green Wave rallied somewhat after that and had a couple drives that kept the ball away from the Mountaineers. KM did drive to the Green Wave 17 early in the second quarter but missed a field goal. After the KM defense held the Wave to three and out again, Mountaineer fans got a welcomed surprise when running back Caleb Holland, who had not played since suffering an injury in the second game of the year at Asheville, came onto the field. With the Mountaineers starting at their own seven after an Ashbrook punt, Holland ripped through the line for 11 yards and on the very next play quarterback Lamont Littlejohn hit D’Andre Hoyle behind the Ashbrook secondary with an 83-yard catch and run TD. Bryson Brown passed to Curtis Simpson for a two-point conversion and a 21-0 lead. “It was nice to have Caleb back out there playing,” said Lloyd. “He looked good and quick. All of our backs ran hard and the offensive line continues to improve.” Taking over with 1:32 remaining in the half, Holland carried three straight times for 28 yards and a first down at the Ashbrook 22 with 48.8 seconds left on the clock. A screen pass to Hoyle got the Mountaineers to the nine, but penalties set them back to the 38. Facing third and goal, Hoyle went deep but was surrounded by two Ashbrook defenders inside the five yard line. The ball actually tipped off both Ashbrook players’ fingers and Hoyle grabbed it for the TD and a 28-0 halftime lead. A 23-yard reception by Jake Lloyd and several big gains by Holland and Ward had the Mountaineers deep in Ashbrook territory again but they lost a fumble at the 12. Facing third and 17 from their own 10, Ashbrook’s quarterback was scrambling to try to pass and threw the ball out of bounds from his own end zone, resulting in a safety and a 30-0 KM lead. The Wave had to kick off from the 20, and a Smith return set the Mountaineers up at their own 48. Holland carried twice for 30 yards and Ward twice for 11 for a first and goal at the Ashbrook 12. Three carries by Holland resulted in a touchdown and Jaden Ellis’s PAT ran the score the 37-0. On the first play following the ensuing kickoff, Peyton Fisher scooped up an Ashbrook fumble and hauled it 65 yards for a touchdown and a 44-0 KM lead at the 5:07 mark of the third quarter, resulting in a running clock. After another three and out for the Wave, KM took over on its own 38. Jonah Patrick hit Bryson Brown with a 17-yard pass on the final play of the third quarter, and on the third play of the fourth period Patrick hit Fisher with a 19-yarder and a first down at the Wave 24. With 6:20 left in the game, Smith scored on a two-yard run and Ellis booted the PAT for the final 51-0 margin. Holland finished with 140 yards rushing to lead the KM attack and Ward, who spent most of his time on defense, added 60 yards in just six carries. Overall, the Mountaineers finished with 233 yards rushing and 232 passing. Hoyle finished with three catches for 133 yards.
Mountaineers go after second championship of 2021when Crest charges into Gamble Stadium Friday night
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers can do something Friday night that hasn’t been done in 99 years of football at Central and KMHS – winning two conference championships in the same calendar year. Because of COVID, last fall’s football season was cancelled and moved to late winter and early spring. The Mountaineers went undefeated through the Big South Conference before losing in the second round of the state 3A playoffs. This game, by far, will be the toughest Kings Mountain has had in the BSC this fall. Like the Mountaineers, the Crest Chargers come to town with a perfect conference record and they haven’t had a close game attaining it. “They’ve been really impressive this year,” says KM Coach Greg Lloyd. “They’re as good as anybody you’ll see. They have a big running back (Mari Adams). He’s fast and hard to tackle.” But, he’s just one of many good athletes on the Crest team. “They use two quarterbacks – one for the ground game and one for passing – and both of them are very dangerous,” Lloyd said. “And,” he added, “their defense is big, strong and aggressive. I can see why they’re good. Their only losses came early in the season to Shelby and Burns but they have improved tremendously since then.” Kings Mountain still has some key players on the injured list, including big defensive standout AJ Richardson who sat out last week’s game at Ashbrook and will miss this week’s too after having surgery on his hand. Lloyd hopes he will be returning soon. “The key for us this week will be to tackle and get a lot of people to the ball,” Lloyd noted. “We will have to play disciplined football. It would be nice if our offense can stay on the field most of the night. “And, we need to improve our special teams play,” he added. “This will be our toughest game to date, along with Shelby. We have to play really well on both sides of the ball.”
KMHS JV Cheerleaders
Kings Mountain’s JV cheerleaders braved the wet weather to cheer the Mountaineers on to victory over South Point during Thursday night at Gamble Stadium.
Photo by Gary Smart
JVs stop Raiders’ two-point try to remain unbeaten in Big South
Their last two games have been nail-biters, but Kings Mountain High’s JV Mountaineers are still unbeaten in the Big South Conference following Thursday’s 7-6 win over a good South Point team at John Gamble Stadium. The Mountaineers got by Forestview 6-0 a week earlier on a one-yard sneak by quarterback Kylei Anderson in Gastonia. And they took an early 7-0 lead over South Point Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium but had to stop a two-point conversion try by the Red Raiders for a 7-6 victory. It was their fifth straight win following an opening-season loss to the Shelby Lions. They travel to Stuart Cramer Thursday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Mountaineers and Red Raiders stopped each other on their first two possessions before the Mountaineers drove 63 yards in 10 plays to score on a 26-yard run around left end by Kameron Adams. Max Thompson’s extra point for a 7-0 lead would eventually be the winner. Along the way, Adams carried the ball four times for 46 yards. Thomas Fair and Zayvion Wilson also had big gains along the way. Each team got off some good drives during the night but couldn’t produce any points because of good defensive stops by the other side. Curtis Simpson’s pass interception gave KM a good scoring opportunity at the South Point 43. The Mountaineers were able to get the ball to the Raider 26 but an incompletion in the end zone gave possession back to the Raiders. The Raiders were moving late in the second quarter but big defensive plays by CJ Houser and Eli Lipscomb forced them to punt with 29.5 seconds on the clock. Lipscomb’s tackle for loss ended the Raiders’ first possession of the third period. A drive kept alive by an 18-yard reception by Ethan Guy and strong running by Fair, Anderson, Adams and Wilson kept the ball in KM’s possession until just 23 seconds remained in the third quarter. Backed up to their own six yard line, South Point’s Chance Ford rambled 42 yards to get the Raiders out of the hole, and six plays later he went 23 yards right through the middle of the KM defense for a touchdown with 6:08 left in the game. The Raiders handed to him again for a two-point conversion attempt but he was smothered by a host of Mountaineer defenders and the score remained 7-6. Even though that eventually meant a KM win, the Mountaineers still had some shaky moments. Four plays later South Point recovered a fumble at the 50 but the KM defense stiffened and held them on downs at the KM 34. Anderson carried twice for 11 yards and a first down, allowing the Mountaineers to take a knee three times to run out the clock.
Volleyball closing in on BS title
Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team won two more games last week and go into the final week of the regular season with an undefeated record in the Big South Conference. The Lady Mountaineers will host Ashbrook Thursday in their final regular season home match, and then close out BSC action Tuesday at second place Crest. Kings Mountain is 11-0 in the conference and 14-2 overall heading into the final week of action. The Lady Mountaineers polished off Forestview and South Point in straight sets last week. Against the Lady Jaguars, KM won 25-13, 25-7 and 25-18 after the JVs swept their match 25-21, 25-12. Against South Point, the varsity won 25-11, 25-8, 25-13 after the JVs captured wins of 25-13, 25-7. Against Forestview, Meile Songaila had four serve receptions, 11 digs, 16 kills and 11 service points. Paige Bagwell added five kills, 25 assists, five digs and three service points, Mary Grace Hogue three kills, six digs and 15 service points, and Caroline Barber 14 service points, 13 serve receptions and eight digs. In the JV match, Sara Kate Bridges had 11 service points, 21 assists and seven digs; Alexa Jones 13 kills, three service points, five serve receptions and three digs; London Brown five service points, six kills, eight serve receptions and two digs; and Addi Peeler nine service points, nine digs, and two assists. Against the South Point varsity, Bagwell had two kills, 42 assists, three digs and four service points; Aaliyah Byers 22 kills, 11 digs, four serve receptions and 12 service points; Songaila 10 kills, nine digs, 11 serve receptions and seven service points, and Myracle Davis five kills and two blocks. For the JVs, Bridges had 13 service points, 24 assists and eight digs; Peeler nine service points, 13 serve receptions and nine digs; Brooke Hamrick seven kills, eight service points and three digs; and Jones 12 kills, five serve receptions and four digs. The JVs carried a 6-2 conference and 11-3 overall record into this week’s matches.
Good Cramer team here Friday for homecoming
Kings Mountain will be having homecoming Friday night at Gamble Stadium, but the Mountaineers can’t afford to let the festivities take their focus off a very dangerous Stuart Cramer team. Cramer comes to town with two losses, but they were to very good teams and the Storm will come in with the goal of defeating the Mountaineers to strengthen their seeding for the upcoming state playoffs. Kings Mountain has to have the same mindset, because wins the next three Fridays could give them the Big South Conference championship and guarantee home games for the playoffs. “Cramer’s going to be just the opposite of what we’ve been seeing this year,” says Mountaineer Coach Greg Lloyd. “They are a passing team with one of the top quarterbacks (Justin Rocquemore) in the state. He is extremely mobile with a very quick release. “Their overall offense is very good,” Lloyd added, “and their defense has really improved. South Point just beat them by one touchdown and they were down just one going into the fourth quarter against Crest. No doubt, they will be ready. This will be a dog fight. “With the addition of another round, I expect both of us to be in the playoffs,” he added. “But we don’t want to go in with losses. Their losses were to two very good teams, and they will come in here with a lot of motivation.” Rocquemore, a junior, has been starting since his freshman year. Defensively, Lloyd said the Storm is in a 4-2-5 and do a lot of blitzing. “We definitely have to be ready for that,” he said. “I remember in 2018 they played us a 21-14 ball game. They are very competitive, they’re big and this is going to be a good ballgame. “Our guys have to be ready. We have a great opportunity in these final three games. Each game is huge. We want to win these next two games and set up a big conference championship game with Crest.”
17-point fourth quarter breaks tie, gives Mountaineers 24-7 win over Red Raiders
For most of three quarters Friday night in Belmont’s Lineberger Stadium, it felt as though old rivals South Point and Kings Mountain may be going to overtime. A first half touchdown by each team had them tied at 7-all at the break but the Mountaineers used a good ground game, hard-hitting defense and a strong kicking attack to score 17 fourth quarter points and put the Raiders away 24-7. It was KM’s sixth straight win following an opening season loss to Shelby and kept them tied for first place in the Big South Conference with Crest. The Mountaineers showed their toughness on the game’s opening drive, moving 80 yards in 16 plays to eat almost eight minutes off the clock and score on a two-yard run of tackle by Robert Kendrick. Jaden Ellis’s extra point made it 7-0. Before the night was over, Kendrick would have 16 carries for 141 yards. The Raiders answered, going 78 yards on just three carries by Tyson Riley whose final 56 knotted things up. The Mountaineers threatened to take the lead midway of the third quarter, driving from their own 38 to the South Point seven behind the running of Kendrick. But, South Point’s Micah Stowe intercepted a pass and returned it to the KM 42 yard line. “That was our only turnover and it was my fault,” KM Coach Greg Lloyd said. “That was not a good call.” South Point was able to make it to the KM 23, but a Jake Lloyd interception at the 1:28 mark turned the game in KM’s favor. With Kendrick and Thomas Feemster taking turns carrying the mail, the Mountaineers stayed on the ground except for the final play of the drive, a 10-yard pass to D’Andre Hoyle. The Mountaineers were flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, but Jaden Ellis boomed a 42-yard extra point to put KM up 14-7 with 11:34 left on the clock. “That was a big extra point,” Lloyd said. “Ellis, our snapper Gabe Short and our holder Bryson Brown all did a great job.” The Mountaineer defense continued to make big plays. A 15-yard penalty on the Raiders and the first of two interceptions by Peyton Fisher basically put the win in the bag with 6:12 remaining. Three plays after the pick, Ellis split the uprights with a 43-yard field goal to run the score to 17-7 at the 4:46 mark. South Point was able to work the ball to the KM 35 and the Mountaineers put the win in the bag on just two plays – Alex Jackson’s sack and Fisher’s 63-yard pick six down the South Point sidelines. “We came up big in the second half,” Lloyd said. “I thought it was a gusty effort. It was a big win at a tough place to play. “I thought our defense improved as the game went on, and the offensive line did a great job. We did a good job of taking care of the ball. “Fisher’s two interceptions were huge. We played really hard.”
Kings Mountain Middle School Cheerleaders
Kings Mountain Middle School cheerleaders perform for the home crowd at halftime of last week’s game at John Gamble Stadium.
Photo by Lizzie Ingram
Kings Mountain Middle School quarterback Aiden Smith looks for a receiver in last week’s 12-0 loss to East Lincoln at John Gamble Stadium.
Photo by Gary Smart
KMHS spikers split with Kell
Kings Mountain High’s volleyball teams split with 4A power Ardrey Kell in non-conference action last week at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. The JVs won 25-18, 25-17 and the varsity Lady Mountaineers gave Kell a tough battle before falling 3-2. Kings Mountain got off to a good start, taking the first set 25-18. The visitors tied it with a 25-20 win before KM came back to take a 2-1 edge with a 26-24 win. Kell rallied with a 25-23 win to tie the series and captured the deciding fifth set 15-9. Meile Songaila gave a strong overall effort with 12 service points, 12 kills, 42 serve receptions, two blocks and 21 digs. Aaliyah Byers provided four service points, 29 kills, 17 serve receptions, one block and 26 digs. Paige Bagwell had 49 assists, nine service points, four kills, a block and 14 digs and Caroline Barber added 26 serve receptions and 26 digs.
KMHS Cross Country
Kings Mountain High’s Cross Country team participated in the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte last weekend. The meet included some of the best teams in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. Parker Key led the Mountaineers with an 18th place time of 17:49. Thalia Kushman led the KM women with a 31st place finish in 22:02. KM’s next meet is October 19 at Ashbrook.
SPORTS THIS WEEK
Wed., Oct. 6 4:30 – Middle school football, Kings Mountain at Lincolnton (Varsity begins at 5 p.m.) 6 p.m. – High school soccer, Hunter Huss at KMHS. Thur., Oct. 7 4 p.m. – High school volleyball, South Point at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH). 4 p.m. – High school tennis, Crest at Kings Mountain. 7 p.m. – JV football, South Point at Kings Mountain. Fri., Oct. 8 7:30 – Varsity football, Kings Mountain at South Point Mon., Oct. 11 4:15 – Middle school softball, Lincolnton at Kings Mountain. 4:15 – Middle school soccer, Lincolnton at Kings Mountain. 6 p.m. –High school soccer, Kings Mountain at North Gaston Tues., Oct. 12 4 p.m. – Middle school golf, conference championship at West Lincoln TBA – High school tennis, Big South tournament at North Gaston 3 p.m. – High school golf, Kings Mountain, South Point and Forestview at Cramer Mountain CC. Wed., Oct.13 4:30 – Middle school football, North Lincoln at Kings Mountain (varsity begins at 5) 6 p.m. –High school soccer, Kings Mountain at Forestview.
KM Middle girls unbeaten in East
King Mountain Middle School’s softball team carried an unbeaten 9-0 record into a Tri-County Conference home game yesterday against East Lincoln. A 16-1 win over Lincolnton Thursday clinched the #1 seed from the East Division for the upcoming conference championship playoffs. Avery Cruise pitched a complete game. Prior to that victory, the Lady Patriots defeated a good Burns team 10-7 and West Lincoln 2-0. Against West, which was the Lady Patriots’ toughest game of the year, Maddie Huffman went the distance and struck out 11. The game was tied going into the sixth inning when Addie Carpenter’s single drove in Ava Broome. Just prior to that, Cruise had the defensive play of the game. Playing third base and with two outs and a runner on second, a rocket was hit her way and she made the snag and threw to first to end the inning. Kings Mountain tacked on an insurance run with Huffman scoring on a single to right by Kayla McSwain. Huffman led the KM plate attack with 3 for 4, including the big double in the bottom of the sixth. Kayla McSwain was 2 for 3 with a walk, Addie Carpenter 2 for 4, and Ava Broome 1 for 2.
Hall of Fame induction set for Saturday
The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 honorees will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church. Because of Covid, the 2020 induction ceremony was cancelled. All persons attending are strongly encouraged to wear masks and social distance as much as possible. Tickets are on sale by all members of the Hall of Fame committee and will also be available at the door. No more than 250 people will be allowed inside. The Class of 2020 includes Diane Williams, Joseph Bell Jr., Jim Medlin, Tim Riddle, Marquiz Williams, David Ray Robinson and the 1998 KMHS men’s track team. The Class of 2021 includes professional baseball player Will Wilson, long-time KMMS coach Monty Deaton, and former Lady Mountaineer basketball great Trina Hamrick. Distinguished service awards will be presented to retired KMHS principal Julie Rikard and John Gamble for their long time support of all levels of Kings Mountain sports.
Mountaineers edge good Forestview team, but biggest test comes Friday at South Point
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers passed their first major test in the Big South Conference Friday night, falling behind early but coming out strong in the second half to defeat the Forestview Jaguars 28-14. The win leaves the Mountaineers tied for first place in the BSC with Crest, which like Kings Mountain had to come from behind to beat South Point and remain unbeaten in the conference. “We knew it was going to be a slugfest,” KM head coach Greg Lloyd said about his good friend Chris Medlin’s Forestview eleven. “They are a very good team and put up a hard fight.” Both offenses had some success early but couldn’t finish off drives. It was the Jaguars’ defense that finally dented the scoreboard with 1:15 left in the first quarter. Their Jacob Neely broke in front of a KM receiver for an interception and 70 yard return for the TD and a 7-0 lead. Early in the second quarter, KM’s Peyton Fisher recovered a fumble at the Forestview 21, and three plays later Robert Kendrick went 14 yards around right end for a touchdown. Jaden Ellis’ PAT with 9:20 on the clock tied the score. Forestview responded with its best drive of the night, staying on the ground for 11 of their 12 plays and eating 8:33 off the clock to get inside the KM one. With their big package in the game, the handoff went to a big lineman in the backfield but KM’s defensive line and linebackers stopped him a foot short of the goal line. “That was very big,” noted Coach Lloyd. “It kept us tied and let us go into the second half with some momentum. It was probably the play of the game.” The defensive momentum carried over to the second half as it held the Jaguars to three-and-out after the kickoff. KM took possession at its own 47, and after two runs by Thomas Feemster quarterback Jonah Patrick hit D’Andre Hoyle on a quick slant and he made several good moves around would-be tacklers and turned it into a 42-yard touchdown and a 13-7 Mountaineer lead. “D’Andre made some really big plays for us,” Lloyd noted. “Jonah made a nice throw and D’Andre went all the way with it. It was a big lift for us. “Lamont Littlejohn ran the offense well, too,” he added. “Both of our quarterbacks did a good job.” Kings Mountain’s defense held the Jaguars to three and out at their own 30, and Jake Lloyd blocked Neely’s punt and went untouched down the visitors’ sideline 20 yards for a touchdown with 6:13 on the clock. Robert Kendrick ran a two-point conversion to put the Mountaineers up 21-7. It was Lloyd’s second blocked punt for a touchdown in the past three games. Forestview was able to answer by faking a punt and throwing 29 yards to Nathaniel Aguilar to the KM 32. They worked the ball to the KM two, and big tackle Ethan Barnett came on to plow through the KM defense for a two-yard TD to cut the margin to 21-14. The Mountaineers put the win in the bag, going 76 yards in eight plays to score on a one-yard sneak by Littlejohn. Starting out first and 18 following a holding call, Hoyle got things going with a 44-yard catch and run to the Jaguars’ 32. Other big plays during the drive were a 28-yard reception by Peyton Fisher and a 15-yard run by AJ Richardson to the one. “Defensively, I thought Richardson had a big game,” Lloyd said. “Fisher played really well and also made a lot of good catches on offense. We did a nice job covering kicks. The blocked punt was big and it turned into a touchdown. We had some big plays in all three phases of the game.”
Things won’t get any easier for Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers when they travel to Belmont Friday night to take on the South Point Red Raiders. In fact, it will be their toughest test yet. “South Point is very good,” Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd says of the team that had Crest beaten last Friday before falling by one point in the final minute. “They played really well and had a great chance to win,” Lloyd said. “They were up 26-13 with nine minutes left and Crest put up a couple of late drives to win.” This will be Kings Mountain’s first battle with the Red Raiders in several years as they played at the 2A level during the most recent NCHSAA realignment. Regardless of their classification it’s tough to beat them, especially on their home turf. Even with last week’s loss, there is no doubt the Raiders (5-1) are still a championship threat in the Big South as well as the upcoming state 3A playoffs. With just three regular season games remaining after this week, this game is a big one for both teams. The Red Raiders are still in a flex bone, or as they call it Red Bone offense. It has been successful for them for many years as they’ve won numerous conference and even some state championships with it. Their go-to running back is senior Tyson Riley who is averaging 189 yards rushing per game. The team is averaging over 290. They don’t throw the ball a lot, but their quarterbacks are very accurate and their receivers can catch the ball and go a long way with it. Their leading receiver is 6-5 tight end Jackson Blee who is averaging over 40 yards per reception. “They have a big offensive line,” Lloyd noted. “They run the fullback (Riley) a lot, and he’s a very hard runner. Defensively, they tackle very well. They’re a typical South Point team that does a lot of things right. “We have to be solid in all three phases of the game, that’s for sure,” Lloyd said. “They are extra tough at their place so we have to play our best game of the year. Their offense starts with the fullback, but you can’t just concentrate on their ground game. You have to cover all three phases.”
The eleventh Annual Kings Mountain Family YMCA Golf Tournament was held on Friday September 24 at KMCC. Over 100 golfers participated in the annual event. All proceeds raised go to the Financial Assistance programs. Funds raised help children play soccer, basketball, volleyball, flag football, t-ball, baseball and attend Teen Nights. Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors – Carolina Powers Partners, Marie and David Brinkley, First Baptist Church of KM and Eric and Cathy Moore, American Gypsum, Butler’s Tire & Auto, Josh Shelton – Edward Jones, KM Embroidery, Jolly Realty Group, Mill Steel Company, CM Tucker Lumber, Beam Construction, Clark Dietrich, Mario Ware, RUCO, 133 West and Brian & Debbie Osteen. First place team with a score of 17 under (won on tiebreak): Tyler Withers, Ty Withers, Dawson Adams, and Jordan Van Dyke. Second place team with a score of 17 under: Eric Moore, KG Etters, William Mabry, and Eric Stacy. Third place team with a score of 16 under: Jeff Johnson, Chip Sloan, Lanny Wright, and Jason Mills. Longest driver winners on Hole 2: Men – Matt Hunsinger; Women’s – Anne Brooks. Longest drive Winner on Hole 11: Men’s - Kameron Kerr; Women’s – Dana Foy; Seniors – William Mabry. Closet to pin winners : Hole 5 – Eric Stacy; Hole 8 – Jimmy Parker; Hole 12 – Kameron Kerr; Hole 16 – Harry Diehl; Hole 17 - KG Etters.
‘Tennis loses to Forestview, Stuart Cramer here Thursday
After numerous postponements and cancellations because of COVID quarantines and rain, Kings Mountain High’s women’s tennis team finally got its season started last week. The Lady Mountaineers gave one of the pre-season favorites, Forestview, a tough match but the Lady Jaguars finally prevailed 5-4. Kings Mountain was scheduled to make up a rained out game against Hunter Huss on Monday and were to go to South Point for a regularly-scheduled game Tuesday. The Lady Mountaineers will be at home Thursday against Stuart Cramer. Forestview wrapped up the victory with wins in four of the six singles matches and the #1 doubles matches. (Singles) Rennie Liu (F) d. Hannah McCall 6-0, 6-0; Maggie Lu (F) d. Katelyn Fleming 6-0, 6-2; Jessica Normik (F) d. Railey Bolt 6-0, 6-0; Sarah Younan (F) d. Hailey McCall 6-1, 6-4; Melissa Brooks (KM) d. Jamie Lacourse (F) 7-5, 5-7, 10-5; Katie Murray (KM) d. Kayleen Echeverry (F) 6-2, 6-2. Doubles) Lu-Normik (F) d. Hannah McCall-Hailey McCall 8-1; Katelyn Fleming-Railey Bolt (KM) d. Friday-Craig 8-4; Katie Murray-Kalin Brooks (KM) d. Jenkins-Parker 8-2.
Lady Chargers win golf match
Kings Mountain High’s Kaliyah Watson shot a 53 in a Big South Conference golf match last week at Riverbed. The host Crest ladies won with a 153 score, followed by Stuart Cramer 174, Ashbrook 198 and Forestview 205. Allie MacArthur of Crest was the individual medalist with a 45.
Hall of Fame set October 9
The 34th annual Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be held Sat., Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church. Tickets are on sale by members of the Hall of Fame committee and at the door. They are $15 each. All persons attending the ceremony are strongly encouraged to wear masks and social distance as much as possible.
Key, Mountaineers County XC champs
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers and their top runner Parker Key were winners in last week’s Cleveland County Schools Cross Country championship at Shelby High School. The Kings Mountain women finished second, just eight points behind the host Shelby ladies. Key ran the course in 18:03 to lead the Mountaineers to victory. Isaiah Watts finished third, closely followed by Hunter Cruise in fourth. Kohen Johnson was seventh, Nic Horn ninth, and Marty Lovington 10th. Nathan Inthavong ran 11th, and Elliot Habel 16th. Shelby’s Ally Hollifield was the individual champion in the girls’ event. Thelma Kushman of Kings Mountain finished second with a personal best time of 21:35. Other top runners for the Lady Mountaineers were Divinity Ervin in fifth place, Brooke Waseman seventh, Nicole Poston 10th and Sindy Ulloa 12th.
Forestview here Friday to battle for share of first
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will face their toughest test since their opening game with Shelby when Forestview’s Jaguars come to John Gamble Stadium Friday for a 7:30 p.m. Big South Conference game. Both teams go into the contest with unbeaten 2-0 records in the Big South. With Crest and South Point also unbeaten in the BSC at this point and Stuart Cramer and Gastonia Ashbrook definite threats to anyone, Friday’s contest could have playoff implications. Forestview has shown tremendous improvement since dropping its first two games to Burns 8-6 and East Lincoln 31-17. They edged perennial Western power Freedom 13-7 in their final non-conference bout before opening Big South play with a 43-30 win over North Gaston and shutting out a talented Ashbrook eleven last week, 24-0. A very experienced team with 15 seniors and 13 juniors – many of whom have started since their freshman year - the Jaguars are strong on both offense and defense and, as usual, have a tremendous kicking game. Their defense has shown tremendous improvement each week and is averaging over two sacks per game. Their senior quarterback, Austin Parker, is 6-4 and completing a high percentage of his passes. Senior running back Camury Reid is a strong running and receiving threat with over 300 yards in both categories. Another top receiver is junior Nathan Aguilar who is averaging over 17 yards per catch. “Forestview is a very good team,” said Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd. “I think you could put us, Crest, South Point and Forestview in a hat and all have a chance to win the conference. They have a lot of seniors. I’m sure they are hungry and ready to play their best game against us.” This will be the 17th meeting between Lloyd and Forestview Coach Chris Medlin since the two left East Gaston in 2007 to take their current positions. They’ve faced each other not just in conference play, but also in state playoff games. “They lost a couple games early but they are improving each week,” Lloyd noted. “They have one of the strongest defenses and one of the best running games in the area. They have a lot of seniors and I’m sure they are hungry and ready to play their best game against us.” “This is going to be the toughest test we’ve had since the Shelby game,” Lloyd noted. “They have size and one of the strongest teams we’ve seen. This is going to be a big test, for sure.”
KM spikers blank Crest to take sole lead in BSC
Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team took over sole possession of first place in the Big South 3A Conference Thursday at Parker Gym with a 3-0 victory over Crest. The two teams went into the final game of the first round tied for the lead. The Lady Chargers gave the Lady Mountaineers a tough run in the first set, losing by just 25-22, but KM dominated after that with wins of 25-13 and 25-15. Aaliyah Byers led the way for the Lady Mountaineers with 19 kills, 10 service points and six serve receptions. Meile Songaila had 11 kills, two service points and eight serve receptions. Paige Bagwell added two kills, 35 assists and nine service points and Caroline Barber had 19 serve receptions, nine digs and three service points. Kings Mountain’s JVs were also victorious, 25-10, 25-12. Sara Kate Bridges had 14 assists, two kills, four digs and four service points. Alexa Jones had eight kills, three digs and 12 service points. London Brown had four kills, a block, five digs and four service points and Addi Peeler had 14 service points, five digs and eight serve receptions. Kings Mountain, 10-1 overall, was scheduled to host a good Ardrey Kell team in a non-conference game Monday and Hunter Huss in a Big South game Tuesday. Then, the Lady Mountaineers will hit the road for BSC games at North Gaston on September 30 and Forestview October 5. Their next home game will be October 7 against South Point.
Mountaineers rout Wildcats 56-0, Hoyle ties pass interception record
After having to punt on their first possession, Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers scored on eight of their next nine possessions and rolled to a 56-0 running clock victory over North Gaston Friday night at John Gamble Stadium. Meanwhile, the KM defense was turning the Wildcats every way but loose. They had only 30 yards total offense in each half with 20 of their second half yards coming on their last possession. “We played well, for sure,” noted Coach Greg Lloyd. “Everybody played really well but the competition ramps up this week, for sure” when the Mountaineers host a solid Gastonia Forestview eleven. KM’s offensive assault began after a Peyton Fisher punt was downed at the North Gaston nine. The visiting Wildcats were held to three and out and had to punt. KM then began the rout when Zay Smith returned the kick 34 yards to the Wildcats’ 24 yard line. A holding penalty during that run caused the Mountaineers to start on the ‘Cats 35 yard line. After a 19-yard run by Thomas Feemster and a six yard pass reception by Fisher, Robert Kendrick took a handoff from quarterback Lamont Littlejohn and scored from 10 yards out. Jaden Ellis’ point after touchdown made it 7-0 and the rout was on. The two teams traded 15-yard penalties and a sack by Seth Neal forced the Wildcats to punt from their own five yard line. The Mountaineers took just six plays to score with AJ Richardson going in from six yards out for a 14-0 lead. Two plays later, Deandre Hoyle recorded the first of his record-tying three interceptions on the night and returned it from the 50 to the North Gaston 23. Four plays later quarterback Jonah Patrick found Peyton Fisher wide open in the end zone for a 22-yard TD pass and a 21-0 lead. The Mountaineer defense held North to three and out again and after a partially blocked punt took over at the Wildcats’ 32. A 13-yard reception by Hoyle and a nine-yard rush by Smith set up AJ Richardson’s eight-yard TD run for a 28-0 lead. After the kickoff, Hoyle made his second interception on North’s first play, but North later picked off a Patrick pass. The Wildcats were able to pick up a first down and have five offensive touches, but the fifth resulted in Hoyle’s third interception at the 48 and return to the North 23. On second and six, Kendrick went 19 yards around left end to make it 35-0. (Former Mountaineers with three interceptions in a game were Chris Johnson vs. North Gaston in 1975, Petie McNeil vs. Burns in 1989 and Tyrese Crawford vs. Burns in 2011). On the Mountaineers’ first possession of the third quarter, Jake Lloyd got off a 21 yard run to the North 12. Feemster’s seven-yard TD run was called back on a holding penalty, but he got off a 10-yard run to set up a two-yard TD run by Smith. That put the running clock rule into effect. On second and eight from their own 22, the Wildcats coughed up the ball at the 17. Feemster covered the distance in two runs – the latter for a yard – and Ellis’ PAT made it 49-0. Feemster then left the game with a team-leading 75 yards on 12 carries. North was able to pick up a first down, but sophomore Bryson Brown intercepted a pass with 10:45 left in the game. Sophomore Micah Ward carried the ball four times for 33 of his 55 rushing yards. After Patrick kept it for a 10-yard gain, Ward carried it four more times for 22 yards to set up Patrick’s three-yard TD with 4:25 remaining. Max Thompson’s PAT accounted for the final 56th point. For the game the Mountaineers were perfect on extra points, with Ellis kicking six and Thompson two. North was finally able to pick up two first downs and get the ball to the KM 41 before the clock ran out.
SPORTS THIS WEEK
Wed., Sept. 22 TBA – High school cross country, Kings Mountain, Burns and Crest at Shelby. 5 p.m. - Middle school football, Burns at Kings Mountain. (Fifth quarter begins at 4:30). Thur., Sept. 23 4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Crest at Kings Mountain. 4:15 - Middle School men’s soccer, Kings Mountain at North Lincoln. 4:15 – Middle school softball, Kings Mountain at North Lincoln. 7 p.m. – High school JV football, Kings Mountain at North Gaston. Fri., Sept. 24 7:30 p.m. - High school football, North Gaston at Kings Mountain. Saturday, Sept. 25 TBA – High school cross country, Kings Mountain at Freedom Invitational. Mon., Sept. 27 2 p.m. – High school golf, all Big South teams at Kings Mountain Country Club. 3:30 – Middle school cross country, Kings Mountain, Burns and Shelby at Crest. 4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Audrey Kell at Kings Mountain. 4:15 – Middle school men’s soccer, Kings Mountain at West Lincoln. Tues., Sept. 28 4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Hunter Huss at Kings Mountain. 4 p.m. – Middle school golf, Kings Mountain and North Lincoln at West Lincoln 4:15 – Middle school men’s soccer, Burns at Kings Mountain. Wed., Sept. 29 5 p.m. – Middle school football, East Lincoln at Kings Mountain (Fifth quarter begins at 4:30).
JVs roll over Hunter Huss, at North Gaston Thursday
Kings Mountain’s JV football team returned to action for the first time in three weeks Thursday night and rolled to a 20-6 victory over the Hunter Huss Huskies at Gamble Stadium. Kings Mountain grabbed a 7-0 lead on its first possession, driving 35 yards after Jakari Roberts partially blocked a Huss punt attempt to give the Mountaineers possession on the Huss 30. After a pass interference, the Mountaineers found themselves at the Huss 15. Two plays later Thomas Fair ran nine yards for a TD, and Max Thompson added the PAT for a 7-0 lead that held up until halftime. Kings Mountain was threatening to score again late in the half but lost a fumble at the Huss 10 yard line. The Mountaineers drove 48 yards in the third quarter to take a 14-0 lead on a six-yard run by Kameron Adams. Thompson’s PAT made it 14-0. Huss answered quickly, though, and scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak to cut the margin to 14-6. Huss tried to pull off an onside kick, but KM’s CJ Houser recovered it at the 49, setting up the Mountaineers’ clinching touchdown drive. Adams and Wilson keyed a strong KM running attack and Ethan Guy had a key pass reception. Wilson scored on a 16-yard run to seal the win. Huss lost the ball on downs at the KM 16 with 3:21 left. Wilson had two carries for 17 yards and Adams added two carries for nine yards to run out the clock. The JVs are scheduled to go to North Gaston Thursday at 7 p.m.
KM opens BSC with win over Huss
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers got off to a slow start in their opening Big South Conference game Friday night at Hunter Huss, but soon heated up and rolled to a 45-6 victory. The win puts KM at 1-0 in the Big South and 3-1 overall heading into a long-awaited home game Friday at Gamble Stadium against North Gaston. After their season opening loss to Shelby at home, the Mountaineers hit the road for wins over Asheville and Burns and they had an open date before going to Huss. The Mountaineers moved the ball well all night but lost the ball on downs and had to punt on their first two possessions. But, after the defense blocked a Huss punt to gain possession on the Huss 23, the points started coming quickly. The Mountaineers built a 45-0 lead in the third period, putting the running clock rule into play. The Huskies’ only touchdown came against KM’s second unit defense. “We played pretty good on both sides of the ball,” Coach Greg Lloyd noted. “The offensive line gave us their best game of the year so far. Tykel Smith and Michael Lubas looked really good. “Our running backs ran real hard and both of our quarterbacks (Lamont Littlejohn and Jonah Patrick) did a good job.” “The defense played a solid game, too. All in all it was a good night. “We scored on several passes and did some good things. We were a little slow starting out but we played pretty decent after that. The second quarter was really good to us.” After blocking the punt, KM was penalized five yards for a false start but they scored four plays later on AJ Richardson’s one-yard burst. Jaden Ellis added the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 42.7 seconds left in the opening period. Huss was driving when KM’s Deandre Hoyle intercepted a deep pass and returned it to the KM 41. The Huss defense held, though, and Peyton Fisher got off a 50-yard punt to the Huss eight yard line. On the Huskies’ first play, Richardson tackled Quentayvious Murray for a safety and a 9-0 KM lead. “Deandre Hoyle had a very good game,” Coach Lloyd noted. “Our defense played extremely well. They got off a couple plays against us early, but we put pressure on them and created some turnovers. We had two interceptions. Michael Ward and AJ Richardson did a good job, and Zay Smith did a good job at safety. We had a lot of contributors.” After the 9-0 start, points came rapidly. The Mountaineers returned the free kick to the Huss 27. Two runs by Thomas Feemster had the Mountaineers in the end zone, and Sel Randolph threw a two-point conversion pass to Seth Neal to run the score to 17-0. Aided by a pass interference call, the Huskies were able to make it as far as the KM 29 before turning the ball over on a pass interception. Taking over on their own 25, it took the Mountaineers just three plays to score with Smith covering the final 32 yards. Ellis’ PAT made it 24-0 with 6:35 on the clock. “I thought Feemster and Smith had some really nice runs,” Lloyd noted. “It was a good all-around play by our offense.” Huss made it to the KM 49 before losing the ball on downs again. Nine plays later Hoyle took a screen pass and rambled 28 yards for a 31-0 halftime lead. After the defense held Huss to three and out to open the second half, KM took just nine plays to score on Robert Kendrick’s two-yard run for a 38-0 lead. Again, the Huskies couldn’t move the ball as they had two straight 15-yard penalties and a big sack by Richardson that put them on their own 19. A fourth down punt attempt was blocked by Jake Lloyd for a touchdown and a 45-0 lead with 4:46 left in the third period. That put the running clock rule into effect and the KM starters left the game. Huss managed to drive 63 yards for its only TD which came on a two-yard run by Javarion Brown.
Lady Patriots win fourth straight 14-2
Kings Mountain Middle School’s softball team ran its record to 4-0 last week with a 14-2 victory over East Lincoln. Maddie Huffman pitched a complete game, striking out 14 batters. It was a close game going into the fifth inning when the Lady Patriots scored 10 runs to break the game open. Huffman went 3-for-4. Ava Broome went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and an inside the park home run down the right field line. Ava Tipton and Addi Carpenter both went 2-fof-4.
KMMS runner Landon Hogston wins XC meet
Kings Mountain Middle School’s cross country team finished second in its first meet last week on the KM course, but Landon Hogston of the Patriots crossed the finish line first in 13:34.00. The Patriots scored 39 points to trail leader North Lincoln with 23. Crest ran third with 88. Other top ten finishers for the Patriots were Luke Howell, who was fourth in 14:21 and David Johnson who was ninth in 15:27. What made the difference was that North Lincoln had the other seven top ten finishers. The Patriots’ Luis Cedillo Barrera was 12th in 17:29, Nate Kaiser 13th in 17:59, Jacob Baker 14th in 18:40 and Colton Willyoung 17th in 19:18. Kings Mountain will go to Lincolnton on September 20 and will compete in the Cleveland County Meet at Shelby on September 27. All runs begin at 3:30 p.m.
Scenes from KM Vs. Hunter Huss Game
Photos by Gary Smart
Mountaineers return home to face N. Gaston Wildcats
Kings Mountain High football fans can save a little gas Friday night. After three road games against Asheville, Burns and Hunter Huss, the Mountaineers will be hosting the North Gaston Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. The Mountaineers carry a 1-0 Big South Conference and 3-1 overall record into the contest. The Wildcats, coached by Justin Clark, have yet to win a game but Coach Greg Lloyd will be cautioning his players not to take them lightly. “They are a much improved team,” Lloyd said. “They have a more balanced offense this year. They gave a really good Chase team a 10-point ball game and they put up 21 points on a really good Forestview defense last week. They are definitely better.” Barring any injuries in practice this week, the Mountaineers should go into the game at 100 percent. “It’s nice to be home for the next two weeks after being on the road so much,” Lloyd noted. This year’s Wildcat team will probably be the strongest they’ve put on the field in many years. “They are definitely better,” Lloyd noted. “They run a spread and also I-backs. They are a well-coached team that is getting better every week. They will come ready to play. “They will mix it up a lot between throws and runs,” he added. “They run a bunch of formations so we’ll have to be ready for them.” North Gaston’s quarterback, Kandon Zollo, has hit 34 of 64 passes for 406 yards so far. J.J. Gordon has rushed for 181 yards in three games and Brian Coley comes in with 14 receptions for 222 yards. Coach Clark is the son of Bruce Clark, who was an assistant coach at KMHS in the 1980’s and early 90’s and late in his career was at North Gaston where he led the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the state. This will be the first of two straight home games for the Mountaineers. A very good Forestview team will be coming to Gamble Stadium the following Friday. “It’s nice to be home for the next two weeks after being on the road so much,” Lloyd said.
Lady Mountaineers, Crest heading for BSC showdown
The Kings Mountain and Crest women’s volleyball teams appear to be heading for a showdown for first place in the Big South 3A Conference Thursday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. The Lady Mountaineers and Lady Chargers won both of their games last week and carried 3-0 Big South records into this week. Kings Mountain took care of South Point and Stuart Cramer last week with both contests ending in 3-0 victories. The Lady Mountaineers defeated South Point 25-13, 25-22, 25-15 Tuesday. Meile Songaila provided 11 service points, 11 serve receptions, seven digs and 17 kills. Paige Bagwell had seven service points and 32 assists, and Aaliyah Byers had six service points, seven serve receptions, 12 digs and 15 kills. The JVs fell 25-23, 25-23. Brooke Hamrick had six kills and three digs; London Brown seven kills, eight digs and four serve receptions; Caroline Moss eight kills, 12 service points, 10 digs and 14 serve receptions; and Sara Kate Bridges five digs and 24 assists. The varsity swept Stuart Cramer 25-15, 25-12 and 25-14 Thursday at Parker Gym, but the JVs lost again 25-16 25-9. Byers had six serve receptions, six digs, 15 kills and four service points. Songaila added 11 receptions, seven digs, 11 kills, two blocks and nine service points. Bagwell had 22 assists and 13 service points, and Jessie Ozmore had nine assists and seven service points. London Brown led the JVs with six kills, 12 service points and four digs; Caroline Moss had 10 service points and five serve receptions; Alexa Jones had eight kills, four digs and three serve receptions and Sara Kate Bridges had 16 assists and three digs.
Sports Hall of Fame induction October 9
The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church. Since no banquet was held last year because of COVID, this year’s ceremony will honor two classes, 2020 and 2021. Tickets are available from any member of the Hall of Fame committee. They are $15 each and only 250 tickets will be sold. The 2020 inductees include Jim Medlin, Joseph Bell Jr., Marquiz Williamson, Tim Riddle, Diane Williams, the 1998 KMHS track team and David Ray Robinson. The 2021 inductees are Will Wilson, Trina Hamrick and Monty Deaton.
McGills donate $10,000 In memory of Coach Bagwell
Chip and Laura McGill recently made a $10,000 donation to the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club in memory of Brent Bagwell. They designated one-third of the total to go to the KMHS volleyball team, one-third to the football program and one-third to the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club to apply toward its debt. The volleyball team purchased an Acuspike machine and serving machine to help improve their skills and keep practices running smoothly. Bagwell’s daughter plays on the Lady Mountaineer volleyball team. The football program purchased weighted tackling dummies, single sled pads and arm shields. The donation to the Touchdown Club went directly to its building fund. Brent Bagwell was a three-sport athlete at KMHS in the late 1980s, starring in football, basketball and baseball. He was a starting offensive lineman at NC State before suffering a career-ending injury. Bagwell later coached football at several colleges and also was an assistant football coach at North Gaston High School under Coach Bruce Clark. At the time of his death he was a volunteer assistant at Kings Mountain High School under Coach Greg Lloyd.
Mountaineers resume season Friday at Huss
Two young and well-rested teams hoping to make some noise in the Big South Conference will face off Friday night at 7:30 when Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers travel to Hunter Huss for both teams’ BSC opener. Huss has been idle since its August 20 opener, and the Mountaineers were idle last week after posting a 2-1 record in non-conference play. Although the Huskies lost their opener to a very good Hickory Ridge team, they have had plenty of time to rest up and work on a game plan against the Mountaineers. Their other two scheduled non-conference games were cancelled because of COVID concerns. Kings Mountain has also had time to mend some wounds since defeating Burns two weeks ago, but the Mountaineers will still be without the services of junior running back Caleb Holland who was injured in the Asheville game and still hasn’t been cleared to play. “We should be a full strength except for him,” Coach Greg Lloyd said. “His elbow still isn’t completely healed so it will be running backs by committee like it was at Burns. He took a bad shot and they want to re-evaluate him before clearing him to play. Hopefully he will be back for North Gaston next week.” Hunter Huss is probably even younger than the Mountaineers as most of their starting players are freshmen and sophomores. They have only five seniors in their starting lineup. “They’re very similar to us,” Lloyd said. “They missed some of their key guys in their first game.” The Huskies’ starting quarterback, freshman Javarion Brown, passed for 130 yards against Hickory Ridge. Junior Qualin Thompson is probably the Huskies’ top all-around athlete. He was their leading rusher and pass receiver in their opening game. Their defense was also led by freshmen as free safety Gene Neely recorded seven tackles and defensive end Quashawn Mack five tackles and a sack. “They run a 4-2-5 defense,” Lloyd noted. “They’re a fast team. They have a very good kicker.” With Holland unavailable, Robert Kendrick and Thomas Feemster shared his position in the win over Burns, and defensive line standout AJ Richardson came into the backfield in tough yardage situations and ended up being the leading rusher in a 19-14 Mountaineer win. “It will be running by committee again for us,” Lloyd said. “We’ll use multiple players.” Kings Mountain has had a well-rounded passing attack so far with quarterback Lamont Littlejohn hooking up with a host of receivers like DeAndre Hoyle, Zavion Smith, Jake Lloyd, Sel Randolph, Peyton Fisher and others. The Mountaineers have gotten good line play from Isaiah Eskridge, Tykel Smith, Michael Lubas and others, and good defense from Hoyle, Fisher, Jake Lloyd, Seth Neal, Jason Feemster and others. Lloyd said because of the heat the Mountaineers will be inside a lot this week. They got in some good practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week but Lloyd gave the players days off on Monday and Friday. “We want to stay fresh and healthy and get in a good game Friday night,” he said. The junior varsity Mountaineers will host the Huskies Thursday at 7 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. They carry a 1-1 record into the contest with a loss to Shelby and a win over Asheville. Their scheduled game with Burns was cancelled due to COVID concerns.
KM girls first, boys second In XC meet
Kings Mountain’s girls finished first and the boys second in the Ashbrook Luminary Run last week. Led by Thalia Kushman with a first place finish in 23:30, the Lady Mountaineers placed four runners in the top seven and five in the top 13 to post an impressive victory. KM finished with 29 points to far outdistance second place South Point with 55. Stuart Cramer had 70 and Forestview 71. Ashbrook, Hunter Huss and East Gaston didn’t score. The Mountaineers gave pre-season Stuart Cramer a tough race but Cramer prevailed with 34 points. KM had 48, Foretview 60, South Point 95 and Ashbrook 111. Kings Mountain did have the individual winner though, with Parker Key crossing the finish line in 18:58. Following Kushman for the Lady Mountaieners were Divinity Ervin (23:57) in third place, Brooke Waseman (25:54) in fifth, and Nicole Poston (26:52) in seventh. Other top 10 finishers for the Mountaineers were Isaiah Wood, eighth in 21:23, and Rohen Johnson, ninth in 21:24. Next up for the KM runners is the Cleveland County Championship meet September 22 at Shelby High School. KM men: 1 – Parker Key (18:58). 8 – Isaiah Wood 21:23; 9 – Rohen Johnson 21:24; 11 – Hunter Cruise 21:36; 18 Hudson Durham 32:12; 20 – Hayden Huss 32:54; 22 – Nathan Parsons 34:04; 23 – Mark Allen 36:48. KM women: 1 – Thalia Kushman 23:30; 3 – Divinity Ervin 23:57; 5 – Brooke Waseman 25:54; 7 – Nicole Poston 26:52; 13 – Parker Wilson 28:0; 16 – Sindy Ullou 28:22; 26 – Lacy Wiggins 34:45.