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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.”
Results:
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.
Relays:
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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AUSTYN DIXON

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

 Photos

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.”
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Four-way standout Fisher
Mountaineers’ 2021 MVP

Peyton Fisher’s all-around performance on the football field during the fall earned the Kings Mountain High senior the team’s most valuable player trophy at Thursday’s annual awards presentation at B.N. Barnes Auditorium.
Fisher, an All-Big South Conference performer, seldom came off the field. When he did it was early in the season when the Mountaineers had their opponents blown out and the coaches were working reserves into the game.
“We had a lot of excellent players,” Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd said, “and Peyton stood out in everything he did. He could have been All-Conference at four different positions.”
Fisher was not just an outstanding receiver with 342 yards on 30 catches, and an outstanding punter with a 40-plus yard average, but he was an excellent defensive player with a huge number of tackles and quarterback sacks. And, no doubt, he will probably be best remembered when he took a pass interception to the house to clinch a very important victory at South Point, which head coach Greg Lloyd noted was the first KM win over South Point in Belmont in many years.
“He was a hard worker and a great leader,” Coach Lloyd said. “He had a lot of big touchdowns, big catches and big sacks.”
Prior to the trophy presentations, Lloyd recognized players that made post-season all-star teams, including:
All-Big South – Seth Neal, AJ Richardson, Jaden Ellis, Peyton Fisher, Isaiah Eskridge, Jake Lloyd, D’Andre Hoyle and Tykel Smith. All of them also made the All-Area team.
Hoyle and Smith were named All-State.
Other awards presented included:
Outstanding defensive lineman award – Seth Neal. Coach Michael Kennedy said he was privileged to have a “very young group with a lot of talent.”
Neal, who transferred in to KMHS, was a tackling machine, registering 54 solo tackles, including 18 for loss and 12 quarterback sacks.
“He was one of those every day, team-first guys,” Kennedy pointed out. “We had a lot of guys like that that played many different roles.”
Defensive back awards – D’Andre Hoyle and Jake Lloyd.
Hoyle, an outstanding two-way player, was also the team’s leading receiver with 29 catches for 659 yards. He had a team-leading six pass interceptions. “He was the spark of the team,” Kennedy noted. “He made big plays in crucial situations.”
Lloyd was another player that stood out on both offense and defense.
On defense, he led the team in tackles with 98, including three tackles for loss and an interception. He also had several blocked punts, including two for touchdowns.
“He had a knack for the ball,” Coach Kennedy said. “He was always a step ahead of the offense.”
Jeff Putnam Linebacker of the Year – Micah Ward.
“He gave his heart and soul, just like Coach Putnam did,” Coach Wilson said. “He was a hard worker and he was tough.”
Wilson pointed out that Ward had 81 tackles and two interception, “and the best thing about him is that he is a junior and will be back in the fall.”
Wilson also presented the Defensive Coaches Award to sophomore standout Zavian Smith.
“He always played his best,” Wilson said. “He can play any position. He loves to be challenged. He’s special and we expect good things from him for two more years.”
The defensive MVP award was presented to junior standout AJ Richardson, who was a monster on defense and was also called

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upon anytime the Mountaineers needed tough rushing yards on offense.
“He is very determined to be successful,” Wilson said. “He has an infectious energy and leads by example. He always plays hard and wants to make the big plays.
“Late in the year he was injured, but he was still important to us as he was always on the sidelines talking to the players and helping them give their best. He’s a player coach.”
Junior placekicker Jaden Ellis received one of the Special Teams MVP awards from assistant coach Mike Harris.
“He had two huge field goals that gave us leads in two big games,” Harris pointed out.
Jake Lloyd received the other Special Teams MVP Award.
“You could count on him every game to return punts and kickoffs,” Harris said. “He led us in special teams tackles and also blocked two punts for TDs that broke open close games.”
First-year varsity quarterback Lamont Littlejohn Jr. received the Outstanding Offensive Back Award.
Littlejohn, whose father Lamont Littlejohn Sr. also played quarterback for the Mountaineers, quarterbacked the JVs to a 4-0 record during a COVID-shortened spring season. Those four wins were over Shelby, Burns, South Point and Crest.
He stepped into the varsity QB role in the fall and improved each week to become one of the best quarterbacks in the area.
He had a 95.2 quarterback rating.
“He’s a student of the game,” Coach Lloyd pointed out. “He’s always calm and prepared to lead the team. He made some really big plays for us in the playoff games.”
Assistant Coach Diron Bell presented the Outstanding Wide Receiver Award to D’Andre Hoyle.
“We had five good receivers who were always making plays,” Bell said. “He put in his time and led our receivers in yards and touchdowns.”
Line Coach Kevin Cruise presented the Blocking Award to Isaiah Eskridge.
“It was a very tough choice because we’ve been very balanced the last couple of years,” he said. “This year our offensive line paved the way for over 2,000 rushing yards and 2,000 passing yards. Every one of our linemen had a tremendous work ethic and great attitude.
“We have several that will be playing at the next level. Isaiah has a very bright future. He has the size, the strength and the footwork.”
The first annual Brent Bagwell Offensive Coach’s Award went to Bryson Brown.
Coach Cruise called Brown “an excellent student who comes to work every day committed to be second to none.
“He made some big time catches,” Cruise noted. “He scored the first touchdown in the Franklin playoff game, and the last one to win the game.” That one, came in the final seconds after the Mountaineers drove 99 yards with just over a minute remaining that allowed the team to go three rounds in the state playoffs before being eliminated by the eventual state champion Greensboro Dudley eleven.
Making the blocks to achieve such success as the above-mentioned nail-biter were a host of good offensive linemen. And, it was fitting that the Offensive Most Valuable Player Award went to All-State lineman Tykel Smith.
“He was a dominant blocker and a great leader,” Cruise said. “He plays the game the right way – in practice and games. He has a great attitude in every situation.”
The Weightlifter of the Year Award was presented by Coach Ted Trahan to senior Jonah Patrick.
“This is a prestigious award,” Trahan noted. “He came in as a freshman and spent a lot of time becoming a good varsity player. He worked extremely hard.”
The Tough Man of the Year Award, given in memory of longtime sideline manager Donnie Mace, went to offensive lineman Micah Lubas.
Coach Cruise pointed out that in previous years Lubas had some ailments that would keep a lot of people away but he “worked hard and was one of the strongest and best linemen out there.”
The Career Achievement Award went to running back Rashaard Brooks, who broke his leg during the spring season and had to have an operation that prevented him from playing in the fall.
“When you lose your senior season it takes a mature individual to work hard to recover,” Coach Lloyd said. “He was tough inside and out. He was a fantastic running back – small but with a big heart. He played his best in big games and he will be missed.”

Lady Mountaineers
defeat Crest 72-57
to share BSC title

For the second time in four years and just the third time in school history, Kings Mountain High’s girls basketball team can lay claim to at least a co-championship following Friday night’s regular-season ending 72-57 win over Cleveland County rival Crest.
The result left the Lady Mountaineers and Ashbrook tied at the top spot with 13-1 conference records. The Ashbrook ladies came into KM’s Donald L. Parker Gymnasium last week to knock off the KM ladies for their only conference defeat.
All BSC teams are involved in their annual conference tournament this week and both KM varsity teams will be entering the state playoffs next week. With their high standing – the KM men finished second in the BSC – they should both be at home for at least the first playoff game.
The Lady Mountaineers grabbed a 17-10 first quarter lead and were never headed at Crest. They were on top 33-22 at the half and 51-33 going into the final eight minutes.
Saniya Wilson continued her torrid scoring pace with 31 points, and junior Khalia King added 25.
Both ladies had exceptional all-around games. Wilson hit 14 of 14 from the free throw line, grabbed six rebounds, dished out six assists and stole the ball three times. King hit all six of her free throws and had four rebounds and two assists.
CoRey Simpson had six points and six rebounds and Myracle Davis added four points, seven boards and blocked two shots. Alayna Patrick had two points, five rebounds, and six assists; Austyn Dixon two points and three rebounds; and Tyasya Bell two points, a team-leading 10 rebounds and three assists.
A 71-68 loss to Ashbrook on the previous Tuesday prevented the Lady Mountaineers from winning the conference outright.
Kennetta Bess scored 32 points and Madison Cole 21 to lead the Ashbrook attack, but it was really the Green Wave defense that provided the win. Although Wilson had her usual lights-out game with 41 points, only three other Lady Mountaineers dented the scoreboard. Patrick scored 15, King nine and Simpson three.
Wilson had nine rebounds, two assists and three steals to go with her 41 points. Patrick had five rebounds and seven assists, Simpson six boards, Davis five and Dixon four.
Ashbrook led most of the game, but was always fighting off a charge by the KM ladies. Wilson’s bucket gave the KM ladies a 15-13 lead after the first period, but Ashbrook scored the first nine points of the second quarter and went on to lead 33-29 at the half. They led 50-45 going into the fourth quarter.
KM was able to get to within three, 66-63, with 1:13 remaining after a bucket and two free throws by Patrick and cut it to three again (68-65) following a pair of free throws by Wilson with 10.3 remaining. Wilson’s three cut it to 70-68 with 2.4 seconds left, but the KM gals were forced to foul and Ashbrook wrapped it up at the line.
Kings Mountain’s other two conference championships came in 1983 and 2019. Wilson, who was a freshman starter in ‘19, became the first Lady Mountaineer to play on two championship teams in basketball.
The KM men went 1-2 in their final regular season action, losing to Ashbrook and Crest and beating Huss 77-50.
Zeke Cannedy continued his torrid scoring pace against Huss with 46 points, all of them coming in the first three quarters. He rode the pine the entire fourth quarter as the Mountaineers worked everyone into the game.
Cannedy also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Curtis Simpson had a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. He also blocked six shots.
Zavion Smith continued his fine all-around play with eight points and six assists.
In the 73-66 upset loss to Ashbrook, which ended any KM hopes for a share of the regular season title, Cannedy again led all scorers with 32 points. Smith added 14 and Maddox James 12. Kenneth Greene led the Wave with 27 points.
KM led 20-17 after the first period, 40-32 at the break and 54-48 going into the fourth quarter but Ashbrook went on a 7-1 run to take the lead at 55-54 with 5:13 remaining.
That run obviously gave the Green Wave a ton of confidence. KM was able to regain the lead at 65-64 on a pair of free throws by Cannedy with 42 seconds left but Ashbrook answered with two free throws of their own to go up 66-65, then immediately stole KM’s inbounds pass and went up 68-65. KM was forced to foul and the visitors clinched the upset at the foul line.
 

Mountaineers
sweep Cramer

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams swept Stuart Cramer to stay in the fight for the Big South 3A Conference with regular season-ending games this week.
The Lady Mountaineers remained undefeated in the conference with a 63-20 victory before the Mountaineers turned back a strong Cramer five 89-77 in the nightcap.
The KM teams were scheduled to host a pair of very good Gastonia Ashbrook teams last night at Parker Gym. Heading into that game, the KM girls held just a one-game lead over the Ashbrook ladies and were needing a victory to wrap up the conference championship.
The locals end their regular season Friday night at Crest. Heading into last night’s game the Mountaineers still were within striking distance of the Chargers in the race for the conference championship as a narrow win by the Chargers  January 18 was KM’s only defeat in the league.
Big South Conference tournament action will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. State playoff action begins on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
The KM girls got their usual 1-2 scoring punch from Saniya Wilson and Khalia King at Cramer, but all of Coach Nicholas Inman’s ladies made big contributions.
Wilson had 25 points, three rebounds, six assists and two steals. King contributed 25 points which included 7 of 11 shooting from three point range. She also pulled down five rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Myracle Davis added six points, a team-leading 10 rebounds and three steals.
Alayna Patrick had three points, five boards, six assists and six steals; Jacie Jarvis two points and two rebounds; and Austyn Dixon one point and seven boards.
The Mountaineers led the entire game, but it was close throughout.
Zeke Cannedy continued to put up Player of the Year statistics with 28 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.
And, he had plenty of help as Zay Smith swished the nets for 21 points. Bryson Brown had 12 points, three blocks, four steals and six rebounds, Maddox James 11 points and Jaqualyn Sanders 10.

Mountaineer swimmers
to compete
in state meet

Four individuals and a team from Kings Mountain High School will compete in the NCHSAA 3A state swim meet Friday.
The team competed in the West Regional meet Saturday at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte.
The swimmers going on to the state are Alex Barr in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, Trinity Price in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, Mason Demetro and Dalton Messenger in the 100 butterfly; and Barr, Turner Brown, Demetro and Messenger in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
KM results in the Western Regional included:
Girls 200 medley relay – Abbey Ogle, Callie Stimpson, Trinity Price and Tianna Kaiser, 23rd.
Boys 200 medley relay – Nash Bachman, Alex Hayes, Turner Brown and Hunter Ruppe, 23rd.
Girls 200 free – Trinity Price fifth with a time of 2:05.36 to qualify for the state meet.
Boys 200 free – Dalton Messenger, 15th in 2:03.60, and Mason Demetro 16th in 2:06.00.
Boys 100 butterfly – Messenger sixth in 57.95 and Demetro eighth in 59.86, both qualifying for the state meet.
Boys 100 free – Alex Barr fifth in 50.33, qualifying for the state meet.
Girls 500 free – Trinity Price fourth in 5:37.24, qualifying for the state.
Girls 200 free relay – Trinity Price, Callie Stimpson, Abbey Ogle and Tianna Kaiser, 21st.
Boys 100 backstroke – Alex Barr second in 54.76, new school record and qualifying for state meet.
Boys 400 free relay – Dalton Messenger, Turner Brown, Mason Demetro and Alex Barr, seventh in 3:41.38 and qualifying for the state meet.
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Priest Wilson fires a jumper for the Mountaineers in last week’s win over South Point’s Red Raiders. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers sweep South Point

Kings Mountain High’s varsity basketball teams swept the South Point Red Raiders in Big South 3A Conference action last Tuesday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers remained atop the conference standings with a sound effort from all players, 70-37, and the Mountaineers held on to their strong second place standing in the nightcap, 78-65.
The ladies led by just 11-8 after the first period but they quickly took charge in the second quarter and won easily. In the second quarter, the Lady Mountaineers got a big lift from Khalia King and Saniya Wilson on offense and all of their players on defense to allow the Lady Red Raiders just one point until the two minute mark. By that time the locals were up 30-9 and had the game in hand by halftime, 34-15.
Coach Nick Inman’s team placed four players in double figures and every player performed well on defense, most notably CoRey Simpson who pulled down a career high 18 rebounds to go with her three points.
King led the scoring attack with 16 points, with 12 of them coming on a 4-for-5 shooting performance from three-point land. She also had three rebounds.
Senior standout Saniya Wilson once again had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. She also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.
Alayna Patrick had one of, if not the best game of her career with 11 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Her points and rebounds were both career highs on the varsity level.
Jacie Jarvis also had career highs of 11 points and eight rebounds.
Tyasya Bell scored eight points to go along with three rebounds and two steals, Austyn Dixon had six points and five boards and Myracle Davis had four points, five rebounds and three assists.
Lexi Birtwistle led the Lady Raiders with 11 points and Maddie Frank added 10. Toney Melton and Claire Huv scored six apiece and Leah Cha and Lily Gregory two each.
In JV action, Kings Mountain improved to 5-1 with a 12-8 win over the Lady Raiders. Mia Bridges had six points, Maggie Honeycutt four and Desirae Thombs two.
Although the final score may not indicate it, the men’s game was also a blowout as the Mountaineers led by 24 points (76-52) with three minutes left when Coach Grayson Pierce took all starters out of the game. Even before that, many starters were being taken out from time to time to work everyone into the game.
The game was tied in the opening minute after KM’s Zeke Cannedy and SP’s Jackson Blee traded buckets. But by the end of the first quarter KM was up 22-7 and the game was basically in hand.
Cannedy’s free throw put the Mountaineers up 39-19 at halftime. He scored 18 of his game-high 41 points in the first half.
The Raiders scored the first six points of the third quarter to get the margin down to 39-25, and rallied again later in the period to cut it to 55-38 but the Mountaineers rallied to take a 61-42 lead into the final eight minutes.
With KM up 78-54 after a lay-in by Keedon Linney with 2:25 left in the game, the Raiders scored the last 11 points of the game to make it more respectable.

Last second goal in OT
lifts Lions over KMHS

Kings Mountain native Drew Hollifield stole an inbounds pass and hit a lay-up with just a second remaining to give the Lions a 76-74 overtime victory over Kings Mountain in a non-conference game Wednesday night in Shelby.
It gave the Lions a sweep of the varsity doubleheader after the Lady Lions rolled to a 77-39 win in the opener.
Hollifield’s heroics overshadowed yet another outstanding performance by Kings Mountain senior Zeke Cannedy, who finished with a game-high 30 points. Hollifield and DeMario Allen led the Lions with 18 apiece.
Drew’s cousins, Kate and Ally Hollifield, played a huge part in the Lady Lions’ victory. Maraja Pass led all scorers with 21 points but Kate Hollifield was right behind with 18, followed by Ally Hollifield with 15.
Saniya Wilson led the Lady Mountaineers with 17 points and also had three assists, two rebounds, one steal and took two charges.
Khalia King had eight points, three assists and a steal; Alayna Patrick six points, six rebounds, three steals and an assist; Tyasya Bell four points, three rebounds and an assist, Austyn Dixon two points, three rebounds and an assist and CoRey Simpson two points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
It was just the third loss of the year for the Lady Mountaineers, the other two coming in pre-season tournaments.
In the JV game, Shelby handed the KM ladies a 15-10 defeat to drop their record to 5-2.
Mia Bridges led KM with four points. Brooklyn Long and Jailen Moore scored two points each and Maggie Honeycutt and Desirae Thombs one each.

KMHS Interact Club selling bands helping international student

By Loretta Cozart

Kings Mountain High School Interact Club is tackling an international project by selling bracelets to help a student from Guatemala with her education expenses. Lucy’s father died last year of COVID, and the family is struggling financially.
Her story touched the hearts of the Interact members and they have worked hard selling YUDA bands to their friends and family. These bracelets were hand made in developing countries and their sale also benefits the artisans who produce them. Club members are proud to be able to send the proceeds to help Lucy with her education. The club’s top seller was Kalin Brooks.
Kings Mountain High School Interact Club is primarily a leadership and service -oriented club. It is an offshoot of the Kings Mountain Rotary Club. The KMHS faculty club sponsor is Margot Plonk.
The club volunteers at many City-sponsored events and is involved with several annual projects such as the Rotary Spaghetti Supper, Rotary Thanksgiving meal at the Patrick Senior Center, as well as many other community events like the Jingle Bell Run.

 Men’s tennis tryouts
begin Feb. 14 at KMHS

 Kings Mountain High men’s tennis tryouts will be held Mon., Feb. 14 through Fri., Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. at the KMHS tennis complex.
Each student athlete is required to have an updated physical form on file prior to participating in any practices.
All participants are required to take tennis gear such as a racquet, tennis apparel and individual bottled water.
The Mountaineers lost five seniors off last year’s team. Four players return including Adam Guy, Mark Petrilli, Tyler Smith and Manoah Allen.

Football awards
on February 10

 The annual Kings Mountain High School football awards ceremony, originally scheduled for last Thursday, had to be postponed.
The event has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at B.N. Barnes Auditorium.
Trophies and other awards will be presented to some of the many outstanding student-athletes on the 2021 fall team that finished second in the Big South Conference and went three rounds in the state playoffs. The team that eliminated them from the playoffs, Greensboro Dudley, went on to win the state championship.
Because of health concerns, food will not be served.

KM 
sweeps
Wildcats

Kings Mountain High’s varsity basketball teams swept North Gaston in Big South 3A Conference action last week in Dallas.
The girls came out strong in the second half en route to a 49-32 win to keep them undefeated in the conference. The boys dominated from the get-go and rolled over the Wildcats 77-36.
As has been the case in most games this year, the North Gaston defense couldn’t do a thing with KM senior Zeke Cannedy who stripped the nets for 31 points. Maddox James added 18.
The North Gaston girls held the edge early, leading the Lady Mountaineers 10-8 after the first period before KM outscored them 12-8 in the second quarter to go up 20-18 at intermission.
Led by senior standout Saniya Wilson, the Lady Mountaineers widened the gap to 35-23 going into the fourth period.
Wilson finished with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals and Khalia King also hit double digits with 14 points.
All of the KM ladies had good all-around games. Austyn Dixon scored four points and hauled in 10 rebounds. CoRey Simpson had four points, four rebounds and two blocks. Tyasya Bell added three points, five boards, two assists and two steals, Alayna Patrick two points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals, and Myracle Davis two points and three rebounds.
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Kings Mountain’s Maggie Honeycutt (5) goes in for two in last week’s JV game with Crest at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. Photos by Gary Smart

Girls win, boys lose
in big county game
with rival Chargers

Kings Mountain High’s women’s basketball team continued its roll through the Big South Conference but the Mountaineers dropped their first conference game to a very good Crest team Wednesday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
Lady Mountaineer coach Nicholas Inman got a good all-around performance from all of his ladies as they held off a big second half comeback by the Lady Chargers, 62-57. The KM ladies led 42-22 at halftime but the visitors from Boiling Springs outscored them 17-9 in the third period and 18-11 in the final eight minutes to make it a close one.
Senior standout Saniya Wilson again led the KM attack with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Khalia King had 15 points and three assists, and  Tyasya Bell barely missed double figures with nine points. She also grabbed four rebounds.
CoRey Simpson also had a good all-around game with eight points and five boards. Myracle Davis added three points and five rebounds and Austyn Dixon two points and three rebounds.
Surratt led Crest with 22 points and Davis had 13. Blackwell and Hamrick added eight apiece to help spark the Lady Chargers’ comeback attempt.
The JV Lady Mountaineers suffered their first loss of the season, 22-15. They had gone into the match with a 4-0 record.
Maggie Honeycutt led the KM scoring with 10 points. Brooklyn Whitlock had three and Desirae Thombs two.
The Mountaineers led at the end of each of the first three quarters but Crest took command late for an 85-82 victory that kept the Chargers unbeaten in the BSC while dropping the Mountaineers to 6-1 in the league.
The game changed hands several times in the fourth quarter but the Chargers went to a zone defense late and it paid off.
A.J. Adams came off the bench to lead the Chargers with 19 points, including 5-of-6 free throws to seal the win. Kings Mountain led 62-50 in the third period before Adams and his teammates began their big comeback.
The Chargers’ season leading scorer, Mari Adams, got into early foul trouble and was riding the pine when his younger brother and fellow teammates were pulling their big comeback. Three other Chargers were also in double figures with Kevin Kollock also scoring 19, Tylik Briscoe 14 and Amareio Goodlett 10.
Kings Mountain’s Zeke Cannedy continued to put up big numbers, finishing with 48 points with 38 of them coming in the first three periods before the Chargers switched to their zone.
Maddox James continued his great play of late with 15 points, and Curtis Simpson added 11.
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Kaylee Lavin signs with CCC

Kings Mountain High senior Kaylee Lavin signs to continue her softball career and education at Cleveland Community College. Looking on are her parents, Gina Lavin and Tommy Lavin.

Photo by Gary Smart
 
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Saniya Wilson signs
with Catawba College

Kings Mountain High senior basketball standout Saniya Wilson signs to continue her education and playing career at Catawba College. She is pictured with her high school coaches, head coach Nicholas Inman, left, and assistant coach Darrel Wilson, her father.  

Photo by Gary Smart
 

KM Family YMCA  Basketball

Football awards
night Thursday

Kings Mountain High’s annual football awards night is Thursday at 7 p.m. at Barnes Auditorium.
Players from the fall 2021 team that went 10-3 and three rounds in the state 3A playoffs will be recognized and trophies will be presented to many players for their outstanding contributions.         

Adjusted schedule
for KM basketball

 Because the recent snows forced postponement to many basketball games, Kings Mountain High School has adjusted its schedule for the remainder of the regular season:
Wed., Jan. 26 – Crest at Kings Mountain, 4:30. (The home game against Shelby has been cancelled).
Fri., Jan. 28 – Kings Mountain at Forestview, 4:30.
Tue., Feb. 1 – South Point at Kings Mountain, 4 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 2 – Kings Mountain at Shelby, 4 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 4 – Kings Mountain at Stuart Cramer, 4:30.
Sat., Feb. 5 – Forestview at Kings Mountain (JV and varsity boys only), 1 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 8 – Kings Mountain at Ashbrook, 4 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 9 – Hunter Huss at Kings Mountain, 6:30 (varsity boys only).
Fri., Feb. 11 – at Crest, 4 p.m.
Week of Feb. 14 – Conference tournament (times and pairings TBD).
*Note: A 4 p.m. start means there is a girls JV game; a 4:30 start means there is no JV girls game.
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TYASYA BELL

KMHS ladies
edge Huss in OT,
Crest here today

Kings Mountain High’s girls basketball team was able to play their first game in a week Friday night, defeating a very good Hunter Huss team 59-54 in overtime at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium to maintain sole possession of first place in the Big South Conference.
However, with snow coming down outside the KMHS gym the KM-Huss boy’s game was postponed and will be played at a later date.
Heading into this week, both KM teams had a makeup game against county-rival Crest. That game, which would have concluded first round play, was snowed out last Tuesday. The KM men  also have a makeup game with Forestview that was postponed earlier in the season.
Girls coach Nicholas Inman got a super performance from all of his players in Friday’s win over a Huss team that was mentioned as one of the pre-season favorites in the Big South Conference.
Senior Saniya Wilson continued her super all-around play with 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. She also took five charging calls.
Khalia King contributed 10 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Wilson and King have been the 1-2 scoring punch for the KM ladies all season – and several seasons before this one.
But every Lady Mountaineer contributed greatly to Friday’s win.
Tyasya Bell barely missed double figures with nine points, and she also pulled down seven rebounds.
CoRey Simpson had eight points and eight rebounds, and Austyn Dixon had seven rebounds.
Alayna Pastrick had five rebounds and three assists, Myracle Davis two points and three rebounds, and Jacie Jarvis two points.
In the afternoon JV game, the KM ladies also were taken to the wire before prevailing 18-13. They improved their record to 4-0.
Kamari Odems led the scoring with seven points. Jailen Moore and Mia Bridges had three each,
Brooklyn Long and Maggie Honeycutt two each, and D’Aundra Ford one.
All Kings Mountain teams will be at home this afternoon and tonight to face arch rival Crest in .conference action.
Kings Mountain returns to BSC action Friday night at Forestview and will host the South Point Red Raiders next Tuesday. JV girls action gets underway at 4 p.m., followed by the JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys.

Long-time KM Hall of Fame coach
Jimmy Littlejohn will be remembered

Kings Mountain lost one of its all-time best coaches when Jimmy Littlejohn passed away last week at the age of 80.
For more than half of those years, he was a coach of local youth football teams and later was the Athletic Officer for two of KM’s best American Legion baseball teams.
When Littlejohn was inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 he had already amassed 34 years as a coach in midget football. He continued for many years after that while also serving as the Athletic Officer for Kings Mountain Post 155 American Legion baseball.
Although Littlejohn did not coach legion baseball, he was a key figure in what were probably KM’s two finest teams in 1990 and 1991. Featuring players like Paul Brannon, who would later be drafted by the Seattle Mariners, Chad and Chris Plonk, Keith Allen and others, the Post 155 Juniors went all the way to the Area IV finals before falling to two teams, Caldwell County which won the state and played in the Eastern Regionals, and Taylorsville that finished second in the state.
Just a year before that, Post 155 had folded its legion program and its players were split between Shelby and Bessemer City depending on how far they lived from those posts.
In a story in the Herald when he was inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame, Littlejohn recalled that he and Gene Tignor had gone to a Shelby-Bessemer City Area IV playoff game and talked about how great it would be to revive the legion program. They were told by Shelby officials that they would not release any players back to KM, but Littlejohn learned from a state legion baseball officer that if the players signed an affidavit they could play for Post 155. KMHS coaches Bruce Clark and Ronny Funderburke coached the team.
When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Littlejohn said he learned his coaching skills from his high school coach, John Gamble. Although he was not one of the team captains, anytime Coach Gamble met with his two captains he would ask Littlejohn, who was not a starter, to join them.
“I guess he considered me to be the captain of the second team,” Littlejohn noted at the time. “Coach Gamble taught me all the football I know.”
The only coaching experience he had prior to the Optimist programs was helping his friend David Marlowe with the West School community team. Although the original four midget teams were named after schools, schools were not allowed to sponsor youth teams. The original midget teams were West, East, North and Central. A few years later Grover and South (Park Grace) joined the league.
When the school system went to a middle/junior high/senior high school concept midget football ceased to exist and the Optimist Club and city began co-sponsoring junior pee wees, pee wees and junior midget teams that still exist today.

KM teams win Polar Bear track meet at Gamble Stadium
 

Seven area schools participated in the first Polar Bear Indoor Track Meet Thursday at Kings Mountain High’s Gamble Stadium, and both KM teams came out on top.
The Mountaineers compiled 156 points. Shelby was second at 56 followed by R-S Central 33, East Lincoln 24, Cherryville, 14, Paddyforte Learning Center 10 and Burns 1.
The Lady Mountaineers racked up 233 points, followed by Shelby 43, East Lincoln 26, S Central 25 and Burns four.
Fully automatic timing (FAT) was used. Even though the temperate was cool, KM coach Rayvis Key was very impressed with the Mountaineers’ and Lady Mountaineers’ performances.
For the Mountaineers, DJ Black finished first in the 55 meter dash, 300 meter dash and led the 4x200 relay.
Other first place finishers were Andre Willis in the 55 meter high hurdles, Parker Key in the 3200 meter run, Nicholas Harrison in the pole vault and Marty Lovingood in the long jump. Other members of the winning 4x200 team were Andre Willis, Hunter Cruise and JJ Thurman.
Alexis Jackson was a triple winner for the Lady Mountaineers, taking the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
Other first place winners were Rayna Brown in the pole vault, Taylor Smith in the shot, Divinity Ervin in the 3200 meters, Taniya Brown in the 55 meter high hurdles, Brooke Waseman in the 300 meter dash, Navaeh Brown in the 55 meter dash; and the 4x200 meter relay team consisting of Navaeh Brown, Nyadria Phillips, Lawren Thomas and Brooke Waseman.
The KMHS indoor track teams will be traveling to the only true indoor meet at the JDL Fast Track in Winston Salem on January 20.

Lady Mountaineers
beat Cramer 67-48

Kings Mountain’s women’s basketball team rolled to its fifth straight Big South Conference victory Tuesday night at home, defeating the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm 67-48.
The Lady Mountaineers got another strong performance from all players, with four of them scoring in double figures.
Senior standout Saniya Wilson led the way with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Khalia King contributed 16 points and seven boards.
CoRey Simpson had perhaps her best game ever as a Lady Mountaineer, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. It was her first career double-double as a varsity player.
Tyasya Bell was also in double figures with 12 points. She grabbed five rebounds.
Jacie Jarvis had four points and three rebounds.
Alayna Patrick contributed one point, two rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Stuart Cramer’s Dasia Harris was the game’s top scorer with 28 points. Hadley Womack added 17, Madison Lee two and Zoey Morris one.

Mountaineers sweep 
Ashbrook to stay top BSC

Kings Mountain High’s varsity basketball teams went into last night’s game against the Crest Chargers atop the Big South 3A Conference standings.
The KM teams swept Gastonia Ashbrook Friday night on the road with the girls handing the Lady Green Wave their first conference loss in more than two years, 45-41, and the boys rolling 81-50.
The Mountaineers had a good 1-2 scoring punch with Zeke Cannedy stripping the nets for 32 points and Maddox James 18. Zavion Smith added nine points and Curtis Simpson and Eli Osborne seven apiece.
The Lady Mountaineers carried a 6-0 conference record into last night’s game while Crest came to town with a 2-2 conference mark. The Lady Green Wave fell into second place with a 5-1 BSC record.
The KM men came in with a 5-0 mark and Crest 3-0. The Mountaineers still have a first round makeup game with Forestview.

Lady Mountaineer Coach Nicholas Inman got a great overall performance from all of his players.
Khalia King had a super night with a game-high 20 points which included 4-of-7 from three-point land.
Senior standout Saniya Wilson continued her fine all-around play with 16 points, four rebounds and five assists.
Myracle Davis had three  points and two boards, Austyn Dixon two points and  three rebounds, CoRey Simpson two points and five rebounds, and Tyasya Bell two points and a team high nine rebounds.
The Lady Mountaineers held the lead most of the game, but it was close throughout. KM was on top 11-6 after the first quarter, 19-14 at the half and 28-25 going into the fourth quarter.
The KM JVs also came out a big winner, 32-20.
Kamari Odems led the way with 11 points. Jailen Moore scored seven, Riley Powers five, Brooklyn Whitlock five, and Maggie Honeycutt four.
Goforth led Ashbrook with nine points, followed by Rojhaya with six, Hayes three and Mooring two.
The Kings Mountain teams will remain at home Friday to begin second round action against the Hunter Huss Huskies. Kings Mountain will then travel to North Gaston next Tuesday before returning home for a non-conference game with county rival Shelby on Wednesday.
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KM’s Maddox James (4) drives the lane for two points in Kings Mountain’s thrilling 88-82 win over Stuart Cramer last week at Parker Gym. Photo by Gary Smart

Mountaineers weather their
first BSC ‘Storm,’ 88-82

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers survived a tough battle from the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm in Big South 3A Conference basketball action Tuesday night at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium but remained undefeated in the conference with an 88-82 victory.
After leading most of the game, the Mountaineers ran into foul trouble in the second half and saw Cramer come from behind to earn their first lead since early in the game, 70-69, on a Will Kelly basket with six minutes remaining.
But Maddox James, who played one of his best games of the season with 19 points and numerous rebounds, put the Mountaineers back out front 74-72 and they were able to hold on for the victory.
Cramer stayed within striking distance but, even with KM’s leading scorer Zeke Cannedy on the bench with five fouls, the Mountaineers were able to survive behind clutch play by James, sophomore guard Zavion Smith and others.
Cramer got to within 84-80 with 26 seconds remaining, but had to foul and Smith went to the line to go 4-for-4 and wrap things up.
The Storm scored the game’s first points to go up 2-0 and led 15-14 with 1:25 left in the first period. Cannedy scored the last six points of the period to put KM on top 21-17. The Mountaineers built a 45-35 lead following a Cannedy basket with a minute left in the half, but the visitors rallied to cut the margin to 48-42 at the break.
Will Kelly (24 points) and Francisco Vardezas  (11) accounted for 35 of the Storm’s first half points.
The Mountaineers were able to get their lead to double-digits (63-53) on a bucket by James with just over a minute left in the third quarter, but the Storm began brewing again and cut it to 67-60 heading into the final eight minutes. The visitors scored the first seven points of the third quarter to knot things up at 67-all with 6:50 left in the game.
Cannedy’s three put the Mountaineers up 72-70 and they were able to build a 78-72 lead before Smith was hurt and had to go to the bench with 4:05 left.
Things got a little shaky in the final two minutes as a pair of technical free throws by Kelly brought the visitors to within four at 82-78. But, upon getting the ball out of bounds the Storm committed a charge. KM got a big bucket by James for an 84-78 lead. Cramer’s Talen Whitley followed a miss shot with a put-back to make it 84-80 with 26 seconds left.
With the Mountaineers now on offense, The Storm had to foul for a chance to win, but Smith hit 4-of-4 from the charity stripe to seal the deal.
Despite his time on the bench due to fouls, Cannedy still led the Mountaineers with 32 points. He and James were joined in double figures by Linney with 12 and Smith and Simpson with 10 each.
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Kohen Johnson signs with CCC 

Kings Mountain High School swimmer Kohen Johnson recently signed to continue his education and swimming career at Cleveland Community College.

Patriots open 
season with 
win over Crest

Kings Mountain Middle School’s boys basketball team opened its season last week with a thrilling 54-48 overtime victory over county rival Crest.
Crest led most of the game and was up 46-45 with 30 seconds to play before KM’s Bradley Floyd hit a free throw to send the game into overtime.
The Patriots hit 4-for-5 from the field in OT to win going away. Charlie Foster hit back-to-back baskets to get the run going.
Brayden Mull led the Patriots with a double-double (12 points and 13 rebounds). Floyd had 11 points and six assists.
Caleb Nixon scored 19 points including 4-for-8 from three point land. Tucker Robinette had five points and five assists, Silas Tate five points, and Charlie Foster four points and five rebounds.
Crest jumped out to a 13-10 lead after the first quarter. KM was led by Mull with six points on 3-of-3 shooting.
The second period saw KM strike back with a pair of threes by Caleb Nixon and one by Floyd for a 25-23 halftime lead.
Kings Mountain turned cold in the third period and Crest hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 37-32 into the fourth period.
For the game, the Patriots went 9-for-18 from three point land.
The Patriots had 15 assists, 30 rebounds and five blocked shots.  

Elite Trailblazers
basketball begins

Kings Mountain Elite Trailblazers got their basketball season underway last week with action in four divisions.
Players of the Week were:
K-2nd grade /8U Beginners Division, Xzavier Davis of the Elite Dawg Breeding 9 points;
Third-fourth grade/10U Elementary Division, Harper Hollifield of Clutch Elite, 22 points;
Fifth-sixth grade/12U Intermediate Division, Silas Tate of Big Elite, 18 points; and
Seventh-eighth grade Middle School Division, Tucker Robinette of WACG, 34 points.
Total results for week one included:
Elite Aces 23, Elite Royalty 9 – Leading scorers for Elite Aces, K.J. Moore 10, Sadie Bert 5, O’Brian Smith 4, Mason Pruitt 3, Cameron Twitty 1. Elite Royalty – Justin Bennett 6, Carson Hovis 2, Marku Hutchens 1.
Elite Dawg Breeding 20, #Elite Knicks 18, in OT.
Elite Dawg Breeding: Xzavier Davis 9, Sienna Black 4, Joseph Bell III 4, Kendrick Ford 2, Antonio Elder 1. #Elite Knicks: Zander Smith 9, Jasir Garner 6, Khamoni Marable 2, Legaci Hamrick 1.
3rd-4th grade elementary Division:
Clutch Elite 27, Elite Kings 15.
Clutch Elite – Harper Hollifield 22, G’hailyn Smith 3, Kylen Owens 2. Elite Kings – Antonia Surratt 10, Jeremiah Plummer 3, Michael Rice 2.
Elite Fire 8, Elite Swaggers 7.
Elite Fire – Zoey Burke 5, Ayden Harris 3. Elite Swaggers – Cyrus Smith 4, Seth Tate 3.
5th-6th Intermediate Division:
BIG ELITE 33, Elite Pressure 18.
BIG ELITE – Silas Tate 18, Uriah Lipscomb 13, Trevor Dalton 2. Elite Pressure – K.J. Bell 12, Kingston Moore 6.
Elite Outlaws 31, Elite Warriors 27
Elite Outlaws – Carlos Boyce 12, Mason Powers 7, Ira Thomas 6, Jasmine Twitty 2. Ashtun Hall 2, Cheyanne Cannedy 2. Elite Warriors – Xavier Hutchens 21, Jamarius Hill 4, Timazjhe Phillips 2.
7th-8th Middle School division:
WeAllCanGo 45, Elite Hawkins 36
WACG – Tucker Robinette 34, Ethan Dibruno 6, Silas Tate 3, Brayden Carroll 2. Elite Hawks – Malachi Powell 18, Johnathan Charles 9, K.J. Bell 4, Farri Martin 4, Trevor Dalton 1.
Hoop Dreams 40, Elite Hawks 36
Hoop Dreams – Mack Jordan 18, Braylon Brown 8, Christian Adams 6, Carlos Boyce 5, N. Sol Ohana 3.
Elite Hawks – Malachi Powell 12, K.J. Bell 9, Johnathan Charles 8, A. Hall 4, Farri Martin 3.

Mountaineers sweep South Point,
big tests coming against Wave, Crest

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams resumed their season Friday night at Belmont with a sweep of the South Point Red Raiders. The girls won 53-38 and the boys 85-73.
The result left the Mountaineers in a tie for first place in the Big South 3A Conference with the Crest Chargers going into a key BSC match-up with a very good Stuart Cramer five at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium last night.
The KM ladies also went into the game in a tie for first place with the Ashbrook Lady Green Wave. The top spots in the conference will begin to play out when the Kings Mountain teams travel to Ashbrook Friday night and return home the following Tuesday against Crest to complete first round action.
Senior standout Zeke Cannedy continued his torrid scoring pace Friday with 48 points, those coming just a few days after his school record 53 against Gaston Day in the Mountaineers’ Holiday Tournament at Parker Gym.
Several other players had great outings for Coach Grayson Pierce’s team, which improved to 3-0 in the conference and 6-5 overall. Curtis Simpson had 14 points and eight rebounds, Maddox James 12 points and seven boards, and sophomore Zavion Smith dished out 10 assists.
The Lady Mountaineers went to 4-0 in the conference and 7-2 overall with a 53-38 victory.
They got off to a slow start, trailing the Lady Red Raiders 10-9 after the first quarter. But they started the second quarter red hot and outscored South Point 19-8 to go into the break with a 28-18 lead. They continued to pour it on in the third period and led 41-26 going into the final eight minutes.
Khalia King led all scorers with 25 points and she also had two steals and a block. Saniya Wilson joined her in double figures with 13 and also had a good all-around game with five boards, seven assists and three steals.
Austyn Dixon contributed six points, four boards, two assists and a steal; CoRey Simpson five points and eight boards; Myracle Davis two points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block; Alayna Patrick two points, three rebounds and a steal, and Tyasya Bell four rebounds and a steal.
Kings Mountain’s JV girls defeated the JV Lady Raiders 26-17 in the afternoon opener. Mia Bridges scored 10 points, Desiree Thomas six, Kamari Odems five, Maggie Honeycutt two, DAundra Ford two and Broklyn Long one.