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1-10-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football and soccer, College football and basketball, High school basketball

By Richard Walker

The Carolina Panthers just completed their 28th NFL season with the 18th losing record in franchise history.

This past season began and ended with optimism.

In between, there was much sorrow.

Many Panthers fans hoped head coach Matt Rhule would follow the path he’d followed in his two previous stops as a collegiate head coach.

After all, Rhule’s third season at Temple and Baylor special seasons.

Since this was Rhule’s third season as Panthers head coach in a NFC South Division that remained in up for grabs until the next-to-last week of the season, there was reason for optimism.

Then the season began.

Back-to-back losses were followed by what proved to be Rhule’s last victory – a 22-14 home win over New Orleans – before owner David Tepper fired Rhule after two more losses and a 1-4 start to the season.

Assistant coach Steve Wilks was promoted to interim head coach.

A 1987 West Charlotte High graduate where he played quarterback on the school’s 1986 N.C. 4A runner-up team, Wilks later played defensive back at Appalachian State and for the old Arena Football League Charlotte Rage before embarking on a coaching career in 1995 as an assistant at Charlotte’s Johnson C. Smith University.

After 11 years in the college ranks, Wilks was an assistant for the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers before former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera hired him as defensive backs coach and later assistant head coach and defensive coordinator on some of the franchise’s best teams, among them the 2015 NFC champion.

Hired away from the Arizona Cardinals as head coach in 2018 where he was let go after a 3-13 season, Wilks coached one season for the Cleveland Browns and back in college at Missouri in 2021 before Rhule hired him as a secondary coach before this season.

Once Wilks became interim head coach, he hired a new defensive coordinator in Al Holcomb and pushed offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to adhere to a run-dominant attack as injuries forced him to switch quarterbacks three times – from Baker Mayfield to P.J. Walker back to Mayfield and, finally, to Sam Darnold.

The changes were well-received in the locker room and, more importantly, on the scoreboard.

And that’s even after star runningback Christian McCaffrey was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for future draft picks.

After losing Wilks’ opener at the Los Angeles Rams, his defense stifled all-time great quarterback Tom Brady in a convincing 21-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

Even after a heartbreaking overtime loss at Atlanta and a lackluster defeat at Cincinnati, the team’s fortunes were clearly changing.

And a 4-3 record under Wilks that included the team’s first road victory – 30-24 at Seattle – the Panthers controlled their destiny for the NFC South title for the next three weeks.

A 30-24 loss at Tampa Bay in a game Carolina held leads of 14-0 and 21-10 ended the Panthers’ playoff dreams.

But with nothing to play for, Carolina overcame a 304-203 yardage differential to win 10-7 at New Orleans in Sunday’s regular season finale.

The victory capped the season at 7-10, including 4-2 against the NFC South.

It was the franchise’s best record since 2018 and the 4-2 record against the division was the Panthers’ first winning record since 2015.

Running back D’Onta Foreman, who had seven carries for 18 yards and no touchdowns in the first five games with Rhule as head coach, finished the season with 914 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 203 carries.

Darnold, who injured his ankle in the preseason finale, played in seven games and started the last six with a 4-2 record, finished with 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.

And D.J. Moore led the receivers with 63 catches on 118 targets for 888 yards and seven touchdowns.

Defensively, linebackers Shaq Thompson (135 tackles) and Frankie Luvu (111) and defensive backs Xavier Woods (86) and Jeremy Chinn (70) and linemen Derrick Brown (67) and Brian Burns (63) with Luvu finished just one shy of the franchise record for tackles for losses (19) and Burns leading in quarterback sacks (12 1/2).

Here are the full Carolina Panthers results for the 2022 season:

Week 1, Sept. 11, Cleveland (L 24-26)
Week 2, Sept. 18, at N.Y. Giants (L 16-19)
Week 3, Sept. 25, New Orleans (W 22-14)
Week 4, Oct. 2, Arizona (L 16-26)
Week 5, Oct. 9, San Francisco (L 15-37)
Week 6, Oct. 16, at L.A. Rams (L 10-24)
Week 7, Oct. 23, Tampa Bay (W 21-3)
Week 8, Oct. 30, at Atlanta (L 34-37, OT)
Week 9, Nov. 6, at Cincinnati (L 21-42)
Week 10, Nov. 10, Atlanta (W 25-15)
Week 11, Nov. 20, at Baltimore (L 3-13)
Week 12, Nov. 27, Denver (W 23-10)
Week 13, Dec. 4, BYE
Week 14, Dec. 11, at Seattle (W 30-24)
Week 15, Dec. 18, Pittsburgh (L 16-24)
Week 16, Dec. 24, Detroit (W 37-23)
Week 17, Jan. 1, at Tampa Bay (L 24-30)
Week 18, Jan. 8, at New Orleans (W 10-7)

Here are the 2023 Panthers’ opponents by site with the official schedule to be released in the spring by the NFL;

Home – Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, Dallas
Away – Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Seattle, Miami

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school basketball

The 8ballahoopinsider twitter account released its first N.C. high school boys basketball polls and three local teams were ranked – Gaston Christian (13-7) at No. 8 in the private school poll, Bessemer City (10-4) No. 10 in the Class 1A poll and East Gaston (11-1) No. 7 in the Class 2A poll.

(Tuesday’s games)
-BOYS
Cramer 46, Ashbrook 38: Quinton Rybczyk (10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists), Justin Rocquemore (11 points, 6 reboundss, 3 assists, 4 steals), Owen Sloan (7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assists) and Jacob Joyner (7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) led Cramer and Jashawn Clark (10 points) led Ashbrook.

Crest 81, North Gaston 64

Kings Mountain 66, South Point 62

Bessemer City 80, Burns 59: Randall Pettus (27 points, 5 assists), Nazari Smarr (21 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds), Keyshawn Adams (18 points, 4 assists, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Jameer Holmes (10 points, 3 steals, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks) led Bessemer City.

Cherryville 73, Highland Tech 72: Numerius Good (19 points, 6 assists), Carson Kelly (16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) and Landon Hahn (16 points with game-winning points).

Shelby 80, East Gaston 62: Drew Hollifield had 24 points, Daylin Lee 13 and Grady Morgan 11 for Shelby.

East Lincoln 63, St. Stephens 49: Davis Hill (15 points on 5 3-pointers), Mason Simmons (14 points, 12 rebounds), Keandre Walker (12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) and Jackson Fannon (10 points) led East Lincoln.

North Lincoln 90, Foard 54

Lincolnton 51, East Burke 38

West Caldwell 84, West Lincoln 40

Lincoln Charter 48, Christ the King 47

Community School of Davidson 51, Mountain Island Charter 49

Gaston Christian 81, Hickory Grove Christian 63

Northside Christian 72, Gaston Day 45: Deshawn Coulter had 12 points and Callum Richard and Kurt Hunter 8 apiece to lead Gaston DAy.

-GIRLS
Ashbrook 61, Cramer 38: Madison Cole had 23 points and Kennette Bess 21 for Ashbrook and Oshauna Holland had 14 points and Zion Duncan 11 led Cramer.

Huss 67, Forestview 43

Crest 62, North Gaston 24

South Point 59, Kings Mountain 48: Amya Graham (24 points, 17 rebounds), Maddie Frank (13 points, 6 assists), Toney Milton (10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) and Lexi Birtwistle (10 points) led South Point.
Kings Mountain won the JV game 28-21 with Tayler Culbertson (7 points, 6 rebounds), Jossilyn Wallace (6 points, 10 rebounds) and Jimena Conde (4 points, 5 rebounds) leading South Point.

Bessemer City 52, Burns 27

Highland Tech 43, Cherryville 29

Shelby 63, East Gaston 23

Piedmont CC 63, Carolina International 6: Grace East had 24 points and Kennedy Williams 15 for Piedmont.

East Lincoln 75, St. Stephens 35

Foard 45, North Lincoln 34

West Lincoln 50, West Caldwell 31: Chloe Norman had 21 points and Calla Varner 11 to lead West Lincoln.

Lincoln Charter 62, Christ the King 33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College football

Former Cramer High standout Kendall Karr announced on twitter that he would be playing football at Coastal Carolina.

A 2020 Cramer graduate, Karr announced he had entered the transfer portal from the University of North Carolina last month. Karr had one reception for three yards in four games in 2020, played in no games in 2021 and played in 10 games this past season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College basketball

Ezekiel Cannedy of Johnson C. Smith has been named CIAA men’s basketball rookie of the week for the third time this season. Cannedy, a 2022 Kings Mountain High graduate, averaged 16.5 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent from three in two games last week for the Golden Bulls. He had 21 points with two rebounds, two assists, and a steal against Shaw and he had 12 points, four assists and three rebounds against Elizabeth City State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro football

The Carolina Panthers officially interviewed head coaching candidates on Tuesday and, according to league sources, have requested interviews with five other candidates.

Former Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Wake Forest head coach Jim Caldwell and current Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks interviewed officially on Tuesday.

The Panthers also have requested interviews with four current NFL offensive coordinators – Buffalo’s Ken Dorsey, Detroit’s Ben Johnson, the New York Giants’ Mike Kafka and Philadelphia’s Shane Steichen – and have requested an interview with former Colts head coach Frank Reich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro basketball

The Charlotte Hornets lost for the fifth time in six games after dropping a 132-120 decision at Toronto.

Terry Rozier (33 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), LaMelo Ball (24 points, 4 rebounds, 14 assists), Mason Plumlee (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), P.J. Washington (13 points) and Jalen McDaniels (11 points, 7 rebounds) led Charlotte.

Earlier on Tuesday, reports indicated McDaniels has drawn “increasing interest” around the NBA as a potential trade candidate. The Phoenix Suns are considered a top candidate to pursue McDaniels.

McDaniels, a fourth-year player who turns 25 later this month, is averaging career highs in points (10.9), rebounds (4.9), assists (2.1) and steals (1.1) per game.

Since McDaniels wasn’t a first-round pick, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the of this season.

Here’s the 2022-23 Charlotte Hornets schedule:

(11-31 record)
October
19 at San Antonio (W 129-102)
21 New Orleans (L 112-124)
23 at Atlanta (W 126-109)
26 at New York (L 131-134, OT)
28 at Orlando (L 93-113)
29 Golden State (W 120-113, OT)
31 Sacramento (L 108-115)
November
2 at Chicago (L 88-106)
4 at Memphis (L 99-130)
5 Brooklyn (L 94-98)
7 Washington (L 100-108)
9 Portland (L 95-105)
10 at Miami (L 112-117, OT)
12 at Miami (L 115-132)
14 at Orlando (W 112-105)
16 Indiana (L 113-125)
18 at Cleveland (L 122-132, 2 OT)
20 at Washington (L 102-106)
23 Philadelphia (W 107-101)
25 Minnesota (W 110-108)
28 at Boston (L 105-140)
December
2 Washington (W 117-116)
3 Milwaukee (L 96-105)
5 L.A. Clippers (L 117-119)
7 at Brooklyn (L 116-122)
9 New York (L 102-121)
11 at Philadelphia (L 113-131)
14 Detroit (L 134-141, OT)
16 Atlanta (L 106-125)
18 at Denver (L 115-119)
19 at Sacramento (W 125-119)
21 at L.A. Clippers (L 105-126)
23 at L.A. Lakers (W 134-130)
26 at Portland (L 113-124)
27 at Golden State (L 105-110)
29 Oklahoma City (W 121-113)
31 Brooklyn (L 106-123)
January
2 L.A. Lakers (L 115-121)
4 Memphis (L 107-131)
6 at Milwaukee (W 138-109)
8 at Indiana (L 111-116)
10 at Toronto (L 120-132)
12 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
14 Boston, 7 p.m.
16 Boston, 1 p.m.
18 at Houston, 8 p.m.
21 at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
23 at Utah, 9 p.m.
24 at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
26 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
29 Miami, 1 p.m.
31 at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
February
2 at Chicago, 8 p.m.
3 at Detroit, 7 p.m.
5 Orlando, 1 p.m.
8 at Washington, 7 p.m.
10 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
11 Denver, 7 p.m.
13 Atlanta, 7 p.m.
15 San Antonio, 7 p.m.
24 at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
25 Miami, 7 p.m.
27 Detroit, 7 p.m.
March
1 Phoenix, 7 p.m.
3 Orlando, 7 p.m.
5 at Brooklyn, 6 p.m.
7 at New York, 7:30 p.m.
9 at Detroit, 7 p.m.
11 Utah, 7 p.m.
12 Cleveland, 5 p.m.
14 Cleveland, 7 p.m.
17 Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
20 Indiana, 7 p.m.
23 at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
24 at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
26 Dallas, 1 p.m.
28 at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
31 Chicago, 7 p.m.
April
2 Toronto, 1 p.m.
4 Toronto, 7 p.m.
7 Houston, 7 p.m.
9 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro football

Here’s the 2022-23 NFL playoff schedule:

(AFC)
No. 1 Kansas City – bye
No. 5 L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville, 8:15 p.m. Saturday (NBC)
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Buffalo, 1 p.m. Sunday (CBS)
No. 6 Baltimore at No. 3 Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. Sunday (NBC)

(NFC)
No. 1 Philadelphia – bye
No. 7 Seattle at No. 2 San Francisco, 4:30 p.m. Saturday (FOX)
No. 6 N.Y. Giants at No. 3 Minnesota, 4:30 p.m. Sunday (FOX)
No. 5 Dallas at No. 4 Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m. Monday (ABC ESPN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro soccer

Charlotte FC announced on Tuesday the club’s 2023 preseason schedule that will include stops in Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and at the Coachella Valley Invitational before finishing the final phase of preseason in-market.

Jan. 21 St. Louis SC (at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Jan. 27 LA Galaxy (at Carson, Cal.)
Feb. 1 DC United (at Indio Cal. – Coachella Valley Invitational)
Feb. 4 Vancouver Whitecaps (at Indio Cal. – Coachella Valley Invitational)
Feb. 11 at Charleston, S.C. Battery
Feb. 18 Birmingham Legion FC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College football

Here is the full 2022-23 NCAA Division I FBS schedule:
(College Football Playoff)
Championship – Jan. 9 at Inglewood, Cal.
No. 3 TCU vs. No. 1 Georgia – Georgia 65-7
Semifinal – Dec. 31 Peach at Atlanta, Ga.
No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Ohio State – Georgia 42-41
Semifinal – Dec. 31 Fiesta at Glendale, Ariz.
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU – TCU 51-45

(CFP Selection Committee Bowl games)
Jan. 2 – Rose at Pasadena, Cal.
No. 8 Utah vs. No. 11 Penn State – Penn State 35-21
Jan. 2 – Cotton at Arlington, Tex.
No. 10 Southern California vs. No. 16 Tulane – Tulane 46-45
Dec. 31 – Sugar at New Orleans, La.
No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 9 Kansas State – Alabama 45-20
Dec. 30 – Orange and Miami, Fla.
No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 7 Clemson – Tennessee 31-14

(Other bowl games)
Jan. 2 – Citrus at Orlando, Fla., 1 p.m. (ABC)
No. 17 LSU vs. Purdue – LSU 63-7
Jan. 2 – ReliaQuest at Tampa, Fla., Noon (ESPN2)
No. 22 Mississippi State vs. Illinois – Mississippi State 19-10
Dec. 31 – Music City at Nashville, Tenn., Noon (ABC)
Iowa vs. Kentucky – Iowa 21-0
Dec. 30 – Arizona at Tucson, Ariz.
Ohio vs. Wyoming – Ohio 30-27
Dec. 30 – Gator at Jacksonville, Fla.
No. 21 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 South Carolina – Notre Dame 45-38
Dec. 30 – Sun at El Paso, Tex.
No. 18 UCLA vs. Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh 37-35
Dec. 30 – Duke’s Mayo at Charlotte
Maryland vs. No. 23 N.C. State – Maryland 16-12
Dec. 29 – Alamo at San Antonio, Tex.
No. 20 Texas vs. No. 12 Washington – Washington 27-20
Dec. 29 – Cheez-It at Orlando, Fla.
Oklahoma vs. No. 13 Florida State – Florida State 35-32
Dec. 29 – Pinstripe at Bronx, N.Y.
Minnesota vs. Syracuse – Minnesota 28-20
Dec. 28 – Texas at Houston, Tex.
Mississippi vs. Texas Tech – Texas Tech 42-25
Dec. 28 – Holiday at San Diego, Cal.
No. 15 Oregon vs. North Carolina – Oregon 28-27
Dec. 28 – Liberty at Memphis
Arkansas vs. Kansas – Arkansas 55-53 (3 OT)
Dec. 28 – Military at Annapolis, Md.
Duke vs. Central Florida – Duke 30-13
Dec. 27 – Guaranteed Rate at Phoenix, Ariz.
Wisconsin vs. Oklahoma State – Wisconsin 24-17
Dec. 27 – Birmingham at Birmingham, Ala.
Coastal Carolina vs. East Carolina – East Carolina 53-29
Dec. 27 – First Responder at University Park, Tex.
Memphis vs. Utah State – Memphis 38-10
Dec. 27 – Camellia at Montgomery, Ala.
Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern – Buffalo 23-21
Dec. 26 – Quick Lane at Detroit, Mich.
Bowling Green vs. New Mexico State – New Mexico State 24-19
Dec. 24 – Hawai’i at Honolulu, Hawai’i
San Diego State vs. Middle Tennessee – Middle Tennessee 25-23
Dec. 23 – Gasparilla at Tampa, Fla.
Missouri vs. Wake Forest – Wake Forest 27-17
Dec. 23 – Independence at Shreveport, La.
Houston vs. Louisiana – Houston 23-16
Dec. 22 – Armed Forces at Fort Worth, Tex.
Baylor vs. Air Force – Air Force 30-15
Dec. 21 – New Orleans at New Orleans, La.
Western Kentucky vs. South Alabama – Western Kentucky 44-23
Dec. 20 – Boca Raton at Boca Raton, Fla.
Toledo vs. Liberty – Toledo 21-19
Dec. 20 – Famous Idaho Potato at Boise, Id.
San Jose State vs. Eastern Michigan – Eastern Michigan 41-27
Dec. 19 – Myrtle Beach at Conway, S.C.
Marshall vs. Connecticut – Marshall 28-14
Dec. 17 – Frisco at Frisco, Tex.
North Texas vs. Boise State – Boise State 35-32
Dec. 17 – New Mexico at Albuquerque, N.M.
BYU vs. SMU – BYU 24-23
Dec. 17 – LendingTree at Mobile, Ala., 5:45 p.m. (ESPN)
Southern Miss vs. Rice – Southern Miss 38-24
Dec. 17 – Jimmy Kimmel L.A. at Inglewood, Cal.
Washington State vs. Fresno State – Fresno State 29-6
Dec. 17 – Las Vegas at Las Vegas, Nev.
Florida vs. No. 14 Oregon State – Oregon State 30-3
Dec. 17 – Celebration Bowl at Atlanta
Jackson State vs. N.C. Central – N.C. Central 41-34 in OT
Dec. 17 – Fenway at Boston, Mass.
Louisville vs. Cincinnati – Louisville 24-7
Dec. 16 – Cure at Orlando, Fla.
No. 24 Troy vs. No. 25 UT-San Antonio – Troy 18-12
Dec. 16 – Bahamas at Nassau, Bahamas
UAB vs. Miami, O. – UAB 24-20