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Evans signs with CCC

Kings Mountain High’s Carley Evans signed yesterday to continue her track and cross country career at Cleveland Community College. She is pictured in the front row with her parents, Charles and Jennifer Evans. Back row, KMHS athletic director Matt Bridges, CCC coach Steve McCachren, KMHS coach Hailey Raza-Spearman and KMHS assistant principal Melissa Wilson.

Mountaineers finish second
in Shelby’s Easter tourney

Kings Mountain High’s Mountaineers finished second to defending state 2A champion Burns in last week’s Easter Tournament at Shelby High School
Burns led 3-1 after five innings but the Mountaineers scored three runs in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. The Bulldogs came up with two in the bottom of the seventh to claim the title.
Colton Mayes went six innings for the Mountaineers and scattered nine hits. Wesley Turner hurled the final inning.
Aidan Taylor led the KM plate attack with 2-for-4. Brayden Patrick had a double and scored two runs, Lawson Kennedy was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Tucker Cash and Kandan Zollo each had a hit.
In earlier games, the Mountaineers defeated South Caldwell 8-3 and Chase 2-1.
Zollo led the hitting against Chase with 4-for-4 and one RBI. Aidan Taylor and Luke Heavner went 2-for-4 each with an RBI. Braeden Patrick, Colton Mayes and Wesley Turner each had one hit and one RBI, and Jason Melton had a hit.
Patrick went five innings to get the win. He struck out 10.
KM swiped six bases with Anderson getting three and Melton, Taylor and Heavner one apiece.
KM Middle School tennis team
closing in on
undefeated season
Kings Mountain Middle School’s tennis team won three matches before spring break to run its record to 8-0.
The Patriots will face Burns today and Shelby on April 15 in their final regular season games.
The Patriots began their final week before spring break with an 8-1 victory over Crest.
Seanna Simon lost the #1 singles match to Caleb Pless but the Patriots swept the remaining matches.
Singles victories were led by Dominic Allen, Alice Frye, Lancon Webster, Camden Morris and Cindy Tipton.
KM swept all three doubles matches.
The Patriots swept Shelby on Wednesday 9-0. They got excellent play in the singles with #1 Seanna Simon winning 8-2.
Dominic Allen won his match 8-1, Alice Frye won 8-1 and Lancon Webster 8-3. Camden Morris won 8-0 and Cindy Tipton won 8-1.
In doubles play, Simon and Allen won 8-0, Frye and Webster 8-0 and Tipton and Morris 8-0.
The Patriots hosted last year’s championship team, Thomas Jefferson, in their final match before break.
Seanna Simon lost to Abbey Crawford, Dominic Allen won 8-1, Alice Frye won 8-1, Landon Webster won 8-5, Camden Morris lost 8-3 and Cindy Tipton lost 8-2.
After singles play the score was tied at 3-all. KM needed to win two matches to defeat the past champion and take the conference lead. Simon and Allen lost to Crawford and Burges 8-3, Frye and Webster defeated Lench and Brown 8-4, and Morris and Tipton secured the victory with an 8-0 win over Lamettas and Sousa.
Kings Mountain players feel good about their chances to go undefeated since they defeated both Burns and Shelby earlier.
If they do finish first, they will have a pass to the conference championship playoffs.
“We have had great success and support from all players who were not starters but played hard and won many exhibition matches,” said Coach Ed Guy. “Many parents have also given their support with snacks, drinks and the occasional cleaning of leaves from the courts.
“A special thanks to Jason Bridges, KMMS athletic director for his support and Adam Guy, assistant coach, who have helped me for many years. Also, Ryan Webster who has volunteered as a coach and high school players like Coby Brown, Katherine Frye, Melissa Brooks and Manoah Allen who have been a part of helping to develop this team,” Coach Guy added.
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Gastonia Baseball Club’s season opener is on April 25 at CaroMont Health Park. Photo by gogastonnc.gov

Gastonia Baseball Club’s
season opener April 25

Zawyer Sports & Entertainment announced that it has become the new management group for CaroMont Health Park. It owns and operates a new professional baseball team that will compete in the Atlantic League beginning in late April for the 2024 season.
The name of the new professional baseball team for this season is Gastonia Baseball Club. The new team is slated to open the upcoming 2024 season on April 25.
Zawyer Sports & Entertainment owns and operates several sports franchises including the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen, Savannah Ghost Pirates, Atlanta Gladiators, Allen Americans and the Tahoe Knight Monsters. Zawyer Sports & Entertainment also owns and operates ice facilities in Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL, which includes the Community First Igloo, which is the official training facility of the Jacksonville Icemen. Zawyer Sports also owns and operates 32 Degrees Marketing, which offers next-level marketing guidance, support, brand building, apparel, and promotional products.
“We are excited to provide Gastonia with family-fun entertainment while also being an active community partner,” said Zawyer Sports & Entertainment CEO Andy Kaufmann. “We would like to thank the City of Gastonia for the opportunity to usher in a new era of professional baseball in the region and grow it into a product the community will enjoy for years to come.” 
   “We are excited to welcome Zawyer to our city,” said Mayor Richard Franks. “This is a new chapter for our ballpark, and we look forward to a new season of sports and entertainment to begin.”
“We are delighted to welcome Zawyer Sports to the league as the operator of the new Gastonia Baseball Club,” said Rick White, President of the Atlantic League. “Andy Kaufmann and the entire Zawyer organization are 100 percent committed to the community of Gastonia and its residents.”
Health Park is in the heart of Gastonia and a part of the Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment (FUSE) District’s redevelopment plan. The multi-purpose stadium is the home of the Gastonia Baseball Club, with a seating capacity of 5,000.
KMHS baseball undefeated
in Big South Conference
Kings Mountain High’s baseball team remained undefeated in the Big South 3A Conference last week with big wins over the Hunter Huss Huskies.
The Mountaineers shut out the Huskies 16-0 Tuesday at Lancaster Field and took them down 17-2 Thursday at Hunter Huss. The two wins were the Mountaineers’ most lop-sided of the season thus far.
Brayden Patrick continued his early-season success on the mound by striking out 16 Huskies in six innings of work.
He also carried a big stick, getting on base in all five of his at-bats and scoring three runs.
Ky’lei Anderson went 1-for-1, scored twice and stole four bases.
Wesley Turner went 1-for-3, scored twice and stole a base.
The Mountaineers were rolling again in their final pre-Easter game Thursday at Hunter Huss, running their record to 6-0 in the Big South and 9-3 overall with a 17-8 victory.
Wesley Turner started and pitched 1 1/3 innings. Colton Mayes finished up, limiting Huss to just two hits and fanning nine over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Kings Mountain got on the board quickly with five runs in the top of the first. Huss scored both of its runs in the bottom of the inning.
Kings Mountain led 5-2 after the first inning, 8-2 after two, 10-2 after three and 17-2 after four. The game was called in the fifth on the 10-run rule.
Kings Mountain collected 13 hits. Aidan Taylor went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Brayden Paterick was 2-for-2 with five RBIs and Wesley Turner was 2-for3. Tucker Cash, Colton Mayes and Kandon Zollo added a hit apiece.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to host South Caldwell Monday night and will face a tough Big South rival North Gaston April 9 in Dallas and April 11 at Lancaster Field.

Taylor fans 16 in KM victory

Kings Mountain shutout Ashbrook 7-0 in a Big South Conference baseball game Monday at Lancaster Field.
Aidan Taylor went the distance on the mound, allowing just two hits and striking out 16.
Kandon Zollo led the hitting with two hits. Brayden Patrick, Tucker Cash, Wesley Turner and Jason Melton had a hit apiece.
KMHS men, women track teams
win shortened meet
Kings Mountain High’s track and field teams defeated Shelby and Davidson Day School in a three-team meet last week that ended after the fourth running event because of lightning.
The Mountaineers compiled 47 points to Shelby’s 29 and Davidson Day’s five.
The KM women edged Shelby 39-31 with Davidson Day third with 10.
The Lady Mountaineers were led by Alanna Snelson with a first place finish in the high jump and pole vault and Janiya Hunt with a first place in the 100 meter dash.
The Mountaineers were led by Kamari Houze with a victory in the 100 meter dash and high jump. Rodney Unnasch won the 100 high hurdles and Hunter Cruise won the pole vault.

KM golf second, Spicer shoots 68

Stuart Cramer edged Kings Mountain by two shots to win Monday’s Big South Conference golf match at Kings Mountain Country Club.
Cramer shot a 297 to KM’s 299. Crest was third at 317 followed by South Point 327, Forestview 336, North Gaston 418, host Ashbrook 424 and Hunter Huss 486.
KM’s Will Spicer was medalist with a four-under 68. Josh Gillespie shot 76, Thomas Spicer 77, Caleb Marr 78, and Baylor Benton 80.
The BSC teams will play at Lincoln Country Club Tuesday. North Gaston will be the host.

Mountaineers post 104-70 win over Forestview

  Kings Mountain High’s men’s basketball team had a game the players will remember for years Friday night when the Mountaineers slammed Forestview 104-70 in a Big South Conference bout in Gastonia.
Ten different Mountaineers took part in the scoring and six of them hit double figures.
Caleb Nixon led the way with 26 points. Bradley and Jordan Floyd scored 14 points apiece, Tucker Robinette and Kee’don Linney 11 each and Emmanuelle Toms 10. Toms’ three-pointer put the Mountaineers up 100-67 and his final field goal accounted for the final score. Bradley Floyd dished out 11 assists and pulled down eight rebounds to go with his 14 points.
The Mountaineers led all the way except for an early 2-2 tie. They were up 24-10 after the first quarter, 50-30 at the half and 74-54 going into the fourth period.
Kings Mountain’s girls weren’t as fortunate as they fell to a good Forestview team 73-46. The Forestview ladies jumped out to a 20-8 lead in the first period, extended it to 46-22 at the half and led 59-36 going into the fourth quarter.
Aaliyah Miller led the Lady Mountaineers with 14 points.
GIRLS GAME
KM (46) – Miller 14, Martin 5, Pettis 12, Byrd 7, A. Bridges 3, M. Bridges 2, Williams 1, Dixon-Velez 2.
FV (73) – Phillips 13, Baker 15, Neely 10, Iyevbele 2, Forgan 12, Thompson 6, Manning 9, Riley 6
BOYS GAME
KM (104) – Nixon 26, B. Floyd 14, J. Floyd 14, Robinette 11, Linney 11, Toms 10, Lindsay 4, Foster 8, Huskey 4, Cole 2.

KM Middle runs table in division,
in Tri-County playoffs this week

Kings Mountain Middle School’s boys basketball team finished the regular season undefeated last week with a 50-12 win over county rival Burns.
The Patriots took their perfect 12-0 record into a first round Tri-County Conference playoff game against the Crest Dragons Monday at KMMS.
The perfect season in the division was the Patriots’ third in the past five years.
Kings Mountain led from the beginning and posted 21 points before Burns scored.
Carlos Boyce got the rout going with nine first quarter points. Silas Tate and KJ Bell added four apiece and Xavier Hutchens had six assists and three steals.
KM kept up its scoring pace in the second period. Hutchens and Christian Jarrett scored five points each as the  Pats extended their lead to 39-7 at the the half.
The third quarter saw KM score nine points with Hutchens and KJ Bell scoring eight
Kings Mountain’s bench got into the action in the fourth period. Ashtun Hall scored the final two points to account for the final score.
All of the Patriots had a good game. Bell finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Carlos Boyce had 12 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Hutchens finished with nine points, four offensive rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
Christian Jarrett had seven points, six rebounds including five on offense, and blocked five shots.
Silas Tate had seven points and two steals and Ashtun Hall had two points.
KM created 20 turnovers and had only six team turnovers. The Patriots had 13 assists and 13 steals.
Offensive Player of the Week was KJ Bell with 26 points including four threes, four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Defensive Player of the Week was Christian Jarrett with 11 blocked shots and three steals.
Sixth Man of the Week was Carlos Boyce with 18 points on 8 for 11 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.


 
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KMHS Wrestling team won the NCHSAA 3A Western Regional Championship. See more photos on page 3B

KMHS wrestlers
win 3A Regional,
at State this week

Kings Mountain High School’s wrestlers won the NCHSAA 3A Western Regional championship over the weekend at Pisgah High School in Canton.
It was the first time in over 20 years that the Mountaineers won the Western title.
Jalen Culp won his weight division and was named the Regional’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. He tied the all-time KMHS single season record with an unbeaten record of 55-0. He will have a shot at setting a new career single season record this week in the State Tournament.
Second place finishers for the Mountaineers were Luis Davis, Will Varner and Elihu Lipscomb.
Javier Currie finished third and Emmanuel Ortiz fourth.
All of the above-mentioned Mountaineers will be competing in the state championship this weekend in Greensboro.

Swim Regionals and state finals

On Saturday February 3 several of Kings Mountain’s swimmers participated in the Western Regional Championship. To qualify a swimmer had to post a time in the top 24 swimmers in their region. Kings Mountain had 3 individual swimmers and 5 relays qualify.
Mason Demetro qualified for the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly. Callie Stimpson qualified for the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard butterfly. Thomas Spicer qualified for the 100 yard breaststroke.
The women’s 200 yard medley relay was made up of a team consisting of Naomi Houston, Noel George, Kallie Hope and Madisin Goble. The women also competed I the 400 freestyle relay with a team of Callie Stimpson, Madisin Goble, Naomi Houston and Noel George.
For the men the first relay was the 200 yard medley relay. Jamari Vines-Nolan, Thomas Spicer, Wynn McConaghy and Bernardo Hernandez made up the relay. The men also competed in both the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay with a team made up of Jamari Vines-Nolan, Thomas Spicer, Mason Demetro and Bernardo Hernandez.
Two swimmers qualified to compete in the State Championship on Thursday February 8. Mason Demetro competed in both the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly. Thomas Spicer qualified and competed in the 100 yard breaststroke. Demetro also qualified to compete in the State finals later that evening finishing 10th overall. 

KM’s Max Thompson second,
Zaniah Hill third in 3A state meet

Nine Kings Mountain High athletes qualified for the State Indoor Track and Field Championship and fared well in last week’s run.
Max Thompson raced stride for stride against Andrew Wahlgren from Croatan High School and came out in second place by .07 of a second.
“It was a true photo finish and a race that no one will forget for quite a while,” said Mountaineer head coach Rayvis Key. “Max set three new indoor school records this season.”
A huge surprise for the women’s team was Zaniah Field, who had an amazing 17’3.25” long jump that placed her third in the state. Her time set a new KMHS indoor record.
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BAT BOYS AND GIRLS NEEDED FOR ALWS– Applicants must be 10-12 years of age. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2024. The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 15-20.

ALWS 2024 needs
bat boys and bat girls

The American Legion World Series Executive Committee is seeking qualified students to serve as official bat boys and bat girls for the 2024 ALWS. Applicants must be 10-12 years of age. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2024. The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 15-20 at Shelby High School’s Keeter Stadium. Applications are on the American Legion World Series website and Facebook page
All applicants are required to be currently playing (2024) in an organized baseball or softball program (Little League, Dixie, City Parks and Recreation program, etc.).
Jean and Chris Horne coordinate the bat boys, bat girls and shaggers each year. Bat boys and bat girls are determined by a drawing; shaggers usually are boys and girls who have previously served as bat boys and bat girls. The Hornes contact them separately from the applicants for bat boys and bat girls.
Jean Horne says their experience is as memorable as the experiences of the boys and girls. “It’s a joy to work with people who support the ALWS cause, who are not afraid of work and who LOVE baseball.  “The players become like big brothers to some of the bat boys/girls and continue contact through social media. We hope some of these players will make it to the big leagues and that many of the bat boys’/girls’ dreams will be realized as well.”
A Bat Boy or Bat Girl has a responsibility to assist the players and coaches, and, ultimately, help speed up the game. Responsibilities include retrieving bats left in the dugout or on the field; gathering arm and shin guards that batters drop; and participating in team pregame warmups at the discretion of the coach.
The application for bat boys and bat girls is on the ALWS website: www.americanlegionworldseries.com and on the ALWS Facebook page. Questions can be directed to the ALWS office at 704-466-3103 900 AM – 5:00 PM weekdays.

KMHS tennis tryouts begin February 14

Kings Mountain High School tennis tryouts begin Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 4:30-6 p.m.
All participants need to have an updated physical on file before participating in any practices.
For more information contact Coach Rick Henderson2@duke-energy.com or text 704-460-8066.
 

Kings Mountain High’s indoor track and field team concluded its regular season at Polk County High School last week.
The men’s team was led by Barry Moore’s second place finish in the 300 meter dash and Tyler McIntyre’s second place finish in the triple jump.
KM’s Zaniah Field finished second in the long jump.
A highlight for the women’s team was Alanna Snelson’s nine-foot pole vault which not only qualified her for the state meet but was also a KMHS indoor track and field record.
The following students qualified for the 3A State Indoor Track and Field championship that will be held Saturday, Feb. 10:
Senior Zaniah Field, long jump.
Junior Alanna Snelson, pole vault.
Senior Hunter Cruise, pole vault and 800 relay.
Junior Isaiah Watts, 4x800 relay.
Junior Barry Moore, 300 meter dash.
Junior Tyler McIntyre, 55 meter hurdles.
Junior Max Thompson, 1,000 meter run and 1600 meter run.
Freshman David Johnson, 4x800 relay.
Freshman Luke Howell, 4x800 relay.

KMHS indoor track standouts
going to state meet Saturday

KMMS Patriots rout West Lincoln,
begin Tri-County playoffs this week

 Kings Mountain Middle School’s Patriots hit eight of their first 12 shots enroute to a 21-3 first quarter lead and went on to defeat the Chiefs of West Lincoln 53-11 for their 10th straight victory last week.
The Patriots, 8-0 in division play, were scheduled to host East Lincoln Monday and will face a yet to be determined opponent in the first game of the Tri-County Conference playoffs later in the week.
Silas Tate and Xavier Hutchens combined for 15 points and KJ Bell added four in the first period to get the rout going.
Hutchens kept his hot-shooting night as he scored seven more points for a game high 18. Christian Jarrett’s stellar defensive play which included six rebounds and three blocks helped the Patriots to a 37-8 halftime lead.
In the second half Braylon Brown, Tristian McCorkle and AJ Parker controlled the tempo as KM built a lead of 45-11 heading into the final quarter. Cam Houser led the Pats with four points in the fourth period and Ashtun Hall stood out on defense to help complete the rout.
Hutchens finished with 18 points on seven for eight shooting and had four rebounds and two assists.
Cam Houser had six points, two assists and two steals.
Christian Jarrett had six points, 10 rebounds, five blocked shots, two assists and two steals.
KJ Bell had four points, six rebounds and four steals.
Nemo Hogue had three points and a blocked shot.
CJ Emory, Braylin Abrams and Brylon Brown had two points apiece, Asthun Hall had an assist, Amir Parker a steal and AJ Parker three rebounds.
Tristian McCorkle had two rebounds and an assist and King Moore had two rebounds and a steal.
Kings Mountain shot 47 percent from the arc and a season-high 37 rebounds including 20 on offense.
The Patriots had 20 steals, caused 25 turnovers and had a season-low seven team turnovers. All 15 KM players have scored this year.
Offensive Player of the Week was Xavier Hutchens with 33 points on 14 for 19 shooting. He also had nine rebounds and blocked three shots; and Silas Tate who contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
Defensive Players of the Week were Christian Jarrett with 17 rebounds, six steals and six blocked shots; KJ Bell with 13 rebounds, seven steals and one blocked shot; and Cam Houser with four rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Sixth Men of the Week were Braylon Brown with four points, five rebounds and four assists, AJ Parker with two points and three rebounds and Nemo Hughes with six points.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to host East Lincoln Monday and will host a semifinal playoff game later in the week. Game time is 5 p.m.

Big fourth quarter lifts KM
over Hunter Huss 71-66

 

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Hunter Huss Huskies 71-66 Friday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium and maintain their second place tie with Ashbrook in the Big South 3A Conference.
With victories in their remaining games the Mountaineers could move up to sole possession of second place in the league and improve their chances of having some home games in the post-season playoffs. Heading into last night’s action against North Gaston the Mountaineers and Ashbrook were 7-3 in in the BSC and two games behind first place Crest at 9-1.
The Huskies held the upper hand most of the first half, though not by much. They were up 21-16 after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 33-30 advantage.
Huss led 51-45 heading into the final quarter but the Mountaineers were hot on offense and very stingy on defense. They outscored the Huskies 26-15.
KM was down 54-53 with just under five minutes remaining when Coach Andrew Fann called time. When the Mountaineers returned to the floor sophomore guard Tucker Robinette canned a three-pointer to give the Mountaineers a 56-54 lead and they were never headed.
A Bradley Floyd field goal and free throw put the home team up 61-56 but Huss answered at the three-minute mark to get within 61-59. The Huskies were still within striking distance at 64-61 with 1:35 remaining. Trailing 66-61 with 42 seconds left, the Huskies were forced into a fouling situation. KM was able to extend its lead to 71-64 and Huss scored at the buzzer to account for the final margin.
Floyd finished with 23 points, hitting 9 of 14 field goals for 64 percent accuracy. He hit two of three three-point attempts. Robinette hit 7 of 11 field goals, also 64 percent. The Mountaineers also turned in an outstanding defensive effort against a strong Huss offense. Floyd had 12 rebounds and Nixon six.
Kings Mountain hit eight of 20 shots from three-point range, led by Robinette with 3 of 6 and Floyd with 2 of 3.
Hunter Huss won the girls game 72-19. Avery Bridges led the Lady Mountaineers with nine points.
Kings Mountain has two remaining regular season home games – Wednesday against non-conference foe Shelby and February 13 against BSC rival South Point. KM goes to Forestview on February 9 and Crest for the final regular season game on February 16.
GIRLS GAME
KM (19) – Martin 2, Pettis 4, Byrd 2, A. Bridges 9, M. Bridges 2.
Huss (72) – Graham 6, Harris 11, Griffin 9, Swann 16, Hoover 18, Love 4, Camp 6, Sanders 2.
BOYS GAME
KM (71) – Robinette 19, Lindsay 2, Nixon 18, B. Floyd 23, Linney 4, Huskey 2, J. Floyd 3.
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Aliyah Robertson with a two-point jump shot. (Photo wwKM Family YMCA)
KM Family YMCA Winter Basketball Week 5 scores
By Heath Walker

Kings Mountain Family YMCA finished its fifth week of basketball games and posted the following scores:

February 3, 2024

5-6 Co-Ed Division
Team Campbell 22 vs Team Trull 34
Team Campbell – Korrie Gilles 2 points
Team Trull – Braxton Oliver 8 points

Team Bridges 24 vs Team Higley 24
Team Bridges – Prince Shipp 8 points
Team Higley –Landen Price 22 points

7-8 Boys Division
Team Burgess 40 vs Team McLeymore 14
Team Burgess – Kolton Beaver 6 points
Team McLeymore – Jayden Lamb 12 points

Team Mo 10 vs Team Campbell 14
Team Mo – Charlie Clark 4 points
Team Campbell – Kayden Jones 2 points

7-9 Girls Division
Team Robertson 22 vs Ruby C Hunt 26
Team Robertson – Emma Saenz 6 points

9-10 Boys Division
Team Halk 14 vs Team Benedict 13
Team Halk – Jaxon Thompson 3 points
Team Benedict –Darryl Lewis III 2 points

Team Campbell 18 vs Team Price 20
Team Campbell – Jackson 7 points
Team Price –Know Toney 9 points

10-12 Girls Division
Team Surratt 37 vs Ruby C Hunt 3
Team Surratt – Maliyah Surratt 4 points

11-12 Boys Division
Team Bridges 15 vs Team Gaines 35
Team Bridges – Easton Wade 8 points
Team Gaines –Cheyann Cannedy 8 points

Team Villegas 7 vs Team Wright 36
Team Villegas – Jose Tinoco 4 points
Team Wright – Dylan Holland 6 points

13-15 Boys Division
Team Thacker 21 vs Team Villegas 24
Team Thacker – Javan Erwin 9 points
Team Villegas – Will Bridges 7 points

Team Mo 31 vs Team Bell 35
Team Mo – Skylar Garner 6 points
Team Bell –Jaylen Tate 15 points

16-18 Boys
Team Campbell 77 vs Team Mo 76
Team Campbell – Will Spicer 17 points
Team Mo – Jayden Byers 17 points

 

KM Middle closing in on division championship

Kings Mountain Middle School’s boys basketball team opened  a two-game lead in the chase for the Tri-County East Division title last week with an impressive 56-28 victory over second place Lincolnton.
The win gave the Patriots a 6-0 division record and 8-0 overall mark heading into their last four regular season games. They are almost assured of first place in their division heading into the post-season championship playoffs.
The Patriots were scheduled to host North Lincoln Monday.
Veteran KM coach Shane Cole called the first half of the Lincolnton game “one for the ages.”
The Patriots came out flat as they turned the ball over on their first two possessions to go down 5-0. After a time out, the Patriots rallied with six straight points. KJ Bell’s first of five three-point goals gave the Pats a 6-5 lead.
The quarter ended 8-all.
The second quarter was a see-saw battle as neither team could pull away. With the Wildcats up 12-8, Bell continued his hot shooting from deep as he connected on three more threes to keep the game tied at 19-all at intermission.
After halftime the Patriots turned it up on defense and caused seven turnovers, and their offense also got going. Xavier Hutchens hit the first of two and ones in the quarter and Silas Tate made three threes to help build a 36-21 lead in the first 2 ½ minutes and the Patriots never looked back. Christian Jarrett had five rebounds and Hutchens had there assists as KM outscored Lincolnton 23-3 to take a 42-22 lead into the final period.
Hutchens, Bell and Tate combined for 13 points to help seal the deal for the KM five as they outscored Lincolnton 23-3 in the final period. The defense limited Lincolnton to just nine second half points.
Tate finished with 16 points on 6 for 10 shooting. He hit three three-point shots, dished out three assists and had four steals on defense.
KJ Bell hit five of 10 threes and finished with 15 points and three rebounds.
Xavier Hutchens had 12 points on 5 for 7 shooting. He had four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Christian Jarrett hit 3 of 5 shots for six points and also had six rebounds and three steals.
Cam Houser had four points and three assists, Braylon Brown two points and one assist and Carlos Boyce one point and three rebounds.
KM hit 50 percent (14 of 28) of their shots from inside the arc and was 8 for 17 from three-point range.
The Patriots had 12 assists and 4 steals, caused 21 turnovers and committed only 10 turnovers.
Offensive Players of the Week:
-Silas Tate, 32 points, hitting 12 of 20 shots from the field and eight steals on defense.
-Xavier Hutchens, 20 points on 9 for 12 shooting from the field and 9 for 10 inside the arc; nine assists and seven steals.
-KJ Bell, 21 points with five threes made, eight rebounds and seven steals.
Defensive Player of the Week was Cam Houser with five assists and three steals.
Sixth Men of the Week were Carlos Boyce with seven points and Braylon Brown with five.

Patriots rout Burns to remain undefeated

Kings Mountain Middle School’s Patriots jumped on the Burns Eagles early in a 54-19 win last week to run their record to 5-0 in the conference and 7-0 overall.
Led by Carlos Boyce with four points, Xavier Hutchens with four and Silas Tate with five, the Patriots ran out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Six different players scored during the period.
After an eight-point run by the visiting team to cut the difference to 14, KM’s Cam Houser hit four points and a suffocating defense held Burns as the Patriots took a 38-10 lead into halftime.
KM turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and held the Eagles scoreless. KJ Bell contributed four points as the Patriots increased their lead to 47-10.
The fourth period saw Tate score seven of his team high 16 points. He hit six of 10 shots and had four steals.
Cam Houser added 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting and had two assists and two steals.
Xavier Hutchens hit four of five shots for eight points to go with five assists and four steals.
KJ Bell had six points, five rebounds and six steals.
Carlos Boyce scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting.
Christian Jarrett had three points and two assists, Braylon Brown three points and Amir Parker two points.
KM hit 15 for 23 shots for a 65 percent shooting night inside the paint.
The Patriots had 20 steals with Hutchens and Tate combining for 13 of them. The Patriots also had 14 assists and caused 26 turnovers.

KM falls to Crest,
defeats Cramer

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers suffered a tough 79-78 loss to first place Crest but rebounded with a 69-39 win over Stuart Cramer last week.
The Mountaineers led the Chargers 36-33 at halftime but a 23-15 run by the Chargers gave them some breathing room before the Mountaineers came back to outscore them 29-23 in the final eight minutes to almost pull off the victory.
The Mountaineers placed four players in double figures with sophomore Bradley Floyd leading the way with 24 points. Tucker Robinette and Caleb Nixon added 15 apiece and Kee’don Linney 13.
Floyd had nine rebounds and Linney and Nixon had eight each.
Crest won the girls game 57-21.
The Mountaineers dominated Stuart Cramer from the opening tip, 68-39.
Bradley Floyd had his typical all-around great game with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Caleb Nixon added 14 points and Tucker Robinette 10. Ten different Mountaineers got in on the scoring.
The Mountaineers were just as powerful on defense as they held every Cramer player under double digits. Makhi Brown led the Storm with eight points.
The Mountaineers were scheduled to face a hot  Gastonia Ashbrook five last night and will host Hunter Huss Friday and North Gaston Tuesday.
GIRLS GAME
 Crest (57) – Allen 4, Blackwell 24, Freeman 2, Faulkner 2, Hayes 12, Smith 3, Davis 10.
KM (21) - Martin 2, Pettis 2, Byrd 2, A. Bridges 7, M. Bridges 4, Williams 2, Ford 2.

BOYS GAME
KM (78) – Robinette 15, Nixon 15, B. Floyd 24, Linney 13, J. Floyd 9, Foster 2.
GIRLS GAME
SC (76) – McDowery 4, Hall 6, Womack 7, Holland 47, McGinnis 4, Humphrey 4, Floyd 4.
KM (19) – Miller 3, Martin 2, Pettis 2, Wooten 2, M. Bridges 6, Ford 4.
BOYS GAME
KM (68) – Robinette 10, Lindsay 1, Nixon 14, Floyd 23, Linney 4, J. Floyd 3, Toms 3, Foster 6, Huskey 2, Cole 2.
SC (39) – Jordan 5, Robbs 2, Littlejohn 7, Fortenberry 1, Alexander 2, Cross 3, Stowe 4, Sykes 7, Brown 8.

 
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Kings Mountain High’s McKenzie Taylor has signed to continue cheerleading at Mars Hill University. She is pictured in the front row with her father Stuart Taylor, mother Jennifer Taylor and nieces and nephews. Back row, assistant principal Trey Robinson, her brother Aidan Taylor, sister Alyssa Smith, coach Sara McComas and athletic director Matt Bridges.

McKenzie Taylor signs to continue cheerleading at Mars Hill

Kings Mountain High’s McKenzie Taylor has signed to continue cheerleading at Mars Hill University. She is pictured in the front row with her father Stuart Taylor, mother Jennifer Taylor and nieces and nephews. Back row, assistant principal Trey Robinson, her brother Aidan Taylor, sister Alyssa Smith, coach Sara McComas and athletic director Matt Bridges.

2024 Conference
swim meet Finals

The Big South Conference championship was held Friday at Kings Mountain’s Neisler Natatorium. Forestview took the top spot with a combined team score of 593. South Point finished second with a score of 510 and Kings Mountain took third place with a combined score of 309. The rest of the combined team scoring was: Stuart Cramer 284, Crest 195, Hunter Huss 142, North Gaston 101 and Ashbrook 46.
Conference swimmers of the year were also rewarded. On the girls’ side, Arden Pallozzi and Ila Turner, both from South Point, shared the award. On the boys’ side three Forestview swimmers were awarded swimmer of the year, Andrew Taylor, William Peyton and Beckett Tabor.
Kings Mountain was well represented in the meet. Mason Demetro received all-conference  honors for finishing second in both the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:54.98 and the 100 Butterfly with a time of 56.00. For the ladies, Callie Stimpson won the 100 Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:14.51 which also earned her All-Conference honors.
Medals were given to the top three finishers in each event. Medalist for Kings Mountain were, Demetro for 200 free and 100 butterfly, Stimpson for the 100 butterfly and the 200 yard freestyle, and Thomas Spicer for the 100 yard breaststroke.
Kings Mountain has four senior swimmers who swam their last home meet. Callie Stimpson, Mason Demetro, Caleb Marr and Turner Brown all had good performances.
While the season is over for most swimmers, there are several who have qualified for the West Regional swim meet this Saturday at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center in Charlotte. Mason Demetro will compete in the 100 yard Butterfly and the 200 Yard Freestyle. Callie Stimpson will be competing in the 100 Yard Butterfly and Thomas Spicer has earned an automatic bid to the 100 Yard Breaststroke. The boys team also earned automatic bids for the 200 Yard Medley Relay, the 200 Yard freestyle Relay and the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay. The ladies have also qualified for the 400 Relay.

KM men beat Jaguars but lose at South Point

 Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers split a pair of Big South 3A Conference games last week, defeating Forestview 93-43 Tuesday at Parker Gym and losing to South Point 84-81 Friday in Belmont.
 The locals were scheduled to host Crest last night in their final Big South first round games. Shelby will be here Wednesday and Stuart Cramer Friday and KM goes to Gastonia Ashbrook on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
 Bradley Floyd led the Mountaineers in last week’s contest, hitting 17 in the win over Forestview and 24 in the loss at South Point.
Three other Mountaineers – Tucker Robinette with 13, Charlie Foster with 12 and Jordan Floyd with 10 – also hit double figures as the Mountaineers improved their Big South record to 4-1 and overall mark to 10-3.
 They ran into a hot South Point squad in Belmont and dropped to 4-2 in the league heading into a game last night at home against first place Crest. They host Shelby in a non-conference battle Wednesday and Stuart Cramer comes to town Friday. The locals hit the road again January 30 at Gastonia Ashbrook and will be back in Parker Gym Tuesday, Feb. 6 against North Gaston’s Wildcats.
 The Lady Mountaineers lost both of their games last week, falling to Forestview 63-19 and South Point 61-20.
 Mia Bridges scored 10 to lead the scoring against South Point. The Lady Raiders led 20-4 after the first period, 40-16 at the half and 55-16 going into the fourth period.

BOYS GAMES
 KM (81) – Floyd 24, Robinette 19, Linney 16, Nixon 10, J. Floyd 6, Huskey 2, Foster 2, Lindsay 2.
 SP (84) – Bradley 22, Kines 16, Williams 14, Harris 12, Petty 10, Woods 6, Hunt 2.
KM (93) – B. Floyd 17, Robinette 17, Foster 12, Floyd 10, Linney 9, Huskey 8, Lindsay 8, Toms 7, Nixon 5, Maddox 2, Cole 2.
FV (43) – Helton 19, Aguiliar 9, Crisp 6, Young 5, Kendrick 2. Thompson 2.

GIRLS GAMES
 KM (20) – Martin 2, Pettis 4, A. Bridges 4, M. Bridges 10.
 SP (61) – M. Frank 10, Birtwhistle 6, C. Frank 15, Wallace 4, Hube 6, French 9, Risk 2, Graham 8, Kelly 1.
 KM (19) – Miller 3, Pettis 3, Byrd 6, Williams 1, Symonds 1, Dixon-Velez 1, Fleming 2, Ford 2.
 FV (63) – Phillips 10, Baker 5, Neely 11, Dunch 2, Ivevbele 3, Ferguson 14, Thompson 6, Johnson 2, Anthaony 2, Springs 4, Riley 4.
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Bernardo Hernandez and Maynor Lopez

KMHS swim team wins BIG at
Cleveland County Annual Swim meet

On Friday January 16, Kings Mountain hosted the annual Cleveland County Swim meet. All four county schools participated. All four schools were well represented and each had standouts in different events, however, Kings Mountain came out the big winner on the night edging out Shelby with a combined team score of 478 to 474. Final scores for the boys’ teams were KM-285, Shelby -273, Crest 69.5 and Burns 67.5. On the ladies side Crest was the winner with a score of 298. Shelby finished second with a 201, Kings Mountain finished with a 193 and Burns finished with a 106.
The night got started with the 200 yard medley relay. Shelby’s ladies, consisting of Ella Hensley, Abby Haydon, Addie Walker and Leanne McDowell, won the event with a time of 2:20.86. Crest finished second and KM finished Third.
In the boys medley relay KM finished strong with a 2:00.83 to take the victory. KM team members included Turner Brown, Thomas Spicer, Mason Demetro and Caleb Marr. Shelby finished second in the event.
Reese Gettys from Crest won the 200 freestyle event for the girls with a time of 2:22.0 and Mason Demetro from KM won the boys event with a time of 2:03.88.
The 200 yard individual medley was won by Kateley Canipe from Crest and Garrett Urash from Shelby.
The 50 yard freestyle saw defending state champion Alexandra Tysinger from Burns turn in a time of 25.03 to take the top spot. Turner Brown from Kings Mountain won the boys race with a time of 27.99.
The 100 Yard butterfly was also won by Burn’s Tysinger followed closely by Callie Stimpson from KM. On the boy’s side Miles Gragg from Shelby took the top spot just ahead of Demetro from KM.
Addie McMurry from Crest and Nick Sanchez from Crest won the 100 yard freestyle in their respected classes.
In the 500 yard freestyle Addie Walker from Shelby came in first with Tianna Kaiser, Kallie Hope and Katherine Frye from KM all turning in good times. On the boys’ side Trey Goforth from Shelby took the top spot ahead of Hunter Ruppe and Wynn McConaghy from KM. Maynor Lopez from Km finished fifth.
The KM boys once again showed their dominance ion the relays by winning the 200 yard Freestyle Relay. Marr, Spicer, Brown and Demetro turned in a time of 1:52.01 for the win. On the girls’ side Crest finished first, Shelby second and KM third.
The 100 yard backstroke had Shelby girls taking the top 2 spots in Addie Walker and Ella Hensley. For the boys Troy Spangler from Burns finished first followed by Turner Brown and Caleb Marr from KM.
The 100 yard Breaststroke was taken by Abby Haydon from Shelby followed by Callie Stimpson from KM. Miles Gragg and Garrett Urash from Shelby took the top spots followed by Thomas Spicer from KM in the boys’ race.
The last race of the night was the 400 yard freestyle relay. Shelby took both the girls and boys races with a time of 4:44.27 and 4:18.41. Kings Mountain boys finished second with a team consisting of Bernardo Hernandez, Hunter Ruppe, Wynn McConaghy and Maynor Lopez.
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KMHS WRESTLING TEAM

KM second, Culp MVP in Big South wrestling tournament

Kings Mountain High’s wrestling team finished second to North Gaston in the individual conference championship tournament Saturday.
The Wildcats compiled 173.5 points to KM’s 173.
KM’s Jaelen Culp was named the most outstanding wrestler.
Kings Mountain got first place finishes from Luis Davis, Will Barner, Jaelen Culp and Ja Currie.
Lucas Davis finished second and Braedon Jones, Kamari Coleman, Chance Habel and Donovan Cavender were third.
Kings Mountain will be wrestling in the first and second rounds of the dual team state tournament on Saturday.
The Western Regional individual tournament will be February 9-10 at Pisgah High School and the individual state championship will be February 15-17 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
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Coach Shane Cole

KM Middle defeats West Lincoln
to give Coach Shane Cole 100 wins

Kings Mountain Middle School’s Patriots rolled over West Lincoln 58-18 last week to give head coach Shane Cole his 100th victory.
The Patriots jumped all over West 13-2 and never looked back in posting their fifth straight win of the season.
Christian Jarrett led the way with eight points during the first quarter as the Patriots rolled to a 21-4 advantage.
The second quarter saw the Patriots pick up the defensive tempo. KJ Bell and Xavier Hutchens combined for several steals and Silas Tate pitched in with seven of his game-high 16 points for a 41-12 halftime lead.
KM’s offense stalled a bit in the third as the home team only scored six points, but the Patriots kept up their defensive intensity by limiting West to four.
King Moore and Ashtun Hall got in on the scoring to pace the KM squad with a combined four points in the fourth period as the Patriots completed the blowout.
Silas Tate finished with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting and also had two steals. Christian Jarrett hit five of nine shots for 10 points and hauled down three rebounds.
Xavier Huchens had nine points on 3 for 4 shooting, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
KJ Bell scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and had five steals.
King Moore scored four points and had three rebounds. Ashtun Hall had four points on 2-for-2 shooting, Brylon Brown three points and three assists, Amir Parker three points, Cam Houser two points and AJ Parker three rebounds, one assist and a steal.
KM shot 18 of 34 (53 percent) inside the arc and had 16 steals. The defense caused 26 turnovers while the KM offense had just seven turnovers. The KM bench scored 16 points.

 
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Erik Solberg

Solberg appointed head coach
for women's soccer at GWU

Gardner-Webb President Dr. William M. Downs has named Erik Solberg the next head coach of the GWU women’s soccer program, the Department of Athletics announced on Friday, Jan. 12. Solberg joins GWU after four seasons as the head coach at the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff (UAPB).
“Our Women’s Soccer team deserves a leader who is committed to sharpening the competitive skills of each and every student-athlete, and Coach Erik Solberg has demonstrated his dedication to player development throughout his entire career,” praised Downs. “When we interviewed Solberg for the position, I heard three important pledges: first, he promised to outwork anyone; second, he promised to leverage GWU’s facilities and resources to ensure that his teams compete at the very top of the Big South Conference on a yearly basis; and, third, he dared to envision leading his Runnin’ Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Exceptional effort, unquestioned integrity, and limitless ambition … those are the qualities that distinguish Erik Solberg and that made him our top choice.”
   At UAPB (2020-2023), Solberg steadied a program after being named the Golden Lions’ sixth different head coach in an eight-year span. By his third season in Pine Bluff, Solberg led UAPB to a 9-11 overall record, its best season since 2016, and a 4-4-1 conference record, the program’s best record in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play since 2015. The 2022 season opened with a 1-0 victory over Arkansas State University, the program’s first win over a Division I foe outside of conference play since 2011.
In 2023, the Golden Lions again finished with nine wins, completing the program’s best two-year stretch since 2010-2011. This past season, Solberg’s Golden Lions led the SWAC in scoring, finishing 18th-nationally in total goals (49) and 20th-nationally in goals per game (2.33).
   During his tenure at UAPB, Solberg coached 12 all-conference players, including a SWAC Offensive Player of the Year (2022), Defensive Player of the Year (2023), and Freshman of the Year (2022), with eight SWAC Player of the Week recognitions.
Solberg is the only head coach in UAPB history to lead his team to four consecutive SWAC Tournament appearances. In each of Solberg’s four seasons at UAPB, the Golden Lions outperformed their preseason ranking.
“Erik is a highly respected Division I head coach, and an incredibly hard worker, with a positive can-do attitude that will inspire our team and unite our community behind this women’s soccer program,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Andrew T. Goodrich.
   Prior to Pine Bluff, Solberg was the head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University for one season (2019), where he led the Rangers to a 7-10-1 record, doubling their win total from the previous season and posting the program’s highest win total since becoming a full NCAA Division II member. Four of Solberg’s players earned all-conference recognition, including the Newcomer of the Year, as Northwestern Oklahoma posted its highest point total in conference play since 2004.
Solberg brings eight years of head coaching experience to Boiling Springs, having previously spent three seasons at Division III East Texas Baptist University (2016-2018), where he went 27-21-7. In 2017, Solberg led the Tigers to a program-record 13 wins, including an upset victory over NCAA Division I Alcorn State University. Under his leadership, two Tigers earned all-region honors and 17 players were named all-conference selections, including the American Southwestern Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.
   Prior to his time at East Texas, Solberg was an assistant coach at East Central University (2014-2015). He also served one season as a volunteer assistant at Nicholls State University (2013).
A native of Arlington Heights, Ill., Solberg was a student-athlete at the University of Mississippi, competing at the varsity level on the track and field and cross-country teams and scoring for the Rebels at the 2009 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Cross Country Championships. He was named to the SEC Honor Roll for the 2009-10 season and, during a season of graduate eligibility at Southeastern Louisiana University, was named to the Southland Conference Honor Roll.
“I’m truly honored and blessed to be named the head women’s soccer coach at Gardner-Webb University,” Solberg asserted. “I’d first like to thank President Downs, Dr. Goodrich, and Coach Scott Wells for entrusting me with the privilege of leading this program. It was immediately apparent in the interview process that Gardner-Webb is a special, tight-knit place with a clear vision for success and deep investment in athletics, academics, and spiritual life such that I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I’d also like to say thank you to my family, especially my wife, Shelby, for their steadfast support, sacrifice, and encouragement.”
He continued, “Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to Chris Peterson, Chris Robinson, and the rest of the UAPB administration for giving me the opportunity to lead that program, as I’m tremendously proud of what we built together.”
Solberg takes over as the seventh head coach in Gardner-Webb program history. He holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Ole Miss (’12) and a Master’s of Education with a concentration in sports administration from East Central (’15). Solberg and his wife Shelby have two sons, Hayes and Harris. “My family and I are excited to be part of the Cleveland County community, and usher in a new era of Bulldog Women’s Soccer,” Solberg pledged. “I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish together.”
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Mountaineers beat Huss and North Gaston,
BSC leader Crest Chargers here January 23

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers resumed Big South 3A Conference basketball action last week with wins over Hunter Huss 66-52 and North Gaston 80-54.
The Mountaineers were scheduled to host the Forestview Jaguars last night and will travel to South Point on Friday. They face West Charlotte at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Hopewell Invitational Tournament and will host current BSC leader Crest on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
The Mountaineers basically held the lead all night against last week’s opponents.
They went up 21-17 over Huss in the first quarter before the Huskies rebounded and took a 36-35 lead into the halftime break. KM came back to lead 45-42 after the third period and outscored the Huskies 21-10 in the fourth to win going away.
J’Mun Huskey led the Mountaineers with 17 points and Bradley Floyd added 12. Trimmell Dunlap led the Huskies with 17.
The Mountaineers had three men in double figures and nine different players to score in their rout of North Gaston.
Bradley Floyd led the way with 23 points. Caleb Nixon added 18 and Kee’donn Linney 14 as the Mountaineers ran their record to 3-1 in the Big South and 9-3 overall. Heading into last night’s action the Mountaineers were tied with Ashbrook for second place. Crest leads the race with a perfect 4-0 BSC record and 9-1 overall mark.
The Lady Mountaineers saw their record drop to 0-4 in the BSC and 0-10 overall with losses of 45-36 to North Gaston and 58-14 at Huss.
The powerful Huss ladies stormed to a 16-2 first quarter lead and were up 37-6 at the half and 53-11 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Mountaineers played probably their best game of the year against North Gaston. They trailed by just 14-12 after the first period, 18-16 at the half and 33-29 going into the fourth period. Bridges led the scoring with 11 points and Martin had 10.
It was North Gaston’s first conference win.
BOYS GAMES
KM (80) – B. Floyd 23, Nixon 18, Linney 14, Cole 7, Lindsay 5, Foster 4, J. Floyd 4, Robinette 3, Huskey 2.
NG (54) – Carothers 16, Lattimore 15, Howard 10, Hill 7, Burris 2, Guerrero 2, Huggins 2.
KM (66) – Huskey 17, B. Floyd 12, Robinette 9, Linney 8, Nixon 6, J. Floyd 6, Lindsay 5, Foster 3.
HH (52) – Dunlap 17, Gladden 9, Pattis 6, Duff 6, Phillips 6, Barnette 5, Falls 3.
GIRLS GAMES
KM (36) – Martin 10, A. Bridges 11, Wooten 9, Williams 2, Dixon-Velez 1, Fleming 2, Ford 1.
NG (45) – Arrowood 7, Thomas 2, Littlejohn 19, Brown 17.
KM (14) – Martin 2, Wooten 5, Williams 5, Dixon-Velez 2.
HH (58) – Harris 8, Swann 11, Hoover 27, Camp 7, Love 4.
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L-R: Betty Carrigan, Tony Berry, Larry Hamrick Jr, Robert Queen, CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst, Board of Trustees Chair Bill Turpish, and CCC Foundation Board of Directors Chair Steve Padgett. (Photos by Alan Hodge)

Ribbon Cutting celebrates renovated CCC Yetis Gym

By Alan Hodge

Last Saturday, January 13, 2024, saw Cleveland Community College celebrate the grand opening of its newly renovated Yetis gym with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The atmosphere inside the gleaming gym was electric with excitement. In addition to the ribbon cutting, two thrilling basketball games took place that saw the CCC Yetis men’s and women’s teams take on the Bryant & Stratton College (Va) Bobcats. The Yetis women fell 55-84 and the men won 100-79.
The ribbon cutting took place between the games. The ribbon cutting was the culmination of work that has transformed the gym from a ho-hum space to a state of the art athletic and other activities edifice.
Extensive work was completed in the gym last year, most notably the installation of new hardwood flooring featuring the Yeti head. In addition, new locker rooms were built for both home and visitor teams, new flooring was installed on the walking track and a new Yeti Club room was constructed.
Much of the work was done by CCC’s maintenance staff with help from a few contractors.
CCC public relations/media spokesperson Paula Vess woman explained the evolution of the gym.
“In 2021, the first phase of the Yeti Athletics Complex was completed with the construction of a new baseball field. A new softball field was completed a little more than a year later. The softball field was finished during the off-season in 2022, and we held a grand opening in February 2023.
The Board of Trustees approved adding volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball in May 2022, which created the need to completely renovate the gym. At the time, the gym floor was covered in carpet, there were no bleachers, and although there were men’s and women’s locker rooms next to the gym, they weren’t equipped to meet the needs of competitive teams and there was no visitor locker room.”
Key spaces in the gym are named in honor of key CCC personalities and loved ones.
The named spaces in the gym are: The Chloe and Gracie Langley Scoreboard was named by Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Allen Langley to honor his daughters. The Joe and Terri King Scoreboard was named by Trustee Wayne King to honor his parents. The King Family Locker Room (home team locker room) was named by Trustee Wayne King to honor his family. The Berry Family Yeti Club Room was named by Trustee Tony Berry to honor his family. The Charles Carrigan Memorial Wall was named by Trustee Betty Carrigan in memory of her husband.
Several dignitaries shared their thoughts on the new gym project. Remarks were rendered by CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst, Board of Trustees’ Chair Bill Turpish, Cleveland Community College Foundation Board of Directors Chair Steve Padgett, and the donors who named several features in the gym.
 “This journey began in spring 2022 when the Board of Trustees approved adding women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball, along with track and field and eSports,” said Hurst. “A year ago, this gym looked drastically different, Now, the gym is filled with athletes, excitement and cheering fans. It brings new life to our campus. Today, we celebrate an historical occasion with the gym’s grand opening.”
Padgett thanked those who contributed to the gym project.
“It was the great generosity of the donors who made this possible,” he said.
Langley spoke about the impact the new gym will have.
“This is an investment in all of our students,” he said.
King added his thoughts on the forward thinking that made the gym happen.
“It’s amazing what happens when people have a vision,” he said. “The sky is the limit for this institution.”
Overall, the day was an upbeat milestone in the ever-evolving growth of CCC and the positive impact it has on our region.

KMHS adds state
qualifiers at
‘indoor’ track and field meet

Kings Mountain High hosted an indoor track and field meet outside Thursday, calling it the Polar Bear Meet.
Nine teams participated in the event.
Kings Mountain added to its list of state qualifiers.
For the men’s team, Hunter Cruise, Isaiah Watts, David Johnson and Max Thompson ran an 8:39 4x800 relay to qualify for the 3A state championship.
For the women’s team, Zaniah Field won the long jump with a state qualifying jump of 16’6”.
Other first place finishes included Max Thompson in the 1000, 1600 and 3200; Barry Moore in the 300 meter dash and long jump, the 4x200 team consisting of Barry Moore, Darreon Dixon-Velez, Josiah Hill and Malcolm Carter, Hunter Cruise in the pole vault and Tyler McIntyre in the 55 meter high hurdles.
In addition to Zaniah Field’s first place in the long jump, other Lady Mountaineers first place finishes included Jaylee Woodward in the high jump, Alanna Snelson in the pole vault and the 4x200 meter relay team of Princess Strain, Alyssa Deal, Kienna Ellis and Brooke Waseman.
The indoor track and field Mountaineers will be back in action in a “true” indoor facility, JDL Fasttrack in Winston Salem on Thursday.

Patriots beat Lincolnton, North Lincoln to go 4-0

Kings Mountain Middle School’s basketball team won two more games last week to run its record to 4-0.
The Patriots opened division play with a 60-48 win over the Wildcats of Lincolnton.
The KM offense got off to a scorching start, scoring 24 points in the first period. Silas Tate scored seven of his 11 points as he led seven Patriot scorers as the Patriots built a 24-15 lead.
The Patriots were led by Christian Jarrett, who scored six of his game-high 14 points to extend KM’s lead to 39-24 at the half.
During the third quarter, KJ Bell connected on back-to-back threes to help give the Patriots a 49-31 lead heading into the final period.
KM led by as many as 24 points, led by Xavier Hutchens and Tristan McCorkle who combined for seven points enroute to the victory.
Jarrett led the Patriots with 14 points, eight rebounds (including seven offensive) and hitting six of eight shots. KJ Bell had 13 points, five rebounds, four steals and was 5-for-10 shooting.
Silas Tate had 11 points on 4 for 8 shooting to go with six rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
Xavier Hutchens scored six points to go with two assists and a steal; Cam Houser four points and three rebounds; Carlos Boyce four points and four rebounds; Braylon Brown four points and Tristian McCorkle three.
KM had 32 rebounds, hit 18 of 33 shots inside the arc, 11 steals and 11 assists and hit 9 of 11 free throws.
KM’s second division game of the week saw the Patriots face a scrappy North Lincoln team. KM’s offense again got off to a torrid start by scoring 21 points in the opening quarter.
KM was led by Christian Jarrett who scored seven of his 18 points in the quarter. Silas Tate and Cam Houser chipped in with four points each as the Patriots built a nine-point lead after one.
KM’s lead rose to 19 in the second period as Carlos Boyce scored eight points. The Patriots went into the break up 36-17.
KM continued its defensive dominance in the third quarter. Silas Tate and Xavier Hutchens led the defensive tempo with steals and KJ Bell scored five points to help build a 26-point lead going into the final quarter.
KM had its highest scoring period of the year in the fourth quarter with 25 points. Boyce and Jarrett combined for 14 points to seal the game 74-37.
Boyce led the scoring with 22 points and hit 11 of 12 shots. Jarrett scored 18 points to go with nine rebounds, three assists and 7-for-10 shooting.
Bell had 11 points, six rebounds, two steals, a blocked shot and 4-for-6 shooting. Cam Houser added 10 points, three assists, and five for six shooting; Xavier Hutchens nine points, seven boards, six assists, three steals and hit 4 of 8 shots and Silas Tate scored four points to go with five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
KM had 22 points off the bench, hit 31 of 45 two-pointers and grabbed 32 rebounds. The Patriots had 12 steals and 23 assists.
Offensive Player of the Week was Christian Jarrett who scored 32 points, including 13 of 18 from the field, and grabbed 17 rebounds.
Defensive Player of the Week was Xavier Hutchens with 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Sixth Man of the Week was Braylon Brown who had four points and two steals.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to host West Lincoln Tuesday before going on the road to East Lincoln Thursday.
The Patriots are 2-0 in the East Division and 4-0 overall
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km MIDDLE SCHOOL MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM

KMMS Patriots sweep county basketball tournament

Kings Mountain Middle School’s men’s basketball team got its 2024 season off to a great start last week by sweeping the Cleveland County Tournament championship.
The Patriots got off to a roaring start, defeating Crest 53-27 in the opening round.
Christian Jarrett’s offensive put back on the Patriots’ first possession and a bank three-pointer by KJ Bell sparked a 12-0 run and the Patriots never looked back. Silas Tate scored six points in the quarter as the Patriots took a 20-3 lead after the first period.
During the second period the Patriots cooled down just a bit. Tristan McCorkle hit a three and Cam Houser added a free throw to keep the lead at 17 points. KM took a 28-11 lead into halftime.
The Patriots doubled the score in the third quarter. KJ Bell and Silas Tate both hit threes during that stretch.
The fourth quarter saw the Patriots score the first 10 points to take their biggest lead at 50-20. Amir Parker, Nemo Hogue and Ashtun Hall got into the scoring act to account for the final 53-27 score.
KM had 10 players to score and reserves scored 16 points.
KJ Bell led the Patriots with 13 points and Silas Tate added 10. Carlos Boyce and Christian Jarrett scored six points each, Xavier Hutchens five, Cam House three, Tristan McCorkle three, Amir Parker three, Ashtun Hall two and Nemo Hogue two.
The Patriots had only one turnover in the first half.
The Patriots defeated the Shelby Blue Devils 48-21 in the championship game.
With the game tied at 3-3 midway of the first quarter, the Patriots went to a half-court trap and caused five turnovers in a row for an 8-0 run. They ended the quarter up 11-3 as KJ Bell and Carlos Boyce scored four points apiece.
KM kept up its defensive tempo in the second half. Xavier Hutchens, Cam Houser and Silas Tate got in on the scoring action to extend the Patriots’ lead to 17-6 going into the halftime break.
KM got hot offensively in the third period, outscoring Shelby 19-4. Boyce scored eight points and Tate six and the KM defense gave up just two field goals through three periods of action.
KM finished the game strong to win its first ever Cleveland County basketball championship. AJ Parker, Tristan McCorkle and Bryson Brown finished off the team scoring.
KM had nine players to score and got 24 points from the bench. The Patriots hit 22 of 30 shots from two-point range.
Silas Tate and KJ Bell, who scored 20 and 19 points respectively, were named Offensive Players of the Week.
Defensive Players of the Week were Christin Jarrett, who had several rebounds and blocked shots, and Cam Houser who had several steals and provided overall energy.
Sixth Men of the Week were Carlos Boyce, who scored 21 points off the bench, and Tristan McCorkle who provided solid leadership and play off the bench.
KM was scheduled to play Lincolnton Monday afternoon. The Patriots will go to North Lincoln Thursday and will host West Lincoln at 4:15 on January 16.
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Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers celebrate after winning their annual holiday tournament last week. Photo by Charlie Smith

KM men win holiday tourney,
resume regular season tonight

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers defeated three strong opponents to win their annual holiday tournament last week at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
Their toughest battle came in the championship game when they edged the Providence Day Chargers 51-50 after defeating Palisades 69-61 in Wednesday’s opener and Gaston Day 86-79 in Thursday’s semi-finals.
The visitors jumped out to a 20-15 lead after the first period and took a 30-23 lead into halftime. The Mountaineers outscored the Chargers 19-13 in the third quarter to cut the margin to trail by just one point (43-42) after three and ended the fourth quarter on a 9-7 run to wrap up the title.
Bradley Floyd led three double-digit KM scorers with 18 points. Caleb Nixon added 12 by hitting four of seven threes and Kee’donn Linney added 11.
J’mun Huskey pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Mountaineers advanced to the championship game on Thursday night with a tough 67-48 win over Gaston Day School.
The Mountaineers jumped out to a 15-10 lead in the first period but Gaston Day kept it close and went into the break down by 31-26. A hot third quarter basically sealed the win as the Mountaineers outscored Gaston Day 23-8 to take a 54-34 lead into the final chapter.
Bradley Floyd led the KM attack with 27 points and Robinette added 14.
The Mountaineers edged a good Palisades team 69-61 in Wednesday’s opening round. KM led 17-11 after the first period, 39-24 at the break and 58-42 going into the fourth quarter.
Kings Mountain had three double-digit scorers and just missed having five. Robinette led the way with 17 points, Caleb Nixon added 12 and Bradley Floyd 10. Charlie Foster and J’mun Huskey scored nine apiece.
The Mountaineers will resume regular season play tonight at Weddington. Big South Conference play resumes on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Hunter Huss. JV action
See WIN, Page 2B
From Page 1B
 begins at 4 p.m. with varsity games beginning at approximately 6 and 7:30.
Kings Mountain will stay on the road on Friday, Jan. 12 at North Gaston. The next home games are against Forestview on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
 KM 69, Palisades 61
KM – Robinette 17, Lindsay 2, Nixon 12, B. Floyd 10, Linney 8, J. Floyd 2, Foster 9, Huskey 9.
KM 67, GASTON DAY 48
KM – Robinette 14, Nixon 5, B. Floyd 27, Linney 2, J. Floyd 7, Foster 2, Huskey 6, Cole 4.
GD – Putnam 2, Self 5, Ka. Surratt 8, Norris 10, Johnson 5, Clay 12, Ke. Surratt 2, Beam 4.
KM 51, PROVIDENCE DAY 50
KM – Robinette 1, C. Nixon 12, B. Floyd, 18, Linney 11, Foster 3, Huskey 6.

Ken Baity was one of Kings Mountain High’s and
South Carolina’s all-time great runners

Ken Baity, who passed away before Christmas, was remembered by his family, friends and fans at a memorial service Saturday at Harris Funeral Home chapel.
Baity is one of the all-time Kings Mountain Mountaineer greats in all sports, but particularly football where he was the school’s first-ever 1,000 yard rusher and later a standout at the University of South Carolina.
Baity was the leading rusher on Kings Mountain’s first two championship teams in 1955 and ‘56 and ended his varsity career in 1957 as the team’s all-time career leading rusher. His record stood for over 40 years until Anthony Hillman broke it in the late 1990s.
He was the go-to running back all three of his varsity seasons at KMHS and was the Mountaineers’ second ever Shrine Bowl representative. George Harris, who was the quarterback on the ‘55 team, was the first.
Two former Mountaineer football players, Steve Baker and the Rev. John Bridges, spoke highly of Baity’s accomplishments on the field and in life.
“Ken impacted a lot of our lives with his football accomplishments,” said Baker, who would lead the Mountaineers in rushing in their championship season of 1964. I was privileged to see him play. He was legendary. His exploits were record-breaking.
“In October of 1957 I was a young boy living in Lincolnton. Lincolnton didn’t have good football teams back then but a friend from Kings Mountain would come and take me to see Kings Mountain. The gold standard of Kings Mountain football was set in the 1950s.
“I was dazzled by the speed of Don Gladden and others, but the most dominant player on the field was Ken Baity. I remember him averaging over 12 yards a carry in a game against Lincolnton. I remember him breaking free. The last Lincolnton player that could make the tackle hit him at the 40 yard line and Ken ran over him and didn’t even slow down.
“In 2005 I made my second contact with Ken. Some of us put together a scholarship to honor Bill Bates who was going into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame. We had a dinner down at the senior center and the first speaker was Ken Baity. I remember Ken saying ‘that man meant the world to me.’ He was the very first speaker and talked about how Coach Bates was responsible for his rushing records. It was 22 years later when Kevin Mack, who would go on to be a NFL running back, topped Ken’s records.
“In 2012 we had the 90th anniversary of Kings Mountain football and it was a very special evening. (Former Clemson University and Cleveland Browns star) Kevin Mack walked up and I introduced him to George Harris. I introduced him to Ken Baity and Kevin said ‘I already know who you are. I broke all of your records. This was a NFL Pro Bowl running back and he was in awe of Ken Baity. Today we memorialize Ken Baity. We’re going to miss him. God bless Ken Baity.”
Rev. Bridges took a story from the Holy Bible that in a way related to the beginning of football in Kings Mountain.
“In Second Corinthians chapter five it talks about being reconciled to God,” he said. “When God created Kings Mountain High School football he looked out on the chaos of the city and KMHS and said ‘it is good.’ Then he looked on the black and gold colors and said ‘this is good.’ And he looked out and said ‘we need somewhere to play’ and created City Stadium.
“That was in 1922, 101 years ago, and he said ‘this is very good.’ He created a community to lead us to the promised land and he created people like Ken Baity to play for the Mountaineers. Ken was part of the generation that brought us into the modern era.
“Ken was a football legend, but just like all of us he made his mark.
“There’s two pictures of Ken that I will remember,” he added. “His Heisman trophy pose and a picture of him on his knees praying to God. Being in the Kings Mountain Hall of Fame is great, but being in the Hall of Fame of Heaven is much more important.”

Max Thompson’s
first place finish
qualifies for State

Kings Mountain High’s indoor track and field teams visited Bunker Hill last Thursday.
Nineteen schools were represented at the meet.
Max Thompson punched his State qualifying ticket in the 1600 with a first place finish in 4:34.
The boys 4x200 team consisting of Barry Moore, Hunter Cruise, Josiah Hill and Malcolm Carter won as well, finishing in 1:35 just one second short of qualifying.

KM women
fall to Clover

 Kings Mountain Highs women’s basketball team fell to Clover 68-5 in a non-conference game last week.
Clover jumped out to a 30-2 first quarter lead and led 54-3 at halftime and 63-3 going into the final quarter.
KM (5) – Wooten 2, Williams 2, Bridges 1.
Clover (68) – Dooley 3, Smith 2, Powell 15, Franklin 6, Watt 16, Taylor 8, McIlwain 2, Poindexter 8, Lucas 4, Alexander 4.

Nixon hits 21,
Mountaineers
edge Cox Mill

 Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers bounced back from a 35-29 halftime deficit to defeat Cox Mill 61-59 in a non-conference basketball game last Tuesday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
It was their second straight victory to open the season heading into last Saturday’s Phenom Hoops 828 Showcase at Freedom High in Morganton.
Caleb Nixon led the Mountaineers with 21 points. He was the only KM player in double figures but all of the other players put up good performances to help seal the victory.
The Mountaineers’ top returning scorer, sophomore Bradley Floyd played despite an ailment and still scored eight points. Sophomore Charlie Foster scored nine, junior Kee’donn Linney eight, Jordan Floyd seven, J’myun Huskey seven and Nic Cole four.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to begin Big South Conference play Friday at Stuart Cramer. JV action begins at 4:30 followed by the varsity girls at 6 and the Mountaineers and Storm at 7:30.
Kings Mountain’s next home game is next Tuesday against the Ashbrook Green Wave.
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KMHS volleyball team shows off state championship trophy. The Lady Mountaineers will now be pictured on the gym wall along with the state championship teams of 1998 and 2001.

Hang another banner on the Parker Gym wall,
KMHS volleyball team wins state championship

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team won the NCHSAA 3A state championship Saturday with a tough 25-12, 25-27, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12 victory over Orange at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
The Lady Mountaineers finished 34-1 overall after winning the Big South Conference championship with a perfect 14-0 record. The state championship was KM’s third in history with the others coming in 1998 and 2001.
Senior Meile Songaila completed a good four-year career by winning the Most Valuable Player award. KM’s Mary Grace Hogue and Orange’s Ella Wimsatt received NCHSAA sportsmanship trophies.
“Songaila had a very good tournament,” said Coach Heather Pasour. “I thought our defense was on point and she really helped us out. We played great in the clutch and shut them down in the middle.”
The Lady Mountaineers started off quickly with a 25-12 win in set one but the rest of the match was nail-biting time.
“We were pretty solid in the first set,” noted Coach Heather Pasour. “In the second set they changed some things up and we lost 25-27 and 19-25. The fourth set we got off to a good start and after that it was back and forth. They had a very good team.”
The victory capped off one of the most exciting seasons in KMHS volleyball history.
“We had eight in the starting lineup that had a very good game,” Pasour noted. “Our only loss this year was to 2A state champion McMichael and we changed the lineup after that and made a complete turnaround.”
Coach Pasour said the banners on the gym wall of the championship teams of the past was a better pep talk than she could have given.
“The girls have talked all year about winning the state,” she said. “They’d see those two state championship banners and they said they wanted their pictures up there too. They were set on getting that ring. We wanted to be the team that will have their picture up there twenty years from now.”
Pasour said she and the team are grateful for the community’s support.
“We had a parade going out of town and a parade coming back in,” she said. “It made the girls feel important to have that kind of support. We played with heart and a lot of intensity and showed sportsmanship.”
The Lady Mountaineers finished the season winning 96 of 101 sets.
Kings Mountain punched its ticket to the state championship with a 3-1 victory over North Iredell 19-25, 25-22, 25-9, 25-10 in the Western Regional championship.
Meile Songaila had 27 serve receptions, 22 kills, three blocks, and 23 digs.
Jessie Osmore had 21 digs and 16 serve receptions.
Camden Pasour had 21 digs and 37 assists, Alexa Jones had 13 digs and 22 serve receptions, Ava Tipton 14 digs, Hogue 11 kills and London Brown six blocks.

 

KM’s Watson 52nd
in state golf tourney

Kings Mountain High’s Kaliyah Watson finished 52nd out of 94 participants in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state championship golf tournament October 30-31 at Foxfire Resort and Golf in Foxfire Village.
Watson finished with a two-day total of 194. She shot a 96 Monday and 98 Tuesday.
Watson finished the season seventh overall in the Big South Conference and made the All-Conference team for the third year in a row. She also qualified for the 3A Western Regional tournament for the third year in a row and qualified for the 3A state championship for the first time.
“I want to thank Kings Mountain Country Club for supporting both our men’s and women’s golf programs and allowing us to use their facilities,” Coach Kevin Moss said. “They always accommodate us in making sure we have time to practice and adjust their schedule for us to host matches.”
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KMHS Mountaineers take the field.

Mountaineers open
state playoffs
with 37-7 win over
Smoky Mountain

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers opened the state 3A playoffs Friday at John Gamble Stadium with a 37-7 victory over Smoky Mountain.
Quarterback Kandan Zollo threw first half touchdown passes to Jayden Gash and Ja’Qualyn Sanders and Josiah Hill scored on a run to build a 21-7 lead at intermission.
If there was any chance for the visitors to come back, the Mountaineer defense stopped the Mustangs at their own 46 on the first drive of the third period and after a 10-yard penalty Zollo hit Qua Sanders with a 54-yard catch and run down the visitors’ sideline for a 27-7 margin.
Early in the fourth quarter, Zollo hit Jayden Gash for a 67-yard touchdown pass and Matt Rhom added the PAT to make it 34-7.
Rhom added a 34-yard field goal late in the game to account for the final margin.
“We did a good job,” noted head coach Strait Herron. “The players were more relaxed and that helps a lot.
“The defense did a good job,” he added. “They made several third and fourth down stops to help the offense.
“We were holding the ball a lot. Zollo did a good job. On one drive we had like 26 snaps on offense. Zollo had four long touchdown passes and Sanders and Gash made some good catches. Zollo threw for 220 yards.
“We’re still banged up,” Herron noted. “We’ve got a lot of injuries that’s hurt us including a lot of ankle injuries.
“Defensively, we had a lot of our front guys that did a good job. Jason Melton had 23 tackles and that’s pretty impressive. We haven’t been having those kinds of numbers.”

 
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Isaiah Watts and Max Thompson run hard for KMHS in Saturday’s state cross country meet in Kernersville. Thompson finished 26th and Watts 48th.

KM Mountaineers compete
in state cross country meet

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers finished 20th overall in Saturday’s state 3A cross country championship meet in Kernersville.
Even though the temperature was 45 degrees, the times were fast.
Max Thompson led the Mountaineers with a personal best 16:43 to finish 26th overall. The team finished 20th overall.
“This team was a really special diverse group,” said Coaach Rayvis Key. “We have two football players, a soccer player, a tuba player from the band, a pole vaulter and a 25-hour a week Chick-Fil-A worker to make up this year. Most teams that finished above us had only runners, and that’s all they do.
“With all the things going on in these young men’s lives, they truly outperformed my expectations,” Key added. “Next year we will miss our seniors Hunter Cruise and Elliot Habel, but I think we have a new benchmark of not only making it to the State meet but performing even better than the previous season.”
KM results (5000 meter run):
Max Thompson, 26th in 16:43.69 (his season’s best).
Isaiah Watts, 48th in 17:12.39.
Hunter Cruise, 155th in 19:38.79.
David Johnson, 157th in 19:45.81.
Luke Howell, 159th in 19:54.44.
Luis Cedillo, 165th in 20:40.96.
Elliot Habel, 166th in 21:12.73.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support this season,” Coach Key said.

Mountaineers hit the road
Friday for second round
game at Reynolds

 Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers face a tough test Friday when they travel up the mountain to take on a good AC Reynolds team.
While Kings Mountain was beating Smoky Mountain last week at Gamble Stadium Reynolds was turning back another Big South Conference team, North Gaston, 45-0.
Reynolds comes into the contest with an overall 8-3 record with their losses coming early in the season to West Forsyth 8-7, East Forsyth 27-21 and Watauga 36-35.
Kings Mountain puts a 10-1 overall record on the line. The two teams have another common opponent besides North Gaston. In the first week of the season the Mountaineers defeated Shelby 34-17 and the next week the Lions lost to Reynolds 28-21.
According to Kings Mountain head coach Strait Herron, the two teams look very much alike.
“They have athletes with good speed,” he said. “The scary thing to me is that they play with confidence. Their quarterback is very good. He knows what to do with the ball. They also have a good running game.
“We look very much like similar teams,” he added. “It hurts that we have to go up there. It’s a 7 o’clock game and we’ll have to feed our
players and leave here around 3 p.m.
“They’re pretty good,” he added. “We’ll have to be strong up front. We can’t expect big plays. We’ll have to protect the ball and take it down the field and score.”
The two schools have met on the gridiron before, the last time being in the 2019 state playoffs when the Mountaineers won 17-10 before losing to Charlotte Catholic in a 56-49 shootout in the Western finals.

 
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Kings Mountain High’s cross country teams made a good showing in last week’s 3A West Regional. The men qualified for the state championship meet with a sixth place finish and Isaiah Watts was 10th overall.

KM men’s XC team 6th in Regional,  Watts 10th with personal best time

Kings Mountain High’s men’s cross country team finished sixth in last week’s 3A West Regional at Freedom High in Morganton and for the first time in history qualified for the NCHSAA 3A state championship.
Twenty-five highly competitive teams participated in the Regional.
The Mountaineers were led by Isaiah Watts who finished 10th overall with a personal best time of 16:47.
Other top finishers for the Mountaineers were Max Thompson 32nd in 17:49, Luke Howell 59th in 18:57.90, David Johnson 70th in 19:12.50, Hunter Cruise 99th in 20:13, Luis Cedillo 108th in 20:20.30 and Elliot Habel 112th in 20:26.20. Howell, Johnson, Cedillo and Habel all had their personal best times.
The Lady Mountaineers finished 16th overall and concluded their season. However, they also had five out of seven season bests.
Sarah Eagle led the way with a 58th place finish in a personal best time of 22:45.
Other top KM ladies were:
Brooke Waseman, 69th in 23:06.90.
Tippy Johsonbaugh, 107th with a season best 25:55.40.
Kallie Hope 108th in 25:56.20.
Parker Wilson, 109th with a season best 25:59.20.
Wren Ballard, 123rd with a season best 27:30.10.
Carmynn Barnes, 138th with a season best 29:58.60.
The NCHSAA championship meet will be held Saturday at Ivey Redmon Park in Kernersville.

Smoky Mountain here Friday
to open playoffs

 Kings Mountain will host Smoky Mountain in the first round of the state 3A playoffs Friday at 7:30 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium.
Strait Herron’s first Mountaineer eleven will face a good mountain team which is much better than its record shows. The Mustangs were 3-3 in the Mountain 7 Conference and 4-6 overall.
 They clinched their playoff berth last week with a 57-30 victory over East Henderson.
“We’ve watched them on video,” Herron said. “You trade three films but one of theirs, they were so far away it’s just not going to help us.
“They are big and strong and well-coached,” he said. “This is going to be a big challenge. We have speed and they have strength.
“We need to do some things on defense and have to figure things out on offense. Coach Bolton studies them more than I do and he feels like he’s good.
“It will be interesting to see how we come out. It’s hard to gauge where we are right now. We have to fix us first. Hopefully the guys will be able to come out and compete. I hope our guys are ready to play. We’ve got a good opportunity but we have to play. We made a lot of mistakes last week. We’ve got to get going again. We have to play well.”
Most of the mountain teams the Mountaineers have played in the past like to keep the ball on the ground and run the clock.
Smoky Mountain has a balanced running attack, led by Isaiah McNeely, a 175-pound senior who has 761 yards rushing, and quarterback Jarek Jones who has 441 yards rushing to go with 550 yards passing.
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Alexa Jones serves for the Lady Mountaineers in last week’s playoff victory at Parker Gym.

Lady Mountaineers’ volleyball wins three more,
win last night would put them in state title game

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team was scheduled to face AC Reynolds last night for the Western NC Regional Championship and a berth in the state 3A championship game on November 4.
The Lady Mountaineers ran their overall record to 30-1 last week with 3-0 victories over West Rowan, North Henderson and Lake Norman Charter. They swept West Rowan 25-11, 25-16, 25-19 last Tuesday, Lake Norman Charter 25-11, 25-8, 25-7 on Thursday and North Henderson 25-22, 25-17, 25-19 on Saturday.
All three wins were team efforts with all the Lady Mountaineers playing very well.
In Tuesday’s match with West Rowan, Camden Pasour dished out 37 assists to go with three kills, eight digs, a serve reception, a block and two service points. Myracle Davis had 14 kills, three digs and two blocks and Meile Songaila had 16 kills, eight digs, 10 serve receptions and 12 service points.
Mary Grace Hogue added seven kills, four digs, a serve reception and a service point and Alexa Jones had 17 digs, 12 serve receptions, five assists, a kill and 14 service points.
Against Lake Norman Charter, Davis had 10 kills and five blocks; Songaila 16 kills, two blocks, eight serve receptions, seven digs and 11 service points; Pasour 35 assists, 11 digs, two kills and 11 service points, Jones 11 serve receptions, 13 digs, four blocks, five kills, an assist and 13 service points and Jessie Ozmore three serve receptions, 12 digs and 12 service points.
Against North Henderson, Davis had 11 kills, Songaila seven kills, seven digs and nine serve receptions, Pasour five digs and 24 assists, and Jones 11 serve receptions.
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KM’s Eli Lipscomb has his eyes on Crest’s AJ Adams in Friday’s game at Gamble Stadium.

Crest beats Mountaineers
for Big South championship

Crest scored on its first three possessions to grab an early 19-0 lead and rolled to a 39-14 victory over Kings Mountain to win the Big South 3A Conference Friday night at KM’s John Gamble Stadium.
Kings Mountain rebounded later in the game to come within 19-14 in the third quarter but AJ Adams, who had scored the visitors’ first TD on a two-yard run, returned KM’s kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown with less than four minutes left in the third period for a 26-14 margin that was too much for the Mountaineers to overcome.
The win left the Chargers with an undefeated 10-0 record and the league title while KM finished the regular season in second place with a 9-1 mark.
“It was a tough game,” said Mountaineer head coach Strait Herron. “They were better that we thought they were.
“They’ve got some athletes and were better up front what we could tell on film,” he added. “They have a good team and played extremely hard.”
The Chargers broke out front 7-0 by driving the opening kickoff 71 yards in six plays. A KM face mask penalty got them going but the big blow came when the Chargers’ Aiden Carson went around end for a 68-yard gain to the KM one yard line. Two plays later AJ Adams took it in for the score and Carson Grier booted the point after.
Kings Mountain answered with a good drive behind the running from Josiah Hill and Robert Kendrick and a 21-yard reception by Hill and an eight-yard catch by Rodney Unnasch. Facing third and five from the Crest 40, the Mountaineers went to the air and the Chargers’ D’Various Surratt intercepted it and sped 70 yards to the end zone to put the visitors up 13-0.
A pass interception by Surratt and a return to the KM 21 set up a 12-yard reception by Javarius Green and a 19-0 Crest lead.
A pass interception in the end zone by KM’s Robert Kendrick put the Mountaineers in business at their own 33 with just 1:32 left in the half. A 9-yard reception by Jayden Gash and a 21-yard reception by Xzorion Lenair which was followed by a 15-yard Crest penalty for roughing the QB gave the Mountaineers a first down at the Chargers’ 11. Facing fourth and goal at the nine, Teddy Jeffries caught a short pass and zig-zagged through the Charger defense for a nine-yard touchdown. Matt Rhom’s PAT made it 19-7.
KM took possession at its own 23 following an early third quarter Crest punt and used the running of Jeffries and Kendrick, plus a personal foul penalty against the Chargers, for a first and goal at the Crest 10. Hill covered the distance in two carries and Rhom added the PAT to get the Mountaineers to within 19-14.
With the huge KM crowd thinking comeback, Adams returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown and a 26-14 Crest lead that would prove too much to overcome.
Huskey capped a 74-yard drive with a two-yard run to put the Chargers up 32-14 on the fourth play of the fourth quarter and the visitors added their final TD with 2:57 left on an eight yard run by Aiden Carson.
The Mountaineers had several players leave the game with injuries, including CJ Houser and some
others  who may  miss this week’s playoff game against Smoky Mountain.
“We’ll just have to move some guys around and we’re going to bring up some JV players that will help us,” Herron said.
“We had our chances. We just blew it. We had three interceptions in a row early and got behind. We got it back to 19-14 and were in good shape and then had another penalty and had it returned for a touchdown.
“You have to give Crest credit,” he said, “but we didn’t play the way we’ve been playing.”

 

Mountaineer XC runners win
first conference title since ‘98

Kings Mountain High’s men’s cross country team had not won a conference title since 1998, but that streak came to an end last week when the Mountaineers beat second place Forestview by six points to win the Big South 3A Conference championship.
The Mountaineers were led by Big South MVP Max Thompson who finished first with a time of 17:20.
Other All-Conference runners for the KM men were second place Isaiah Watts, seventh place Hunter Cruise and 11th place David Johnson. Luke Howell finished 16th to complete the team scoring.
The Kings Mountain women’s team finished a respectable second place behind a really strong South Point team. All-Conference KM runners were sixth place Brooke Waseman, eighth place Sarah Eagle and 15th place Kallie Hope. Tippy Johnsonbaugh finished 19th and Parker Wilson finished 25th to round out the Lady Mountaineer scorers.
The Mountaineers will advance to the 3A Western Regional meet at Freedom High School on Saturday, October 28.