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Financial assistance and scholarships available because Everyone Belongs at the Y!

By Kevin Osborne

The Kings Mountain Family YMCA is here for the community. We’re part of a nonprofit organization of over 2,700 Ys located in 10,000 communities across the United States dedicated to strengthening the communities that they serve. With a focus on developing the potential of youth, improving individual health and well-being, and giving back to and supporting communities, your participation brings about meaningful change not just within yourself, but also in your community.
   Financial assistance and/or scholarship is available for all programs: summer camp, youth sports, sports camps, memberships, swimming lessons, etc. Call your local YMCA at 704-739-9631 to find out more.
The mission of the Cleveland County Family YMCA is to help all people reach their God given potential in spirit, mind, and body.
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KMHS Football Workouts

Kings Mountain High football players go through early morning preseason workouts yesterday at John Gamble Stadium.

Everyone belongs at the Y!

The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Guided by our core values of caring, honesty, respect, faith, and responsibility, the Y is dedicated to giving people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Cleveland County Family YMCA has branches in Kings Mountain, Shelby, and Boiling Springs.
Youth and Family Programs March 1 - August 1:
2022 Summer Day Camp:  Spend your summer at the YMCA and discover what camp is all about. Each week is jam-packed with swimming, group games, field trips, crafts and SO MUCH MORE. Our summer camp program is about building character, teaching responsibility, honesty, faith, and care for others. Your child will discover fun, friends, and themselves! We offer traditional day camp, as well as sports camps (see sports section) for ages 5-12. Day camp is Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parent’s Night Out & Family Events: Parent’s Night Out events take place every third Friday of the month. The event lasts from 6pm to 9pm. Registration can be completed online or at the Welcome Center. The cost is $10.00 for both members and non-members. This includes dinner! Be sure to ask about the 2022 Father Daughter Dance! Grab the princess in your life and accompany her to our annual dance. You will enjoy an event of dinner, dancing, and memories that will last a lifetime! This annual event will take place in the spring at the Trinity Barn in Kings Mountain, N.C.
Child Watch Programs: In Child Watch, we welcome your children to visit our drop-in childcare so that you can achieve your wellness goals. This is a benefit for family members. We accept ages 8 weeks to 8 years old Monday - Friday from 9am - 12pm, Monday - Thursday from 4pm -7pm & Saturday from 8:30am to 7:30pm. Contact: Ranata Wingo, Family Director 704.669.3685.

Youth & Adult Sports:
Volleyball Session 1 -  June 6 - 10, Session 2 July 18 - 20, Ages 7 - 13

Soccer Session 1 -  June 13 - 17,  Session 2 July 11 -15 Ages 5 - 16

Basketball Session - 1 June 20 - 24, Session 2 July 25 - 29, Ages 5 - 16

Speed & Agility Session -  June 27 - July 1, Ages 7 - 13

Multi-Sports Session - July 5 - July 8 Ages 7 - 13

Golf Session - August 1 - 5 Ages 7 – 13

KM Swim Lessons 2022
   Swimming is a life skill as well as great exercise and challenging sport. We use a variety of fun methods to help kids overcome fears, build confidence in the water, and develop skills that last a lifetime. The YMCA has over 100 years of experience teaching kids and adults how to swim, providing a safe and rewarding place to enjoy aquatics. Believe it or not, now is the perfect time for you or your child to learn how to swim! YMCA swim lessons are progressive, so everyone continues enhancing their skills in each lesson.
Group Swim Lessons (Ages 3-6) – June 6 – July 21
Group Swim Lessons (Ages 7-14) – June 6 – July 21
Private (1 on 1 Ages 3-6) – June 6 – July 28
Private (1 on 1 Ages 7-13) – June 6 – July 28
Private (1 on 1 Ages 14-99) – June 6 – July 28
Adult Sports:
Adult Basketball: We offer a recreational league and a competitive league. Registration is from February 28 - March 27 and late registration will be from March 28 - April 1 at Kings Mountain Family YMCA.
Adult Volleyball: Come join us for a co-ed, recreational adult volleyball league at the Y! Registration will be from June 27 to July 31. Late registration will be August 1 to August 5. Captain’s meeting: Monday, August 8 at 6:30pm Kings Mountain Family YMCA.
Health, Well-Being & Fitness: We know that staying healthy involves more than working out. Our programs and services focus on the entire family’s health, while providing a variety of fitness and wellness programs to serve a person’s unique needs.
See YMCA, Page 4B
From Page 1B
At the Y, we provide educational programs to promote healthier decisions so you can know the best ways to stay fit. With a recently updated free-weight room as well as upgrades to our upstairs wellness area, we have everything you need to start your journey. We offer the latest fitness classes, personalized training programs, sports leagues for all ages and SO MUCH MORE.
Trainer Tip Tuesday & Thursday: Our trained YMCA staff are happy to assist you in as many ways as we can. Keep an eye out on our social media pages for Trainer Tip Tuesday & Thursday. Our trained staff¬ will be recording short videos on various tips and tricks in the fitness industry. From diet to technique, we are here to help. New content will be uploaded weekly.
Personal Training: YMCA Personal Training is a one-on-one session with a personal fitness trainer. Our trainers are educated professionals often with years of experience who can help any YMCA member including working professionals, new moms, seniors, and triathletes. YMCA personal trainers come from as many different backgrounds and walks of life as our members do, and we take great care in matching members with the right personal trainer.
Group Exercise: Group exercise is one of many ways the Y supports members in achieving their health and wellness goals. The YMCA Group Exercise Programs improve health, encourage social interaction and with motivating music, are one of the most enjoyable ways to move and feel great. Highly trained staff¬ members lead the programs and often tailor them to the specific needs of the community. Each month a new schedule is produced with the Group Exercise classes offered for that month.
Wellness Orientations: Are you new to the YMCA? Come in and meet with one of our experienced Wellness Coaches for an orientation. We will guide you through the proper use of equipment along with demonstrations of various exercises. We can also give general recommendations on your diet, along with how to begin your fitness journey. Call or drop by to schedule your appointment. Classes are free for members.
LIVESTRONG: LiveSTRONG at the YMCA is a free program designed for cancer survivors 18 years and older who have become de-conditioned or chronically fatigued from their treatment or disease. Participants receive a FREE 12-week Family Membership Plus and may use YMCA facilities at any time. This program is free to all members and nonmembers. Lil’ Ninjas Awaken potential, build focus, confidence, and develop self-control in your child without  Lil’ Ninjas Self Defense Class: Class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., and each class lasts 45 minutes.
The LOFT Functional Training Center: This diverse space is about building community and enabling achievement for all ages and abilities. Functional fitness trains your muscles to work together and prepares them for daily tasks by simulating movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. It trains your whole body while emphasizing core stability. The LOFT is currently only available for personal training sessions, group exercises, and bootcamps. Check our website for updates on classes and bootcamps.
For more information, contact the Kings Mountain Family YMCA at 704-739-9631.
Hours of operation are:
Monday - Thursday 5:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Friday 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
   The Cleveland County YMCA is a 501(C)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Donations are tax-exempt.
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Kings Mountain’s three senior baseball players were honored prior to Friday’s game with Ashbrook at Lancaster Field. Left to right are Charlie Melton, Peyton Fisher and Maddox Brown. The trio handled the pitching duties in a 10-0 victory. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers shutout Ashbrook on Senior Night,
host Chargers Friday for Big South Conference title

Senior Night could not have gone any better for Kings Mountain High’s baseball team Friday night at Lancaster Field. The team honored its three seniors – Charlie Melton, Maddox Brown and Peyton Fisher – before the game and the trio teamed up to pitch the Mountaineers over the Ashbrook Green Wave 10-0 in a 4 ½ inning contest stopped by the state’s 10-run rule.
While that victory was sweet in front of a huge home crowd, the most important games of the conference season take place this week when the Mountaineers face county rival Crest to decide the Big South championship. Heading into last night’s game in Boiling Springs the Mountaineers had a one game lead over the Chargers and could clinch the title with a win. A loss would mean the championship would be decided Friday when the Chargers come to Lancaster Field for a 7 p.m. contest that completes the regular season. After that, both teams will await the state 3A seeding and first round opponents for Tuesday, May 10.
Melton worked the first four innings to get the win over Ashbrook. He fanned five batters along the way. Brown struck out one and Fisher two in the top of the fifth to seal the victory.
The Mountaineers got home runs from Zane Brockman in the second inning and Cole Irby in the third to go with singles from Bebe Moore, Brown and Jacob Hamrick. They also benefited from seven walks and three hit batsmen.
The Mountaineers got on board 2-0 in the bottom of the first as wildness by Ashbrook pitchers showed up early. After Moore’s hit, Hamrick was walked and an out later Brown’s single to left plated the first run. Another out later, Cole Irby was hit by a pitch to load the sacks and Fisher drew a walk to plate the second run.
The Mountaineers increased the lead to 4-0 in the second on Brockman’s high blast over the centerfield fence after Moore had reached base on a fielder’s choice.
KM closed out the scoring with six runs in the third inning. Irby’s home run over the left field fence also plated Ellis, who had been hit by a pitched ball, to run the score to 6-0. Three walks loaded the bases and an infield hit by Hamrick and another walk to Brockman produced two more runs to make it 8-0. The final two runs came on a fielder’s choice and error.
The previous Tuesday in Gastonia, the Mountaineers defeated Ashbrook 8-0 behind the two-hit, 13 strikeout performance from Brockman who also went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
Caleb Broome led the KM plate attack with 3-for-4 and two RBI. Ellis went 2-for-3 with a RBI and Hamrick 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Kings Mountain took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and broke the game open with one run in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Colton Mayes relieved Brockman in the seventh inning.

Mountaineers shutout Ashbrook on Senior Night
host Chargers Friday for Big South Conference title

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KM golfers win Big South Conference,
Will Spicer individual champ and POY

King Mountain High’s golfers wrapped up the Big South 3A Conference title last week and were playing in the Western Regional championship match Monday at Riverbend Golf Course near Shelby with individual and team spots for the state 3A championship match on the line. The top three teams and the top nine individuals not on one of the qualifying teams will advance to the state tournament.
Heading into the final regular season match the Mountaineers had a three shot advantage over a good Stuart Cramer team and beat the Storm by six strokes 290 to 296 to wrap up the championship. The host Crest Chargers finished third at 298 followed by Forestview 318, South Point 325, Ashbrook 326, North Gaston 353 and Hunter Huss 493.
The victory wrapped up the Mountaineers’ second conference championship in six years. (One of those years, the golf season was cancelled because of COVID). Their last championship year was 2017 when current University of Kentucky player Alex Goff was Player of the Year and finished high in the state tournament. Other members of the team were Dawson Adams, Carson Bailey, Joey Blanton and Tyler Withers.
Just like in 2017, Kings Mountain didn’t just have the championship team but had the conference championship player Will Spicer. Spicer’s low season score of 65 made him the match medalist and his season stroke average of 69.8 earned him the Conference Player of the Year award. For the year, he had a stroke total of 419.
Three other Mountaineers made the All-Conference team, including:
Cooper Putnam, who shot a 71 to finish sixth in the conference;
Thomas Spicer, who shot a 77 to finish ninth in the conference;
And, Caleb Marr who shot a 77 to finish 12th in the conference.
Josh Gillespie’s 78 rounded out the KM scoring.
The Mountaineers had a team score of 2,143 for the seven conference matches, followed by Stuart Cramer at 2,152, Crest 2,257, Forestview 2,361, Ashbrook 2,389, South Point 2,467, North Gaston 2,726 and Hunter Huss 2,979.
“This is a good, young team,” noted Coach Kevin Moss. “We have one senior, three sophomores and two freshmen in the top six. This is a special group. It’s always good to have good young players. There were some very good teams in the conference this year such as Stuart Cramer, Crest and Forestview so winning it was a big accomplishment.”
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Kings Mountain High’s baseball team went 3-0 to win last week’s Shelby Easter Tournament at Shelby’s Veteran’s Park. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers go 3-0 to win Shelby Easter Tournament

Kings Mountain High junior right hander Wyatt Davis, who has been a valuable closer for the Mountaineers all season, got the start against Crest in the championship game of the annual Shelby Easter Tournament last week and turned in a performance that he and many others may never forget.
Davis had a no-hitter going with one out in the seventh inning before giving up a single to the Chargers’ Colby Humphries. He finished with a one-hitter and 8-0 victory against a Charger team that is always in the thick of the running for the Big South Conference and state 3A championships. Peyton Fisher came on to retire the final two Crest batters.
Davis walked only two men and struck out 14.
“He threw really well,” said Mountaineer head coach Brad Melton. “He started against Burns earlier in the season but his primary role has been in relief. He is so good coming in and has been lights out all season. He has not had a bad outing yet. Every pitcher on our staff was dominant in the tournament. Charlie (Melton) went six innings in our first tournament game and Zane Brockman did a good job against Burns.”
Caleb Broome, who just returned to the starting lineup after an injury, came back with a roar leading the Mountaineers at the plate with 2-for-2 and two runs scored. Colton Mayes and Brockman each had a hit and two runs batted in.
Melton gave up just four hits and struck out nine in six innings as the Mountaineers defeated Bandys 7-1 in the opening round.
Fisher carried the big stick for the Mountaineers with a three-run home run, and got plenty of help from many other KM hitters.
Maddox Brown had a hit, two runs batted in and scored twice. Cole Irby had a hit and RBI and Jackson Toney had a hit and RBI. Kenyon Moore, Jacob Hamrick, Brockman and Hunter Ellis also had hits.
Brockman shook off a shaky start to hurl the Mountaineers past the Burns Bulldogs 9-2 in the semi-finals. Burns loaded the bases in the first and fifth innings but Brockman and his defense worked their way out of the jam.
Brockman finished with five strikeouts and also had a big day at the plate. His run-scoring hit in the third inning got the Mountaineers off to a 1-0 lead. The Mountaineers got a lot of breathing room in the fourth, scoring six more runs with the help of four Burns errors.
Hamrick and Irby led the Mountaineers at the plate. Both had two hits and two runs batted in. Broome had a hit and RBI and Moore and Brown added a hit apiece.
“Hamrick had a really good tournament,” Coach Melton noted. “He led us with five hits. Brockman had a big week and Brown got some good hits. No one person really stood out, the whole team played well. We moved runners around. It was really a great effort by the whole team. Everybody hit the ball well.
“Defensively, we made some very good plays. The defense was really solid.
“The last two weeks our bats have been coming around,” he noted. “We’re cutting out strikeouts. We outscored our opponents 24-3 during the three-game series. That’s pretty good against three good teams. The three teams we beat finished 2-1 in the tournament, with their only loss coming to us. We played very well.”

KMMS Lady Patriots

Scenes from last week's KM Middle School soccer game.

Dixon’s homer sparks KM
over Forestview

 Austyn Dixon’s two-strike, two-run homer on a 3-2 count in the top of the fifth inning erased a 4-3 deficit and gave the Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team the lead for good in an 8-4 victory over Forestview Wednesday.
Dixon went 4-for-4 to lead the KM plate attack. She singled in the first and third innings, and after her fifth inning home run she singled again in the sixth.
The Lady Mountaineers got on the board in the first inning when Dixon singled on a 3-2 count .
Kali Weaver toed the rubber for the Lady Mountaineers. She went seven innings, allowing five hits while striking out six and walking none. Upton was in the circle for Forestview. She went the distance and registered eight strikeouts.
Andrea Melton also homered for the KM ladies, who finished with 12 hits. Dixon, Paige, Flemming and Karlee Nantz all had multiple hits.
In a Tuesday game the KM ladies were shutout by North Gaston 13-0. Weaver took the pitching loss. She struck out five and gave up nine hits.
Dixon and Reynolds had a hit apiece for the Lady Mountaineers.
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Kings Mountain Middle School’s tennis team completed its season last week with a 9-0 win over R-S Central, giving the Patriots a 4-2 record in their first season under Coach Ed Guy.

KMMS tennis beats RS,
finishes with 4-2 record

Kings Mountain Middle School’s tennis team shutout RS Central 9-0 last week to end its first season under new head coach Ed Guy with a 4-2 record.
The Patriots had good singles play from Katherine Frye, Seanna Simon, Elizabeth Bolt, Kayla McSwain, Jasmyn Adams and Jacob Baker as they clinched the victory early.
The Patriots finished third in the Tri-County Conference.
“We had a great group of young people who worked hard to improve,” said Guy. “I see continued growth for next year from our beginning players. We will miss our eighth grade players including Katherine Frye, Elizabeth Bolt, Kayla McSwain, Jacob Baker, Jasmyn Accor, Olivia Deloera, Raylee Clark, Caroline Pyne and Sadie Mauney. These players will give the Kings Mountain High teams additional help for next year.
“I would like to thank the parents of all of our student athletes for their support this year,” Guy said. “They all pitched in to give the team and families a great end of the season cookout. I would like to give our thanks to the administration, staff and Jason Bridges of KMMS and KMIS for their help and support. Thanks to the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club for their support.
“A final thanks to some of the KMHS tennis players and especially to my grandson, Adam Guy, for always being there and helping with tennis instruction.”
Katherine Frye (KM) d. Edward Barrea 8-1; Seanna Simon (KM) d. Tinley Hill 8-1; Elizabeth Bolt (KM) d. Kelly Huddleson 8-1; Kayla McSwain (KM) d. Ryan Whitesides 8-3; Jasmyn Accor (KM) d. Owen Howard 8-3; Jacob Baker (KM) d. Jack Brown 9-8.
Frye/Simon (KM) d Hill/Barrea 8-3; D. Allen/C. Tipton (KM) d. Huddleson/Whiteside 8-6; C. Pyne/D. Deloera (KM) d. Howard/Brown (default injury).

KM sweeps Cramer, alone in first in BSC

 Kings Mountain High’s baseball team went into spring break in first place in the Big South Conference after sweeping Stuart Cramer 6-2 Tuesday in Cramerton and 7-0 Wednesday in Kings Mountain.
The Mountaineers, now 9-1 in the conference, went into their final pre-Easter game tied with Crest for first place but the Chargers fell to Forestview 2-1 to drop into second place with an 8-2 mark. Both teams are playing in the annual Shelby Easter tournament this week and will end the regular season this week and next. Kings Mountain was scheduled to go to Ashbrook last night and will host the Green Wave Friday at 7 p.m.
The regular season championship could go down to the final two games of the season when the Mountaineers travel to Crest on May 3 and host the Chargers on May 6. State playoffs will begin on May 10.
Kings Mountain got good pitching performances from aces Zane Brockman and Charlie Melton in last week’s victories over Stuart Cramer. Brockman went six strong innings and had the 7-0 lead before reaching the pitch limit and leaving the mound in Tuesday’s road win. He gave up only one hit and struck out 11.
Hunter Ellis had a big night at the plate for the Mountaineers, going 3-for-4 with a double and RBI. Kenyon Moore had a single and RBI, Maddox Brown a single and RBI and Jackson Toney a hit.
The Storm was in trouble from the beginning Wednesday at Lancaster Field. With runners on first and second with just one out in the bottom of the first, the visitors were able to pull an inning-ending double play.
But with Charlie Melton fanning the side in the top of the first two innings, the Mountaineers got going on offense and scored twice in the bottom of the second to nail down the victory early. Ellis ripped a single to left to get things going. After a walk and wild pitch got him to third, he scored on a grounder by Ethan Guy and Irby later came home on a wild pitch.
The offense kept things going in the third, scoring three more runs to go up 5-0.  Moore’s single to left got things going. After Brockman walked Moore scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Brown walked and Ellis singled to right to make it 4-0. After Cramer made a pitching change, Irby hit a sacrifice fly to left to make it 5-0.
The Mountaineers added their final two runs in the fourth. Toney walked, Moore singled to center and Hamrick walked to load the bases. Brockman’s sacrifice fly to left brought home the sixth run, and Brown’s groundout to second produced the final tally.
Melton and relief ace Wyatt Davis finished with 16 strikeouts. Melton fanned 13 and gave up just three hits over the first six innings. Davis didn’t give up a hit and struck out three in the seventh.

men’s track
county champs

Kings Mountain High’s men’s track team won the annual Cleveland County championship Wednesday at John Gamble Stadium.
The Mountaineers compiled 104 points to defeat Burns with 84, Shelby 65 and Crest 18.
The Mountaineers had two triple medalists and two double medalists.
Parker Key’s triple included a 4.56 in the mile, 11.32 in the two-mile and the anchor leg of the winning 4x800 relay team which included Hunter Cruise, Max Thompson and Isiah Watts.
Andre Willis was also a triple medalist with a 15.83 in the 110 high hurdles, 43.29 in the 300 hurdles and part of the winning 4x200 relay team.
Dwayne Black was a double medalist with a 22.85 in the 200 meter run and a part of the 4x200 relay with Jeramaine Thurman   and   Zavion  Smith.
Nicholas Harris took first with a personal best 11’0” in the pole vault.
D’Andre Hoyle double-medaled with a 40’7” triple jump and a 19’6” long jump.
The Mountaineers will be competing in the Porter Relays at Hibriten High School on April 26.

13-4 winners
at Blacksburg

Kings Mountain sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth inning to score seven runs and break open a 4-4 tie and defeat Blacksburg 13-4 in a non-conference game last week in Blacksburg, SC.
The Mountaineers had five of their 11 hits during that inning and also took advantage of two walks, two Blacksburg errors and a hit batsman.
Jacob Hamrick got the rally going when he reached on an error by the Blacksburg shortstop. Zane Brockman followed with the first of his two sharp singles to right during the rally and the Wildcats called Kolby Capps to the mound. He issued a walk to Brayden Patrick to load the sacks and Maddox Brown ripped a two-run single to center for a 6-4 lead that would turn out to be the winning runs. After Charlie Melton was hit by a pitched ball the sacks were full again, and Hunter Ellis drew a walk to make it 7-4.
After another pitching change, Moore ripped a double which was booted in center field and Hamrick singled to left and all of a sudden it was 11-4.
The Mountaineers added their final two runs in the top of the seventh. With one out, Wyatt Davis drew a base on balls, Ellis got an infield hit and they moved to second and third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left by Ethan Guy.
Blacksburg used six pitchers who combined for 12 walks. Their starter, Lucas Earls, pitched three strong innings giving up just one run and two
hits and left with a 4-1
lead. Freshman Jackson Toney started for the Mountaineers. Sophomore Colton Mayes came on in the fourth to put down a potential Blacksburg rally and was the beneficiary of a KM two-run rally in the top of the fifth that tied the score at 4-all.
Brockman drew a walk to lead things off and the Wildcats called Isaac Westmoreland to the mound. After a strikeout, he walked Brown and Melton bunted for a base hit to load the bases. Hunter Ellis singled to center to bring the Mountaineers to within 4-3, and Guy lifted a sacrifice fly to tie the score.
Kings Mountain had scored its first run in the top of the first on an RBI single to center by Brown. Blacksburg took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second on a walk, infield single by Jacob Gilfillan and a two-run single to center by Kolby Capps.
Levi Barrett hit a home run high over the fence in dead center to put the Wildcats up 4-1 in the third.
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Will Spicer led the Mountaineers with a 35 in last week’s win over South Point at Kings Mountain Country Club.

KM golfers beat Raiders

 Kings Mountain High’s golf team defeated South Point 148-172 in a nine-hole match last week at Kings Mountain Country Club.
Will Spicer led the Mountaineers with a one-under par 35. Caleb Marr shot 37, Baylor Benton 38, and Thomas Spicer 38.
Since there were no other teams involved, the Mountaineers and Red Raiders were able to let all of their players participate.
Other Kings Mountain scores were Michael King
41, Josh Gillespie 42, Cooper  Putnam 42, Gabe Short 45, Bruce Brown 50 and Alex Browning 52.
All Big South 3A Conference teams were scheduled to play at Cramer Mountain yesterday in a match hosted by South Point. BSC teams will end their conference season Monday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at Riverbend.
The Western Regional tournament will be held on May 2 and the state championship on May 9-10.
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KMHS Golf Team wins numerous matches 

Kings Mountain High’s golf team for the spring 2022 season has won numerous matches and is in the running for the Big South Conference championship.  Front row, left to right, Josh Gillespie, Cooper Putnam, Caleb Marr and Alex Browning. Back row, left to right, Michael King, Bruce Brown, Gabe Short, Baylor Benton, Will Spicer, Thomas Spicer and Coach Kevin Moss.                                                                                                                                                Photos by Gary Smart

KM Mountaineers’ bats come alive,
pound South Point Raiders 9-2

South Point grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Kings Mountain came back for a big 9-2 win over the Red Raiders in a Big South 3A Conference game Wednesday night at Lancaster Field.
Starter Zane Brockman and relief pitcher Wyatt Davis held the Raiders to just four hits and sent nine men back to the dugout via the strikeout route while the Mountaineers were having their best hitting night so far this spring. Brockman gave up just three hits and fanned seven in six innings of work. Davis gave up a hit and struck out two in the seventh.
Things didn’t look good for the Mountaineers in the top of the first inning as the Red Raiders took advantage of two walks and a single by Carson Shell to go up 1-0.
But things changed quickly. Kenyon Moore led off the KM first with a walk, Jacob Hamrick followed with a single, and after a passed ball moved both runners up Brockman and Cole Irby produced back-to-back RBI singles to put the Mountaineers on top for good, 2-1.
Kings Mountain really got going in the bottom of the second, scoring four more runs on five hits to take a 6-1 lead and put the game out of the Raiders’ reach. The Mountaineers’ first three batters – Maddox Brown, Colton Mayes and Charlie Melton – singled to load the bases. Jackson Toney ripped a double to right-center to make it 4-1, and Moore followed with  a triple for the 6-1 margin.
By that time, Brockman and the KM defense had the game in hand but the offense was nowhere near through.
A leadoff walk to Peyton Fisher and a Brown single to right chased Raider starter Camden Ashe. Lefthander Wyatt Triplett took the mound but couldn’t slow the KM assault. Charlie Melton’s double to deep center put the Mountaineers up 8-1, and following a single by Toney the Mountaineers added their final run on an infield out.
The Mountaineers finished with 11 hits, led by Brown, Melton and Toney with two each. Hamrick, Brockman, Mayes, Moore and Fisher added one apiece.
The Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Blacksburg, SC Monday and Stuart Cramer Tuesday. Cramer comes to Lancaster Field Thursday at 7 p.m.
Kings Mountain will compete in the Shelby Easter Tournament next week. Their first game is Tuesday, April 19 against Bandys. They will also play there on April 20 and 21.

KM rallies for 5-1 win

The late New York Yankee great Yogi Berra said it, and it’s still true today:
“It ain’t over til it’s over.”
South Point’s Red Raiders had a 1-0 lead with two outs in the top of the seventh inning but the Mountaineers came back for a 5-1 victory to remain in a tie for first place in the Big South Conference Friday night in Belmont.
With Jacob Hamrick on second after a walk and stolen base, Peyton Fisher had two strikes on him but ripped a triple to the gap in right-center to tie the game at 1-all.
Kings Mountain struck for four more runs to put the win in the bag. After Hunter Ellis reached on an error, Jack Toney walked and Kenyon Moore singled to left to drive home Charlie Melton, who was running for Ellis. Hamrick bunted for a single and an error put the Mountaineers up 3-1. After Zane Brockman was walked intentionally, Cole Irby reached on a fielder’s choice and the
 final two runs scored on a double by Fisher.
 Wyatt Davis turned in another strong relief performance to get the win, ending the game on a strikeout. He pitched the final 2.1 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
“He pitched really well for us,” said KM Coach Brad Melton.
Charlie Melton worked the first 5 2/3 innings, giving up just the one South Point run while fanning seven. Fisher relieved him to get the final out.
“This one was a nail-biter,” noted Coach Melton. “It was a big win for us.”
The Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Blacksburg, SC Monday night for a non-conference game. They were scheduled to face Stuart Cramer in the Gastonia Honey Hunters’ Fuse Stadium last night and will host the Storm Thursday at 7:15.
Kings Mountain will compete in the annual Shelby Easter Tournament next week.

KM track registers 10 wins at Cramer

Kings Mountain High’s track teams claimed 10 first places in Thursday’s meet at Stuart Cramer High School in Belmont.
Senior Parker Key ran his personal best 4:52 to win the mile.
The Mountaineers took one through three in the 100 meter dash, with senior DJ Black crossing the line in 10.8 seconds just one-tenth of a second ahead of sophomore Zavion Smith at 10.9. JJ Thurman was third in 11 seconds.
Sophomore Rodney Unnasch won the 300 meter hurdles in 47.2 seconds.
Black, Thurman, Smith and Barry Moore took the 4x200 relay in 1:33.0.
The Mountaineers went 1-2-3 in the triple jump with senior D’Andre Hoyle going 38’06”, sophomore Thomas Feemster 36’03” and sophomore CJ Houser 33’09”.
The Mountaineers also swept the pole vault, led by Nicholas Harrison who cleared 10’06”. Ethan Capps was second at nine feet even followed by sophomore Hunter Cruise at 8’06” and junior Nicholas Horn at eight feet even.
For the ladies, Divinity Ervin dominated the mile in 6:38.7.
Sophomore Thalia Kushman won the 3200 (two-mile) in 14:07, edging out her teammate Sindy Ulloa.
In the 4x400 meter relay, KM’s Divinity Ervin, Nicole Poston, Ashley Gural and Parker Wilson won in 5:02.7.
Kings Mountain swept the pole vault  with freshman Kinley Putnam and senior Rayna Brown clearing six feet even, followed by juniors Ashley Blanton at 5’6” and Aaliyah Drake at 5’0”.
The Kings Mountain teams will host Burns, Crest and Shelby in the annual Cleveland County Championship Wednesday at 4 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. That will be their last home meet. They will compete in the Big South Conference meet on Tuesday, May 3 at Stuart Cramer.

KM Hall of Fame
to induct 5 May 10

The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
Tickets are available from members of the Hall of Fame committee and at Ingram’s Barber Shop in downtown Kings Mountain.
Five former Kings Mountain High athletes will be honored, including the late Jim Cloninger, Sheryl Goode, Mariko Feemster, Tony Young and Tandra Leftwich.
Cloninger was a standout end and punter on Kings Mountain High’s undefeated Southwestern Conference football team in 1964. He was All-State and played in the prestigious Boys Town all-star game. He went on to play at Appalachian State where he broke the starting lineup as a freshman end and punter.
Goode was an All-Conference basketball player at KMHS in 1981 and helped lead the team to its best record in school history at that time. She went on to play at Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte and scored 428 points with 314 rebounds in 91 games. She helped lead the team to a 17-9 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament in 1985.
Feemster was one of five great offensive linemen on Ron Massey’s 1998 football team that won the Southwestern Conference and Western Regional championships and to this day is the only KMHS football team to play for a state championship. Feemster earned a scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he gained significant playing time as a freshman before suffering a career-ending injury.
Leftwich was a three-year All-Conference performer in softball, volleyball and swimming at KMHS and was the NCHSAA state diving champion in 1992. She went on to Gardner-Webb University  where she was a three-year All-Conference standout in volleyball and softball.
Young was a super heavyweight wrestler at KMHS from 1990-92 under Hall of Fame coach Steve Moffitt. He won 112 matches, including three Southwest Conference championships, and was the State heavyweight champion in 1992 when he was first team All-State. He led the Mountaineers to three straight regional championships and a runner-up in the 1990 state championship.
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KJ Bell

KJ Bell pitches for the Kings Mountain Middle School Patriots in a recent game at KMMS.    

  Photo by Lizzie Ingram


Brockman, Davis
hurl KM over FV

Kings Mountain got timely hits and strong pitching from Zane Brockman and Wyatt Davis to blank the Forestview Jaguars 7-0 in a Big South Conference game last week in Gastonia.
The Mountaineers scored single runs in the first two innings and added three in the fourth and two in the sixth.
Brockman gave up just three hits and struck out eight in his five innings on the mound, and Davis fanned six in his two innings of relief.
Jacob Hamrick led the Mountaineers at the plate with 2-for-3, including a double and two runs batted in. Maddox Brown had two hits and one RBI.

11th inning error
lifts Forestview
over KM Friday

The visiting Forestview Jaguars’ Austin Parker scored an unearned run in the top of the 11th and then relief pitcher Cooper Botts struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to defeat Kings Mountain 2-1 in a Big South 3A Conference game Friday night at Lancaster Field.
The loss was the first in the conference for the Mountaineers who were 5-1 and a game behind unbeaten Crest heading into a game with an always-good South Point nine last night at Lancaster Field. The two teams meet again Friday in Belmont. Kings Mountain goes to Blacksburg SC next Monday for a 6 p.m. varsity only non-conference game and returns home Tuesday to host the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm.
Kings Mountain’s Wyatt Davis, who had pitched very well after coming on to relieve Peyton Fisher in the top of the ninth, was the victim of the winning run which came on a catcher’s throwing error that went into left field as the Forestview runner was attempting to steal third.
Forestview, which had lost to the Mountaineers three nights earlier in Gastonia, led off the 11th with a pop-up single by Osborne that just got over the infield to short left field. An infield grounder hit Osborne and he was called out, but batter Parker made it to first. On second after a passed ball, Parker broke for third and came all the way home on the error.
Neither team did anything to write home about at the plate as each had four hits. The Jaguars didn’t get their first hit off KM starter Charlie Melton until two outs in the top of the fourth. Melton had retired the first 11 batters, including five on strikeouts, before Parker managed a single to center.
KM’s first hit in the bottom of the fourth was a long home run over the left field fence by Colton Mayes to put the Mountaineers up 1-0.
Melton put the visitors down in order again in the top of the fifth and KM missed a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the bottom of the inning as they loaded the bases with no outs. But two strikeouts, followed by a high fly to deep left-center by Mayes that looked like it may go out was caught just inside the fence.
The Jaguars came in and got an infield single by Carson Adams, a sacrifice bunt by Ethan Bray and a single by Potts to tie the game.
The Mountaineers missed a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh after a single by Hamrick to start the inning, followed by Zane Brockman being hit by a pitch. An out later, Melton laid down a perfect bunt and beat it out to load the bases. Mayes hit a bloop-type fly ball toward third. With Hamrick breaking for the plate, the fly was caught and the Jaguars doubled Hamrick off third.
Peyton Fisher and Davis both did a good job of relief for the Mountaineers. When he took the mound to start the ninth, Davis fanned the side and fanned two more in the 10th and one in the 11th. The three KM pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts.

5 to join
on May 7

The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
Tickets are available from members of the Hall of Fame committee and at Ingram’s Barber Shop in downtown Kings Mountain.
Five former Kings Mountain High athletes will be honored, including the late Jim Cloninger, Sheryl Goode, Mariko Feemster, Tony Young and Tandra Leftwich.
Cloninger was a standout end and punter on Kings Mountain High’s undefeated Southwestern Conference football team in 1964. He was All-State and played in the prestigious Boys Town all-star game. He went on to play at Appalachian State where he broke the starting lineup as a freshman end and punter.
Goode was an All-Conference basketball player at KMHS in 1981 and helped lead the team to its best record in school history at that time. She went on to play at Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte and scored 428 points with 314 rebounds in 91 games. She helped lead the team to a 17-9 record and a berth in the NCAA tournament in 1985.
Feemster was one of five great offensive linemen on Ron Massey’s 1998 football team that won the Southwestern Conference and Western Regional championships and to this day is the only KMHS football team to play for a state championship. Feemster earned a scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he gained significant playing time as a freshman before suffering a career-ending injury.
Leftwich was a three-year All-Conference performer in softball, volleyball and swimming at KMHS and was the NCHSAA state diving champion in 1992. She went on to Gardner-Webb University where she was a three-year All-Conference standout in volleyball and softball.
Young was a super heavyweight wrestler at KMHS from 1990-92 under Hall of Fame coach Steve Moffitt. He won 112 matches, including three Southwest Conference championships, and was the State heavyweight champion in 1992 when he was first team All-State. He led the Mountaineers to three straight regional championships and a runner-up in the 1990 state championship.

KM ladies roll Wave
in BSC softball action

Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team rolled the Ashbrook Green Wave 18-0 in Big South Conference action Friday night at the KM field.
Andrea Melton pitched the complete game shutout, allowing just one hit while striking out 10. She also helped KM’s offensive attack going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Kings Mountain took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first before breaking the game open with six runs in the second and third innings and five in the fourth. The game ended on the 10-run rule after Ashbrook batted it in the top of the fifth.
Austyn Dixon continued her heavy hitting with 3-for-3, including a three-run homer run and four RBIs.
Kali Weaver also went 3-for-3, including a double and triple, and three runs scored.
Alayna Patrick had a two-run triple and stole two bases; Kaylee Lavin was 1-for-2, and Cheyanne Reynolds and Saniya Wilson provided run-scoring hits.
Melton faced only 18 batters in the 4 ½ inning contest.
The Lady Mountaineers suffered a tough 3-2, 10-inning loss to a strong Stuart Cramer team Wednesday night in Cramerton.
Weaver led the Mountaineers on the mound and at the plate. She scattered seven hits and struck out 18 and went 2-for-5 with a triple. Only one of Cramer’s runs   was   earned  as  the  KM defense committed six errors.
The Lady Mountaineers scored two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-all. The Lady Storm had gotten two in the first.
Andrea Melton, Austyn Dixon and Kaylee Lavin had the other KM hits.

Softball bombs South Point

Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team posted a pair of important victories last week at Lancaster Field, defeating the Forestview Lady Jaguars in a close game Tuesday, 6-5, before rolling over the South Point Lady Raiders Friday, 17-1.
Karlee Nantz delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge Forestview.
Kali Weaver led the Lady Mountaineers with 3-for-4. Austyn Dixon went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
The winning seventh inning was led off by a Saniya Wilson double to right field. Cheyanne Reynolds drove her in to tie the game before Nantz delivered the knockout blow.
Weaver went the route on the mound, scattering nine hits while striking out seven.
Friday’s game got one-sided in a hurry as the Lady Mountaineers sent 18 batters to the plate in the second inning to score 14 runs.
The Lady Mountaineers collected 12 of their 16 hits during the inning with Head, Lavin, Nantz, Dixon and Weaver getting two apiece. Lavin’s triple brought home the first two runs of the game, and later in the inning she hit a grand slam home run.
Dixon finished with 3-for-3 including two doubles and three RBI, and Weaver also had three hits. Paige Fleming hit a home run and Andrea Melton had a single.
Weaver limited the Lady Raiders to just one hit and sent seven of them back to the dugout via the strikeout route.

Mountaineers overcome North Gaston 4-2

North Gaston Wildcats are probably hoping they won’t see Peyton Fisher again this season.
After seeing him slam a long home run in a game in Dallas the previous Tuesday, the Wildcats didn’t want him to swing the bat as the Mountaineers were trying to come back from a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday at KM’s Lancaster Field.
With two outs and Caleb Broome on second base after reaching on an error and taking second on an error on a pickoff attempt, the Wildcats intentionally walked Zane Brockman to put runners on first and second. Not wanting Fisher to unload another homer or even a hit in that situation, they walked him to load the bases.
That brought Cole Irby to the plate. He lifted a routine fly ball into left-center, and with all KM runners moving the leftfielder dropped the ball allowing all three to score for a 4-2 Mountaineer victory.
Fisher, who had taken the mound in relief of starter Charlie Melton in the fifth, retired the order in the top of the seventh.
The dropped fly ball was sorely needed as the North Gaston and KM pitchers did an excellent job for most of the night.
Fisher picked up the win. He did not allow a hit and struck out seven. Melton allowed only two first inning doubles that gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The visitors went up 2-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Chase Pope. The Mountaineers cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth with their only two hits of the night, an infield single by Jacob Hamrick and Fisher’s RBI double to left.
Fisher took over the mound duties when North came to bat in the top of the fifth and struck out the side. He walked the leadoff batter in the sixth but he was caught trying to steal second and Fisher struck out four batters in a row - the last two in the sixth and first two in the seventh - before Wood managed to get his bat on the ball and pop it up to first to end the game.
After the Wildcats’ two first inning doubles, Melton did not allow another hit and registered five strikeouts.
The Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Forestview last night and will host the Jaguars Friday at 7:15 p.m. at Lancaster Field. They will remain home for a big conference game with perennial power South Point Tuesday at 7:15.
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Jeremiah Currence throws the discus for the Mountaineers in last week’s track meet at Gamble Stadium.

KM track rolls
to second win

Kings Mountain High’s track teams ran away from Forestview, Crest and Hunter Huss for their second straight win Thursday at John Gamble Stadium.
KM accumulated 108.5 points to far outdistance the Forestview Jaguars with 65.5. Crest ran third with 38 points followed by Hunter Huss with 28.
The KM men had numerous first place winners.
D’Andre Hoyle won both the triple jump and high jump.
Parker Key won the 1600 and 3200 and was part of the winning 4x800 relay team.
Nicolas Harrison won the pole vault.
Alex Jackson won the shot put.
Rodney Unnasch won the 300 meter hurdles.
Andrew Willis won the 100 high hurdles.
DJ Black won the 100 and was also on the winning 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.
The Mountaineers also won the 4x400 to take all relay events.
Thalia Kushman was a triple winner for the KM ladies, taking the 800 meter run in 2:58.28, the 1600 meter run in 6:20.25 and joining with Sindy Ulloa, Carly Evans and Divinity Ervin to take the 4x100 relay in 12:31.40.
Ervin, a junior, won the 3200 meter run, setting a personal best record of 13:45.01.
Freshman Nydria Watkins won the discus with a throw of 64’5” and freshman Kinley Putnam cleared 6’6” to win the pole vault.

Brockman’s one-hitter, bats
help Mountaineers skin ‘Cats

 Zane Brockman hurled a one-hitter over four innings and went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in to lead Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers to a 5-1 Big South Conference victory over North Gaston last Tuesday in Dallas.
Peyton Fisher hit a solo home run and Charlie Melton, Cole Irby, Maddox Brown and Colton Mayes all had hits.
North Gaston’s lone run off Brockman was unearned. Brockman struck out nine.
Wyatt Davis came on in relief to hurl the final three innings, giving up just two hits and fanning seven.
The KM pitchers were backed by good hitting and defense.
KM got the scoring going in the third inning. Colton Mayes singled and Caleb Broome walked. Jacob Hamrick’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position and Brockman’s double to right-center brought them home for a 2-0 lead.
North Gaston answered in the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff walk to Nate Williams got them going. Pinch runner  Ryan  Propst  stole
second, and a throwing error that went into centerfield allowed him to score.
Fisher led off the sixth inning with a solo home run, making the score 3-1. Cole Irby followed with a single to right field. Charlie Melton executed a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Lucas Saldo into scoring position. Maddox Brown then singled to centerfield, driving home Saldo for a 4-1 lead.
Colton Mayes led off the seventh inning with a hard hit ball that the North shortstop couldn’t handle. With one out, Jacob Hamrick reached on an error and Brockman’s single made the score 5-1.
North Gaston threatend in the bottom of the seventh when Josh Lemley led off with a double. Davis struck out the next batter. Carter Wright singled to right but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch it into a double. After a two-out walk, Davis struck out the last batter to end the game.

KMMS track team 2-0, hosts county meet today

The Kings Mountain Middle track team won its second straight meet Tuesday and will host Shelby, Burns and Crest in the Cleveland County meet today at John Gamble Stadium.
The Patriots compiled 136 points to 47 for East Rutherford, 41 for RS Central and four for Burns.
“We got a little better today,” noted Patriot Coach Shane Cole. “We just need some more practice. It’s been really tough with the weather, but we’re starting to look like a team out there. We ran much better today than last week. I am very blessed to have a talented group.”
3200 meters – KM’s Luke Howell finished second in 12:49.70 (.32 behind first place). Landon Hogston was fourth in 13:09.
1600 meters – David Johnson won with a time of 5:44 and Luke Howell was third in 6:02.
800 meters – For the second straight meet, KM took the top three spots. David Johnson (2:28) was able to outlast Ethan DiBruno (2:35). Joseph Williams was third in 2:37.
100 meters – Kayden Marthers was first in 12.12, Josiah Hill was third in 12.28 and Tucker Robinette fourth in 12.94.
200 meters – Marthers won his second event of the day with a time of 25.75. Helping out were Josiah Hill (25:87) and Vance Johnson (26:09) in third and fourth, respectively.
400 meters – Vance Johnson ran a blazing 59.87 to edge the Patriots’ Alex Suarez at 1:00.26.
110 hurdles – Ethan DiBrunio stayed undefeated for the year with a time of 16:56, just squeaking by the second and third place runners. Dakota Smith was third at 16:60.
4x1 – Josiah Hill, Kayden Marthers, Tucker Robinette and Quadry Roberts fell just short of first place with a 53.65.
4x2 – Robinette, Kamari Coleman, Nasir Epps and Jayden Watkins ran a time of 1:51.18 to take the number one spot for the second straight week.
4x4 – Devin Hopper, Landon Hogston, Kamari Coleman and Alex Suarez ran a 4:26 to win by 10 seconds and remain undefeated.
Field Events:
Disc – KM was carried by Nick Moss (91’7”), Uriah Johnson (84’6.5”) and Cameron Zuniga (72’1/2”) as they placed first, third and fourth.
Shot – Cameron Zuniga’s throw of 32’10.5” was good enough for second place while his teammates O’Ryan Dorsey (31’2.5) and Stephen Sanders (30’2.) backed him in fourth and fifth.
Triple jump – Lucas Ward (31’6.5”) and Ethan DiBruno (31’4”) took the top two spots.
Long jump – Quadry Roberts’ jump of 15’3.5” was good enough for first place. Jayden Watkins and Devin Hopper placed third and fourth, respectively, at 13’3” and 13 feet even.
High jump – For the second meet in a row, Ty Howard and Vance Johnson battled for first. This time it was a tie as both cleared 5’1”. Colton Willyoung pitched in with a jump of 4’8” for fourth place.
Of the 15 total events, KMMS won 12. The Patriots had seven second and third place finishes.
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Zane Brockman slides into third base in last week’s win over Hunter Huss at Lancaster Field. Photos by Gary Smart

Melton fires 3-inning perfect
game in 22-0 win over Huss

Kings Mountain senior right hander Charlie Melton pitched three innings of perfect baseball and the Mountaineers hit what is believed to be an all-time single game record two grand slam home runs in a 3 and ½ inning 22-0 victory over the Hunter Huss Huskies Friday night at KM’s Lancaster Field.
It was actually the Huskies’ home game as their field was not playable. With KM up 14-0 at the end of three innings the coaches and umpires gathered at home plate to discuss whether or not to end the game. With the Huskies due to bat again in the bottom of the fourth, they elected to continue but after the rains became harder and the pitcher’s rubber dangerously slick the umpires decided to end it after KM scored eight runs in the top of the fourth to account for the final margin.
Melton struck out the first seven Huss batters before their Edward Roberts grounded to third. Melton then fanned ninth place hitter Isaiah Adair to complete the ‘perfecto.’ Although his pitching was perfect, he would not have been credited with a perfect game if it had continued because his father and head coach Brad Melton planned to send Zane Brockman to the mound in the bottom of the fourth.
After scoring just one run in the top of the first on Jacob Hamrick’s triple and RBI groundout by Brockman, the Mountaineer bats would not be silenced by Huss starter Zack Kimmell and his replacement Joe Harmatage.
Kings Mountain sent all nine men to the plate in the top of the second and scored five more runs to go up 6-0. The big blow was Caleb Broome’s grand slam home run.
Cole Irby’s leadoff home run over the dead centerfield fence sparked an eight-run rally in the third to make it 14-0. Melton followed with the second of his three hits for the night, a double to left. He stole third and scored an out later on a single by Hunter Ellis. After a hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases, Jacob Hamrick hit a grand slam.
The Mountaineers added eight more in their final at-bat. Coach Melton was working in all of his players and the reserves helped out an eight-run assault that finished the game. Brayden Patrick had a single and three-run home run, Melton a three-run homer, Marty Lovingood and Ethan Guy doubles, and Jack Toney and Babay Moore singles.
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Kings Mountain senior Parker Key leads the way in 3200 in Mountaineers Relays which opened the 2022 track and field season.

Mountaineer track 
opens season with
win in own relays

Kings Mountain High’s track teams opened their spring ’22 season Thursday at home with a double victory in their annual Mountaineer Relays.
Both KM teams finished far ahead of their closest competitor in a race that involved four other area high schools.
In boys action, the Mountaineers piled up 103 points to far out distance Shelby with 66.5, Cherryville 64.5, Ashbrook 35 and Stuart Cramer 32.
In girls action, the Lady Mountaineers dominated as well, leaving their county rival Shelby in the dust, 106-67. Stuart Cramer ran third with 45 points followed by Cherryville with 34 and Gastonia Ashbrook with 27.
The Kings Mountain men recorded five first place finishes. Andre Willis was first in the 110 high hurdles in 15.65, Parker Key won the 3200 meters in 10:42, Alex Jackson took the shot put with a throw of 45’3”, D’Andre Hoyle won the triple jump with a leap of 38’1”, and Nicolas Harrison was first in the pole vault, clearing the bar at an even ten feet.
The KM ladies also recorded five first place finishes.
Divinity Ervin won the 3200 meter run in 14:04, followed closely by her teammate Sindy Ulloa in 15:27. Both are juniors.
Sophomore Alathia Willis finished second to Ally Hollifield of Shelby in the 100 meter hurdles. Hollifield won with a 19.68 to Willis’s 20.29 and KM’s Taniya Brown and Nicole Poston at 20.93 and 21.74, respectively.
KM’s 4x100 relay team ran fourth behind Shelby, Ashbrook and Cherryville. Lady Mountaineers crossing the line in 56.90 were Nevaeh Brown, Lawren Thomas, Nyadria Phillips and Janiya Hunt.
Kings Mountain’s A team won the throwers relay in 1:04.31. They were Ashley Blanton, Nydria Watkins, Jailen Moore and Rayna Brown.
KM’s Thaliah Kushman, Divinity Irvin, Sindy Ulloa and Carley Evans won the 4x800 relay in 12:52.53. Parker Wilson, Kinley Putnam, Ashley Gural and Kushman finished second in the 4x400 relay.
Kings Mountain was fourth in the sprint medley in 2:16.41. Members of the team were Nevaeh Brown, Nyadria Phillips, Janiya Hunt and Lawren Thomas.
Divinity Ervin, Parker Wilson, Cary Evans and Thalia Kushman finished second to Shelby in the distance medley. Their time was 16:01.81.
Sophomore Alexis Jackson was third in the high jump with a jump of 4’6”.
Kings Mountain swept the pole vault. Senior Rayna Brown and freshman Kinley Putnam led the way, both clearing 6’6”. They were followed by juniors Ashley Blanton and Aaliyah Black who cleared 6 and 5 feet, respectively.
Sophomores Janiya Hunt and Alexis Jackson finished second and third, respectively in the long jump. Hunt cleared 15’3” and Jackson 13’11W. Sophomore Alathia Willis was fifth with a jump of 13’3”.
Jackson won the triple jump, going 29’1”.
Taylor Smith threw the shot 26’5” to finish in third place. Jailen Moore was fifth at 24’8.50.
Taylor Smith was fourth in the discus with a throw o
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Assistant coach Johnny Gamble likes what he sees in KM’s 11-0 win over Hunter Huss last week at Lancaster Field.

KM fourth inning
burst blanks Huss

Kings Mountain sent 15 men to the plate in the fourth inning and scored nine runs to put away the Hunter Huss Huskies 11-0 on the mercy rule in the two teams’ Big South Conference opener Tuesday night at Lancaster Field.
Mountaineer pitchers Jack Toney, Colton Mayes and Brayden Patrick combined for a two-hitter, allowing just an infield single to Ben Kimmell in the second and a single to right by Kimmell in the fourth. The KM hurlers combined for 11 strikeouts.
The Mountaineers scored the only run they would need in the third inning when Hunter Ellis doubled and scored on a single to right by Maddox Brown.
Peyton Fisher put the Mountaineers up 2-0 in the third inning when he singled to center, stole second and came all the way home from second on a wild pitch.
The floodgates opened in the bottom of the fourth when Hunter Ellis reached base on an error. Hamrick, Charlie Melton and Kenyon Moore had the only hits during that uprising but the Mountaineers also took advantage of six walks, three stolen bases, three errors, two hit batsmen and a sacrifice fly by Colton Mayes.

KMHS softball
drops twinbill

Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team was able to get its doubleheader with East Rutherford in Friday but the visitors took both contests, 4-2 and 7-1.
It was the Lady Mountaineers’ only action of the week as all other contests were postponed because of rain. The non-conference contest was originally scheduled for last Tuesday as a single game, but due to both teams having postponements all week they agreed on two five-inning contests.
Kings Mountain stayed close throughout in the opening game. The Lady Cavaliers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Mollie Burgess led off with a single to left and later scored on an error.
Kings Mountain’s Austyn Dixon slammed a home run high over the centerfield fence for a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the first. East regained the lead in the second, but again KM tied the game on an unearned run in the third.
The Lady Mountaineers missed an opportunity to go on top in the bottom of the fourth when Patrick led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice by Paige Fleming. With two outs, the Lady Mountaineers attempted a squeeze bunt but the Lady Cavaliers were able to get the putout at first and then come to bat to score the winning runs.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to open Big South 3A Conference action Tuesday at home against Hunter Huss. The Lady Mountaineers travel to Burns today for a non-conference game, then to North Gaston Friday for a BSC contest.  They return home March 22 for a 6 p.m. contest with Forestview.
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Cannedy signs to play for Johnson C. Smith

KMHS basketball star Zeke Cannedy signs to play for Johnson C. Smith as his mother Donna Bess and father Elton Cannedy look on.

Photo by Gary Smart
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Brown signs with Ramah Academy

Kings Mountain High senior Bruce Brown III signs to continue his football career and education at Ramah Academy. Looking on are his mother, Darion McKinney, and father Bruce Brown Jr. 
                                                                                              Photo by Gary Smart
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Kings Mountain’s Will Spicer shot a one-over 73 to win Monday’s Big South golf match at Kings Mountain Country Club. Photo by Gary Smart

KM golfers
win second
BSC match

Kings Mountain High’s golfers won their second straight Big South 3A Conference match Monday at Kings Mountain Country Club.
The Mountaineers shot 308 to edge Stuart Cramer with 310. Crest was third at 333, followed by Ashbrook 341, South Point 346, Forestview 348, North Gaston 379 and Hunter Huss 501.
KM’s Will Spicer was medalist for the second straight match with a one over par 73. Caleb Marr shot 76, Cooper Putnam 79, Thomas Spicer 80 and Baylor Benton 81.
The Mountaineers and all other BSC teams will be at Riverbend next Monday with Crest serving as host team.
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Charlie Melton limited Shelby to just one hit in five innings on the mound in KM’s 4-0 victory over the Lions in KM’s home opener Thursday. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers blank Shelby
4-0 in first home game of ‘22

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers, wearing their throw-back 1989 state championship black and gold uniforms, opened the home portion of their ’22 season Thursday night with a 4-0 victory over the Shelby Golden Lions.
Charlie Melton started and pitched five strong innings, giving up just a first inning double to the Lions’ Stephen Pack while striking out nine. Overall, KM pitchers recorded 14 strikeouts.
Jack Toney pitched the sixth inning and struck out three of the four batters he faced. The other reached base on an error.
Brayden Patrick worked the final inning and fanned two.
Kings Mountain’s offense wasn’t that explosive as Shelby pitchers combined for eight strikeouts while giving up just two hits.
The Mountaineers scored what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the first when Caleb Broome walked and gained second, third and home on Shelby errors.
KM added another pair in the third, sending seven men to the plate and getting their only hits from Jacob Hamrick and Peyton Fisher.
Hamrick got things going with one out with a hard smash just inside the foul line at third base. One run scored on an error and the other on a sacrifice fly to center by Cole Irby.
Maddox Brown, who was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the fourth, scored the final run on an error.
The Mountaineers opened their season the previous Tuesday with a 6-2 loss to the Burns Bulldogs in Lawndale. The Mountaineers managed just two hits, but one was a monster home run by Fisher. KM’s only other hit was a single by Broome.
Wyatt Davis started and pitched four strong innings. The Bulldogs pulled away later in the game.
“It was a very cold night,” noted Coach Brad Melton. “Wyatt did a good job. I just don’t like to pitch someone an entire game when it’s that cold.”
Kings Mountain dropped a 4-3, eight-inning decision to a traditionally powerful 2A East Rutherford team Friday night at Lancaster Field.
East grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second and the Mountaineers came back with three in the sixth to tie things up. East scored the winning run in the top of the eighth and held off the Mountaineers in the bottom of the inning.
Fisher and Davis shared pitching duties for the Mountaineers and Isaac Lee and Avery Strange pitched for the Cavaliers.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to travel to Blacksburg, SC Tuesday for a non-conference game and will go to Gaffney, SC tonight before hosting Enka Friday at 7 p.m. The Mountaineers will begin Big South Conference play Tues., March 15 at home against the Hunter Huss Huskies.
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KM softball
routs Shelby

Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team had their bats booming in a 19-0 victory over the Shelby Lady Lions Friday night in Shelby.
Alayna Patrick, Saniya Wilson and Austyn Dixon all had multiple hit games and Dixon slammed a two-run homer in the top of the second inning.
Kali Weaver took care of Shelby on the mound, allowing just two hits while striking out 10.
The Lady Mountaineers opened their regular season last week with a 3-0 loss to Chase on the road.
Weaver surrendered just  one earned run. She gave up only three hits and struck out five.
Weaver, Patrick and Dixon led the KM hitting.
The Lady Mountaineers were scheduled to open the home portion of their season last night against East Rutherford’s Lady Cavaliers.
Kings Mountain will open Big South 3A Conference play on March 15 at home against the Hunter Huss Huskies. Action begins at 6 p.m.

Spicer, Mountaineers
win first BSC golf match

Will Spicer and other Kings Mountain High golfers got their season off to a great start last week with a first place finish in the opening season Big South 3A Conference match at Cramer Mountain Country Club.
The Mountaineers won with a 324 total, beating host Stuart Cramer (332) by eight strokes.
Crest came in third with a 349, followed by Ashbrook 364, Forestview 368, South Point 371, North Gaston 431 and Hunter Huss 501.
Spicer was match medalist with a 77. Thomas Spicer and Cooper Putnam also broke 80 with 79s. Baylor Benton shot 89 and Caleb Marr 91.
All conference teams were scheduled to play at Kings Mountain Country Club Monday at 1 p.m. They will go to Riverbend at 1 p.m. next Monday for a match hosted by Crest.
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Kings Mountain Middle School's 2022 Tri-County Conference champions

Patriots go perfect 14-0 to win Tri-County Conference

Kings Mountain Middle School’s Patriots finished off an undefeated 14-0 season to win the Tri-County Conference championship with 56-53 and 59-57 victories over Crest and Shelby, respectively, in the semifinals and finals of the conference tournament last week.
Their banner season began in early January with non-division wins over the same two county rivals – 56-50 over Crest and 51-36 over Shelby.
The Patriots had an easier time with most of their Eastern Division opponents, but did have one close game with North Lincoln which they won 63-55.
Before beating Shelby’s Blue Devils in the conference championship game in Shelby, the Patriots had a close call with Crest on the KM court.
The Patriots got off to a roaring start, jumping ahead on Bradley Floyd’s 3-pointer, Charlie Foster’s lay-up and a finish at the rim by Brayden Mull for a 9-0 lead.
Crest came back to cut the margin to 15-7 at the end of the first period.
The second quarter saw KM grow cold from the field and Crest get hot from the outside. Foster’s four points accounted for two of the three KM buckets as Crest battled back to tie the game at 17-all. The Dragons went on to lead 29-24 at the half.
The third quarter saw KM get going as Tucker Robinette’s steal and finish for a one-and-one cut the margin to two. Robinette and Floyd continued the KM run, combining for 14 points to cut the Crest lead to 39-38 going into the fourth quarter.
The  final  period saw a frenzy of action as the lead changed hands seven times. KM went on an 8-1 run to start the period as Robinette, Floyd and Foster all finished at the rim, followed by a Caleb Nixon three for a 47-41 KM lead with just under five minutes remaining.
Crest came back with seven straight points to take a 48-47 lead with three minutes to play. Robinette’s three put the Patriots back on top 50-48.
A Floyd put-back and Mull’s steal with just over a minute to go made the score 54-51 and a pair of Floyd free throws with 12 seconds left sealed the win at 56-53.
Robinette finished with 11 points on 4 for 8 shooting, and also dished out four assists. Floyd scored 23 points on 7 for 15 shooting and had 11 rebounds, nine assists and hit 8 of 8 free throws. Caleb Nixon scored three points, Charlie Foster had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Brayden Mull seven points and 14 rebounds.
As a team, the Patriots had 35 rebounds including 12 offensive, 14 assists, hit 12 for 13 from the foul line, and were perfect from the foul line and three-point line in the second half. KM hit 11 of 17 shots in the second half.
“The kids were resilient tonight,” noted Coach Cole. “We could’ve easily folded after halftime when we were down five, but my guys kept fighting back. When Crest hit four threes in a row to end the half it just showed the determination this team has. To be able to keep our poise and shoot the ball the way we did in the second half was just amazing.”

It was another nail-biter in the championship game at Shelby with the lead changing hands numerous times.
Floyd’s steal and pass to Robinette for a lay-up got the Patriots off to a 2-0 start. An offensive put back by Foster and Mull’s finish at the rim and a short jumper by Nixon gave the Pats an 8-2 lead.
Floyd’s layup on KM’s next possession moved the score to 10-5 and KM went on to lead 14-12 at the end of the quarter. All five starters got in the action as KM hit five of six shots.
Shelby went on a 21-4 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter before back to back threes by Floyd and Nixon along with Christian Jarrett’s fast break layup cut the deficit to 33-26 at the break.
KM was able to get within six as Foster’s jumper and Tate’s layup drew KM to within 36-30 with four minutes to play in the third quarter. Shelby finished the quarter on an 11-5 run to lead 47-35 going into the fourth.
Shelby extended its lead to 49-35 with 5:50 to play before KM mounted a ferocious comeback. Floyd’s back to back offensive put backs followed by a Robinette steal and layup and a Foster assist to Mull led to an 11-2 run for the Patriots which cut the lead to 51-46 with under three minutes to play
Thirty seconds later a Robinette three made it 52-49, and KM cut the lead to 55-52 after a Floyd layup and Robinette free throw with just over a minute left.
Two more free throws by Mull made it 55-54 with 33 seconds left. On KM’s next possession Robinette’s pass found Floyd in the high post for a layup to put KM on top for the first time since early in the second quarter, 56-55. After two Shelby free throws put them back on top 57-56 with 13 seconds left, Floyd came back down court and gave the Pats the lead on two free throws with seven seconds left, followed by his steal and another free throw for the final score.
Floyd finished with 19 points on 7 for 13 shooting, and also contributed 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Nixon had seven points and three rebounds, Robinette eight points, three assists, two steals and a block, Foster 11 points, eight rebounds and six blocks, Mull eight points and eight rebounds, Tate two points and Christian Jarrett four points.
KM had 31 rebounds, nine blocks and 10 assists and shot 19 for 38 from inside the arc and 46 percent for the game. KM’s defense held Shelby to 33 percent shooting in the second half and KM was 8 for 12 in the fourth quarter. KM hit 12of 14 from the free throw line in the second half, including 7 of 9 in the final quarter.
“All I can say is wow,” said head coach Chris Cole. “These boys are phenomenal. After we got outscored 24-4 at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second and not faltering is just a testament to our guys. They never quit all season when things got bad.
“Hats off to Shelby. They played a great game and went down fighting. Our guys were so close the last two years. I’m so proud of them.”
Assistant coach Corey Nixon added, “I’m so proud of this bunch. It was a vision we had with our eighth grade group when they were in the sixth grade. To win the championship while going undefeated, you were definitely able to see our talent and experience meet.”
Coach Brandon Foster noted, “these kids started in the sixth grade with a goal to win the Tri-County championship. Their hard work off the court showed to be the recipe for success.
Whether it was fighting back from being down in a game or pushing through injuries, they found a way to be 14-0. We are Kings Mountain strong.”
The Patriots will be sending six players (Charlie Foster, Bradley Floyd, Ty Howard, Caleb Nixon, Tucker Robinette and Aiden Smith) on to the next level next season and will return seventh graders Coryon Gaines and Chris Hill and sixth graders Silas Tate, Christian Jarrett and Brayden Mull.
Managers were Jamerson Hamrick, Joseph Johnson and Marquise Thomas and score keeper was Maurice Tate.

KM basketball teams bow out
in first round of state playoffs

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams bowed out in the first round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs last week at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers fell to a good Canton Pisgah team 63-54 in the opener before the Mountaineers went down to a very tall and talented Southern Guilford squad 65-52.
Despite the losses, both KM teams had very good seasons. The girls shared the Big South 3A Conference championship with a strong Gastonia Ashbrook five and the boys finished second to perennial state power Crest.
Both the boys and girls played tough the entire way and saw their visitors break open close games at the very end.
The Lady Mountaineers, who won their second conference championship in the last four years for two of their three in history, fell behind 18-12 in the first quarter but battled back to take a 31-27 lead at the break.
But, with KM up 46-43, Pisgah had two threes in the final 24 seconds of the third period to take a 49-46 lead into the final chapter.
Leading by just 52-50 with 6:55 to go, Pisgah went on a 7-0 run that basically wrapped up the win at the 3:45 mark. They went on to lead by 10 (62-52) before Wilson got the last bucket of her brilliant career with 2:17 remaining.
With the loss, the Lady Mountaineers still had an outstanding season with all of their losses coming to very good teams.
Wilson led the scoring with 20 points and also had four rebounds and three steals. Khalia King was the only other double-digit scorer with 12 points. She had two boards and three assists.
Alayna Patrick had a triple six (points, rebounds and assists), CoRey Simpson had six points and 12 rebounds, and Austyn Dixon had six points and four rebounds. Tyasya Bell added four points, three rebounds and three assists and London Brown scored one point and grabbed six rebounds.
Pisgah had a very balanced attack with four players hitting double figures. Alyssa Smith had 13, Dot Mills 12 and Emma Deaver and Chloe Burch 11 apiece.
The boys game also was close for 3 1/2 quarters before the visitors broke it open.
Leading by just 44-41 going into the final eight minutes, Southern’s tall inside players dominated the boards and their point guard Khalil Millner hit some big three pointers to win the game going away.
The Southern defense did an outstanding job on KM’s leading scorer, Zeke Cannedy, whose 15 points shared team scoring honors with Jaquaylin Sanders but were 20 points below his per game average.
Cannedy’s three-pointer got the Mountaineers to within 46-44 with seven minutes remaining but the visitors went on an 11-point run to go up 57-44 with three minutes left that put the win in the bag. 

Baseball home opener Thursday

 Kings Mountain High’s baseball team will open the home portion of its 1922 season at Lancaster Field Thursday at 7 p.m. in a special black and gold night against the Shelby Lions.
“This is going to be a good night for us,” says KM Coach Brad Melton. “We’re going to be wearing the old 1989 style gold jerseys with black pants.”
Most longtime Mountaineer fans will remember that uniform, and hopefully that season. That’s when they won their first of two state 3A championship in a five-year period under the late Coach Bruce Clark.
Melton hopes the uniforms bring them some of that same kind of success.
The Mountaineers went through a pair of scrimmages last week and were scheduled to open the regular season last night at Burns.
“We did fine in the scrimmage last Tuesday,” Melton noted. “The pitching did fine. We played everybody and used seven different pitchers. I think we will be okay in the pitching department.”
Melton welcomes back several players that helped the team make the state 3A playoffs last season, and he’s hoping they will not only make the post-season again but also make a strong bid for the BSC title.
Melton has three of last year’s top pitchers returning, including his son Charlie Melton, junior Zane Brockman who committed to NC State his freshman year, and southpaw Peyton Fisher.
Melton was an All-State pitcher last year, Brockman the Big South Pitcher of the Year, and Fisher a key relief pitcher and a starting outfielder.
“Peyton got a late start because he advanced to the championship match in the state wrestling tournament,” Coach Melton noted. “But he’s going to be a big contributor. He just has to get back into baseball shape.”
All three play other positions as well and will be among the team’s leaders at the plate and in the field.
“Brockman is back for his third year as a third baseman and pitcher,” Coach Melton noted.
Some other returning starters who should do well are senior outfielder Maddox Brown, Jacob Hamrick, who was an All-Conference and All-State outfielder, and led the team in hitting last year.
Junior right hander Wyatt Davis led the team in innings pitched last year, and Melton said he will be a starter this time around.
Other versatile returnees include junior catcher/outfielder Cole Irby and second baseman/shortstop/pitcher Blake Broome.
“A new guy who will help us a lot is sophomore Ethan Guy,” Melton noted. “He’s a utility player. He can catch and play anywhere in the infield, and he hits the ball very well.”
Colton Mayes is another sophomore who will be counted on at first and third base. “He also hits the ball really well,” Melton noted.
Brayden Patrick, who has a good arm and good speed, will be in the outfield; and freshman Jack Toney should play a lot at first base and is also a good pitcher, Melton noted.
“It’s going to be a tough race in the Big South Conference,” Melton says. “Crest is always good. They have a new coach this year. South Point has joined the conference and they’re always really good in baseball, and North Gaston is always very competitive.
“The key for us will be pitching,” he added. “It should really be good and will keep us in every game. If we can score four or five runs we can win.
“The other key will be hitting,” he added. “If we’re hitting the ball we’ll be very good. Peyton Fisher is really going to help us this year. We expect a lot of good things out of him. He’s thrown a couple innings in the scrimmages and looked good. It’s good to have an experienced lefthander.
“By far, pitching is our strength but our defense is pretty solid, too. Hitting was our big problem last year. We need to cut down on the strikeouts and put the ball in play. If we can hit the ball we’ll be a big out. Charlie and Brockman will probably be our aces and Fisher and Davis the closers. They’ve all looked good so far.”

Six great athletes to be
inducted into Hall of Fame

Six former Mountaineer greats will be inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
They are former KMHS basketball stars Sharon Gold and Sheryl Goode, the late KMHS and Appalachian State University football standout Jim Cloninger, former Mountaineer All-State football great Mariko Feemster, former KMHS state championship wrestler Tony Young, and former KMHS and Gardner-Webb three-sport standout and current KMHS assistant principal Tandra Leftwich.
Gold was a three-time All-Conference basketball star at KMHS in the 1960s. During that time, the only sport for women was basketball.  She scored a school-record 1,029 points, breaking Hall of Famer Judy Medlin’s school record by a point.
Cloninger was also a star in the sixties. His senior year he helped lead the KMHS football and basketball teams to conference championships. An end and punter, he was All-Conference, All-State and played in the Boys Town All-Star game in 1965. He started as a freshman at Appalachian State in 1965 before injuries ended his career.
Goode was an All-Conference basketball player at KMHS in 1981, helping the team to its best record in school history at that time. She went on to play four years at Johnson C. Smith where she scored 428 points with 314 rebounds in 91 games. She helped lead her team to a 17-9 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1985.
Feemster, an offensive lineman, was All-Conference and All-State for Ron Massey’s 1998 state runner-up football team at KMHS. He capped off his high school career as a North Carolina all-star in the annual Shrine Bowl game. He gained significant playing time his freshman year at UNC Chapel Hill before injuries ended his career.
Leftwich was a three-year All-Conference volleyball and softball player at KMHS from 1989-92 and was state diving champion in ’92. She was a three-year All-Conference volleyball and softball player at Gardner-Webb from 1992-94.
Young registered 112 wins as a heavyweight wrestler at KMHS from 1989-92. He was a three-year conference and Western Regional team and state champ and All-State in 1992. He led the Mountaineers to three straight conference and regional championships and a state runner-up in 1990. His senior year, his back-up at heavyweight was Dremiel Byers who would go on to win numerous state and national championships and compete for the U.S. in the Olympics

KM basketball teams bow out
in first round of state playoffs


KMHS wrestler Peyton Fisher
second in state 3A tournament

Kings Mountain High wrestler Peyton Fisher sat out his junior season last year to concentrate on his baseball skills.
That paid off for him as he received a full scholarship offer to play collegiately when he leaves here.
He completed his high school wrestling career Saturday in Greensboro by advancing to the championship battle in the 3A division.
He lost 8-3 to Jonathon Hance of Central Davidson. Even though he fell short in that match, he still accomplished something that many wrestlers do not.
In just three years, he posted an even 100 victories. He accomplished that the night before with a third round 6-1 decision over Colby Mace of Fred T. Foard.
He opened tournament action on Thursday with a 6-1 victory over Michael Locklear of Scotland  County,  and followed that with a 6-5 win over Joshua Knipe of West Carteret.
Kings Mountain was also well represented by 106-pound sophomore Trevor Moore who posted a 2-2 mark. He will be working hard for the opportunity to make two more trips to the state finals.
He opened the tournament with a 7-3 victory over Cole Hunt of Jacksonville before losing a tough decision to Kyle Simpson of Parkwood 11-6.
The Mountaineers tied for 25th in the team standings with 21 points. Fred T. Foard won with 177. The Big South’s Stuart Cramer was fourth with 73.
Other BSC finishes included North Gaston, tied for 18th with 29 points, Hunter Huss tied for 35th with 16, Ashbrook tied for 41st with 14, Crest tied for 53rd with six and South Point tied for 67th with two.
The KM wrestlers were coached by head coach Shane Short, who will be leaving the program to become head football coach at Bessemer City High School, and assistant and former Hunter Huss wrestling and football standout Michael Kennedy.
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Saniya Wilson ran her KMHS career point total to 1,672 in Big South Conference tournament loss to Ashbrook and was ready to add to her total as the Lady Mountaineers opened state tourney action last night.

KMHS basketball ends season,
advances to state tournament

Kings Mountain High’s men’s and women’s varsity basketball teams ended their regular season last week with second place finishes in the annual Big South 3A Conference tournament and are playing in the state 3A tournament this week.
Both local teams were scheduled to open post-season play last night at home.  The women, ranked #16, were to face #17 Canton Pisgah with the winner advancing to a Thursday bout against the winner of the #1 Jesse Carson vs. #32 West Charlotte game;  and the men, ranked #14, were to battle 19th seed Southern Guilford with the winner advancing to the winner of the #3 Crest vs. #30 Ashe County contest.
The Lady Mountaineers, who tied with Ashbrook for the regular season conference championship, dropped a tough rubber-match decision to the Lady Green Wave 62-61 in the conference tournament finale Friday at Crest High School.
The Mountaineers, who finished a strong second to Crest in the men’s race, lost to the mighty Chargers again in the tournament finals, 69-59.
Like their two regular season games, the women’s tournament finale was a barn-burner. Ashbrook jumped out to a big 24-15 lead in the first quarter and was on top 37-27 at the half and 52-47 going into the fourth quarter. But, the KM ladies made it interesting at the end.
A Saniya Wilson layup with under a minute to play tied the game at 60-60. Ashbrook threw the ball out of bounds with 22 seconds left. Wilson was able to take a baseline inbounds pass from Alayna Patrick the length of the floor and was fouled with nine seconds left.
She hit one of the two free throws to give the Lady Mountaineers the lead, but Ashbrook’s Kennette Bess was able to get to the free throw line with 4.5 seconds to play and hit both ends of a one-and-one to give the Lady Green Wave their victory margin. Wilson missed a buzzer beater from just beyond the arc as time expired.
Wilson finished with another spectacular night with 34 points, giving her a record 1,672 in four years on the KM varsity. She also had six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
Khalia King had 13 points and three rebounds, Tyasya Bell seven points and four rebounds, Alayna Patrick four points, nine rebounds and four assists, CoRey Simpson three points and five rebounds, Austyn Dixon nine rebounds and Jacie Jarvis three rebounds.
The Crest men basically led wire to wire in the nightcap. The Chargers were on top 16-12 after the first quarter, 40-25 at the break and 47-40 going into the fourth quarter.
Kings Mountain put up a good fight in the fourth, scoring the first six points and cutting the margin to 47-46 on a three-pointer by Zeke Cannedy with six minutes left. Crest widened the margin again but Kofi Boakye’s free throw brought the margin to within 59-56. With time running out the Mountaineers were forced into a fouling situation and the Chargers iced the win at the charity stripe.
In semi-finals action Wednesday night, the KM ladies beat a very good Hunter Huss team 59-49 and the men eliminated a good Stuart Cramer team 72-61.
The Lady Mountaineers placed three players in double figures, led by Wilson with 24. Simpson scored 11 and King 10. Wilson also had six rebounds, three assists and five steals, Simpson 15 rebounds and King two rebounds.
Jacie Jarvis had five points and two rebounds, Alayna Patrick four points, five rebounds and five steals, Tyasya Bell four points, nine rebounds and two steals, and Austyn Dixon one point, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Mountaineers advanced to the championship game by defeating a good Stuart Cramer team, 72-61.
Cannedy and James were a strong 1-2 punch for the Mountaineers with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Zavian Smith had nine points, Curtis Simpson seven, Bryson Brown and Jaqualyn Sanders two each and Priest Wilson one.
Cannedy had 11 rebounds and five assists, James seven boards and six assists, Simpson 14 rebounds and two blocks and Sanders four steals.
The Mountaineers broke away from a 39-all tie late in the second period to lead 52-41 going into the fourth period.


Patriots beat Burns 
to go 12-0, playoffs
underway this week

Kings Mountain Middle School’s boys basketball team finished the regular season Thursday with a convincing 57-27 win over county rival Burns.
The undefeated Patriots were scheduled to host Crest in the first round of the conference playoffs yesterday.
The Patriots got off to a slow start against Burns, going 3 for 12 from the field in the first period. But, their free throw shooting and zone defense gave them an early lead.
Caleb Nixon’s floater got the Pats on the board and free throws by Brayden Mull and Charlie Foster gave the team a quick 5-2 lead.
Mull’s two offensive put-backs gave the Patriots an 11-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
KM was able to get going offensively in the second period as Tucker Robinette and Bradley Floyd scored eight and four points, respectively, and KM picked up its defensive tempo by limiting the Eagles to just three baskets to lead 27-8 at intermission.
In the third quarter, KM came out hot from three point land as Nixon, Floyd and Robinette all contributed to increase the lead to 45-20 entering the final quarter.
Chris Hall scored six points and Coryon Gaines three as the Patriots finished the game on a 6-1 run.
Robinette finished with 11 points and three steals, Nixon five points and two blocks, Floyd 11 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, Foster six points, four rebounds and two blocks, Brayden Mull nine points and seven rebounds, Christian Jarrett two points, nine rebounds and two blocks, Christian Hill eight points and three rebounds, Gaines three points, Aiden Smith one point and Ty Howard and Silas Tate combined for three rebounds and an assist.
KM had a season high 44 rebounds, including 15 on offense. The Patriots shot 44 percent overall and 50 percent from inside the arc. They committed only 10 turnovers and blocked nine shots.
The win gave the Patriots an undefeated 12-0 regular season record, including 10-0 in the East Division.
“This team has been awesome all year,” noted Coach Chris Cole. “We hope everyone will come out and support us in the playoffs as we are going to try and finish what we started.”

Patriots beat Lincolnton to take sole possession of first

Kings Mountain Middle’s Patriots took over sole possession of first place in the Tri-County Conference East Division last week with an exciting 74-67 win over Lincolnton.
Both teams went into the game with unbeaten records. Both got off to a great start exchanging baskets.
Brayden Mull’s assist found Charlie Foster in the high post for a quick field goal 30 seconds into the game. Tucker Robinette’s steal and assist to Bradley Floyd gave the Patriots their first lead at 4-3.
Caleb Nixon’s pass to Silas Tate for a deep three gave KM its biggest lead of the first half at 9-7 at the 2:30 mark of the first quarter. The lead exchanged hands nine times during the quarter as Lincolnton took the lead at 17-13.
The fast pace continued in the second period, but the Patriots got cold from the field and the Wildcats grew their lead to 28-17 with three minutes left in the half.
Tate passed to Floyd for a 3-pointer and Floyd passed to Tate for a fast break layup to get the Patriots to within 28-24. Lincolnton went on to lead 39-32 at the half.
The Patriots turned up their defense in the third quarter and limited Lincolnton to just three free throws over the first 3 1/2 minutes. Nixon’s floater tied the game at 42-all before Lincolnton went back up 47-42. Two free throws by Mull, Nixon and Mull lay-ups and a Nixon three gave the Pats their first lead since the first quarter, 51-48 going into the fourth quarter.
Jumpers by Nixon and Floyd extended KM’s lead to 55-52. The Patriots tightened up their defense and  held to Wildcats to just one bucket in the first three minutes.
A Floyd jumper and a Nixon three-pointer gave KM its biggest lead of the game, 62-55, with just over 3:30 to play. Foster’s offensive rebound helped KM maintain its lead at 64-58.
The Wildcats were able to pull within 64-62 before Floyd’s put-back gave KM a two possession lead with two minutes to play. Mull’s layup and Floyd’s tip-in finished the scoring.
The win clinched the number one seed for KM in the East Division.
Floyd led the KM attack with 25 points on 11 for 14 shooting. He also had eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and five blocks.
Nixon scored 22 points on 8 for 15 shooting. He hit two threes and dished out three assists.
Brayden Mull had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and also had two steals.
Charlie Foster scored six points to go with nine rebounds and a block, Tucker Robinette four points, Silas Tate five points and three assists, Christian Jarrett two points and Ty Howard two rebounds and a steal.
KM hit 34 of 40 shots, including 30 of 56 inside the arc. The Patriots turned the ball over only 11 times and had 37 rebounds, including 18 on offense, 14 assists and six blocks.
“This was one of the most intense games I’ve ever been a part of,” said Coach Shane Cole. “Two teams battling for first place. We were fortunate to win. LJ Smith for Lincolnton was unconscious. We threw everything at him. We slowed him down a little in the second half. He had 41 points, so we didn’t slow him down much.
“It was a great team win,” Cole added. “Robinette and Tate on defense put the team first. And our bench came through again. The combination of Tate, Jarrett and Howard (seven points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal) were a tremendous lift for us.”
Kings Mountain was scheduled to host Crest Tuesday in the first round of the conference playoffs.

KM Middle continues
to roll in conference

Kings Mountain Middle School recently played three games in eight days to remain undefeated in the Tri-County Conference, plus picked up a forfeit over West Lincoln.
The Patriots had their toughest test to date, edging a good North Lincoln team 64-60.
The lead changed hands nine times in the first quarter as KM’s Tucker Robinette scored seven of his 20 points to put the Patriots on top 14-13.
The Patriots extended their lead to 28-22 early in the second quarter and took a slim 30-27 lead into halftime. Bradley Floyd and Robinette scored 12 of the Pats 16 points during that period.
KM extended its lead to 37-31 in the third period and then went on an 11-2 run to make it 42-38 with 2:30 left in the quarter. Christian Jarrett hit a lay-up and Floyd a buzzer beater for a 48-47 KM lead going into the final quarter.
Brayden Mull scored five points to help KM to a 53-49 lead but the Panthers battled back to tie the game at 54 all. Foster gave KM a 56-54 lead and lay-ups by Floyd and Robinette sealed the win.
Floyd finished with 21 points, 10 boards and seven assists. Robinette had 20 points, Mull 14 points and nine rebounds, Foster six points, Caleb Nixon one point and four assists and Christian Jarrett two points.
KM hit 59 percent (20 for 34) from inside arc and had only nine turnovers.
“North is a good team,” noted KM Coach Shane Cole. “We were pushed to our limit. When they hit five straight threes from the third period to the fourth to put us down four points, it showed what our team is made of. Our guys never quit and they kept pushing.”
Later in the week, the Patriots had a much easier time in defeating West Lincoln 54-11.
Foster’s tip to Nixon for a quick layup got the KM assault started and they went on to lead 18-0 after just three minutes of action. All five starters took part in the scoring with Nixon leading with eight points.
The second unit continued to dominate as they outscored the Chiefs 14-0 to run the score to 32-0. Silas Tate, Coryon Gaines and Aiden Smith all connected from downtown.
Coach Cole rotated his entire roster in the third period as Floyd and Nixon scored 10 of the team’s 11 points for a 45-9 lead.
Nixon led the scoring with 13 points and Floyd added 11. Mull had five, Robinette three, Foster two, Gaines three, Aiden Smith three, Tate eight, Chris Hill three, Ty Howard two, and Christian Jarrett grabbed four rebounds.
In their third game of the week, the Patriots defeated Burns 45-26.
Foster’s tip to Floyd got the scoring underway and KM built a 5-0 lead en route to a 14-8 advantage after the first period.
KM turned up its defensive intensity in the second period and caused eight turnovers. That, plus two blocked shots sent the Patriots into the halftime break with a 14 point lead.
Both teams were cold in the third quarter but KM was able to maintain its 14 point lead going into the fourth period. KM started the fourth on a 9-0 run to win going away.
Floyd and Foster scored 10 points each, Robinette seven, Nixon five, Mull six, Jarrett two, Hill three, Howard two and Tate one.

Patriots edge North, playoffs begin Monday

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team posted one of its biggest wins last week when it defeated a very good North Lincoln team for the second time in two weeks, 63-55.
This win ran the Patriots’ record to 10-0 on the season and clinched a spot in next week’s conference playoffs.
“Wow, another classic game between these two teams,” said KM coach Shane Cole. “We’ve had some battles since I’ve been here, a play-in game, a five overtime game, a 64-60 game last time we played and now this one.
“I want to give praise to my bench; they really came up big in the first half when we got in foul trouble. The combination of Silas Tate, Chris Hill, Christian Jarret and Ty Howard was phenomenal. We could’ve easily been down six or seven points at the half but they held their ground.”
Charlie Foster led the KM attack with 16 points, including 6-for-6 shooting from the field and 4 of 5 free throws. He also had nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Caleb Nixon added 15 points and was 5-for-8 from twos, and grabbed five rebounds.
Tucker Robinette added 11 points including 6 for 8 free throws, three assists and three steals.
Bradley Floyd scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks.
Brayden Mull scored five points, including 3 of 4 free throws and also had three rebounds.
Silas Tate had four points, a steal, a block and an assist, and Christian Jarrett hit 2 of 2 free throws and had one block.
KM grabbed a quick 7-1 lead on Robinette’s deep three, Mull’s two free throws and a Mull basket on an assist from Foster. Floyd’s tip-in and Nixon’s layup gave the Patriots a 16-13 lead after one quarter.
The second quarter saw both teams get into foul trouble and KM had to go deep into the bench as three starters had multiple fouls.
KM led 21-15 with four minutes left in the half but North went on an 11-4 run to take their first lead a minute before the break. Two free throws by Jarrett and a lay-up by Tate helped KM stay in the game as the two went into the break tied at 29.
Lay-ups by Floyd, Tate, Nixon and Robinette and a put back by Foster gave the Patriots their biggest lead, 42-33, with less than a minute left in the third period.
The start of the fourth quarter saw the Patriots get into deeper foul trouble and North took a 46-45 lead with 4:30 remaining. Nixon’s free throw tied the game at 46 and Foster’s put-back gave the Patriots a two-point lead.
With a four-point lead and four minutes left, KM went to a box-and-one on NL’s best player. Tate provided pressure to stifle the three-point possibility and KM was able to build the lead back to clinch the win.
KM finished with 33 rebounds, including 19 on
offense and had 11 assists, 11 steals by seven different players, eight blocks by five different players, hit 19 of 31 from inside the arc and made 19 free throws.
In their second game last week, the Patriots got off to a torrid start and defeated East Lincoln 67-39.
Floyd scored 18 points on 8 for 12 shooting, Robinette 13, Nixon 11, Foster six, Mull 10, Coryon Gaines four, Ty Howard three and Aiden Smith two.
Floyd added five boards, four assists and five steals; Robinette six assists and two steals; Nixon seven steals; Foster two assists; Mull seven boards and two steals, Gaines four rebounds, Tate two boards, one assist and two steals and Hill two rebounds.
KM hit 53 percent inside the arc, starters outscored East Lincoln 45-16 and Nixon, in the first quarter, Floyd in the second and Robinette in the third had buzzer-beater shots.
“I’ve been here 11 years and I don’t ever remember shooting that well to start a game,” Coach Cole said. “We made our first eight shots from inside the paint on seven assists. That just shows you how good this team really is when they are focused and play together.”