1-19-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football and soccer, High school basketball, College basketball and football, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker

A date and site has been chosen for the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame class of 2022 inductions that include two Gaston County inductees and one from Lincoln County.

Cherryville Baptist Church will host the event on May 6 at 6 p.m. and tickets are $20 each for a ceremony in which Danny Eaker of Cherryville Post 100, Phil Tate of Belmont Post 144 and Bruce Bolick of Denver Post 455 will be inducted along with Gerald Young of Charlotte Post 262, Ric Cook of Davidson County Post 8 and the late Benedict “Benjamin” Lee of Calabash Post 503.

It marks the second straight year Cherryville has hosted the banquet and the 11th time in the event’s history it has been held in Gaston and Cleveland Counties: Gastonia hosted the 1970 and 2004 inductions, Cherryville has hosted the 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1992, 2021 and 2022 inductions, Kings Mountain hosted the 1972 induction and Shelby hosted the 2011 induction.

Bolick, who played Legion baseball for the old Paw Creek-Mount Holly team in the early 1960s, started the Denver Post 455 program in 1990. Now called the Lincoln County Cardinals, Bolick has guided the team to 284 victories with Post 455 and has 290 Legion coaching victories overall.

Eaker, who played Legion baseball for Cherryville Post 100 in the early 1960s, has been the public address announcer for Cherryville High School and Cherryville Legion baseball games since 1985. The current chaplain for Post 100, Eaker also has done radio broadcasts of countless Legion games, including the American Legion World Series in 2003, 2008 and every year since 2011.

Tate, who played Legion baseball for Belmont Post 144 in the early 1960s, coached Belmont, Charlotte Post 262 and Gaston Braves Post 144-266 during his coaching career; He led Belmont to 105 victories, Post 262 to 60 wins and Post 144-266’s inaugural 1997 team to 13 victories.

Bolick is the first inductee in Post 455 history, while Tate will become Belmont’s seventh and Eaker will become Cherryville’s 16th.

The N.C. American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame began in 1967.








High school basketball

(Thursday’s games)
North Gaston 70, Cramer 57: Stephon Simmons had 24 points for North Gaston and Jacob Joyner (19 points, 3 assists, 2 steals), John Hill (11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) and Justin Rocquemore (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 charges) led Cramer.
Cramer won the JV game 56-45 behind D.J. Cross (11 points) and Darren Stowe (9 points, 11 rebounds).

Cramer 55, North Gaston 24: Ellia Barajas (20 points), Hadley Womack (16 points, 6 assists, 8 steals) and Zion Duncan (12 points, 10 rebounds) led Cramer and Sydnee Walls had 16 points and Madison Davis 8 for North Gaston.


(Friday’s games)
Huss at Crest
Kings Mountain at Ashbrook
South Point at Forestview
East Gaston at Highland Tech
Shelby at Burns
Thomas Jefferson at Cherryville
Bradford Prep at Piedmont CC
East Lincoln at Hickory
North Lincoln at Statesville
Bandys at West Lincoln
Lincolnton at Bunker Hill
Mountain Island Charter at Christ the King
Pine Lake Prep at Lincoln Charter
Gaston Day at Metrolina Christian







College football

Burns High standout Ryan Thompson announced on twitter on Thursday that he has committed to Norfolk State University.

Thompson had 1,133 yards receiving and 170 points last season as Burns advanced to the Western N.C. 2A finals and he also set the school record for career receptions with 188.

After the season, Thompson was named first team N.C. 2A all-state athlete, honorable mention HighSchoolOT.com wide receiver and a first team All-Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference athlete.










Pro football

Media reports indicated on Thursday the Carolina Panthers would be busy this weekend holding head coaching interviews.

According to those reports, Panthers owner David Tepper will interview former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton on Friday, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey on Saturday and New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka on Sunday.

Including those three, the Panthers have either interviewed or requested interviews with 12 candidates. The others are current Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks, former Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Wake Forest head coach Jim Caldwell, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.










College basketball

(Thursday’s games)
Middle Tennessee 62, Charlotte 58: The 49ers lost for the fourth time in five games to fall to 12-7 overall and 3-5 in Conference USA.

North Florida 95, Queens 90: A.J. McKee’s 28 points led Queens (13-7, 3-4 Atlantic Sun) in the loss.








Pro soccer

Charlotte FC’s defender Anton Walkes died Thursday after a Wednesday boating crash on waters near Miami Marine Stadium.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the 25-year-old Walkes was found unconscious after two boats crashed around 3 p.m. Wednesday. He received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue before being taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Charlotte FC announced the tragic and heartbreaking news Thursday morning.

“Everyone at Tepper Sports & Entertainment is devastated by the tragic passing of Anton Walkes,” owner David Tepper said in a news release. “He was a tremendous son, father, partner and teammate whose joyous approach to life touched everyone he met. Anton made those around him better people in all areas of life and represented Charlotte FC to the highest standard both on and off the pitch. He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts and prayers are with Anton’s family during this heartbreaking time. The Club offers its full support to all those impacted during this period of mourning.”

The Lewisham, England, native in 2021 entered the MLS expansion draft and was selected by Charlotte FC 2021. Walkes started 21 games in 23 appearances last season.









Pro basketball

Here’s the 2022-23 Charlotte Hornets schedule:

(12-34 record)
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)
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)
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)
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 (L 114-124)
14 Boston (L 106-122)
16 Boston (L 118-130)
18 at Houston (W 122-117)
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.
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.
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.
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:

-Wild Card weekend
No. 1 Kansas City – bye
No. 5 L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville – Jacksonville 31-30
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Buffalo – Buffalo 34-31
No. 6 Baltimore at No. 3 Cincinnati – Cincinnati 24-17

No. 1 Philadelphia – bye
No. 7 Seattle at No. 2 San Francisco – San Francisco 41-23
No. 6 N.Y. Giants at No. 3 Minnesota – N.Y. Giants 31-24
No. 5 Dallas at No. 4 Tampa Bay – Dallas 31-14

-Confererence semifinals
Jan. 21-22, pairings, times and dates TBA
No. 4 Jacksonville at No. 1 Kansas City, 4:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC)
No. 3 Cincinnati at No. 2 Buffalo, 3 p.m. Sunday (CBS)

No. 6 N.Y. Giants at No. 1 Philadelphia, 8:15 p.m. Saturday (FOX)
No. 5 Dallas at No. 2 San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. Sunday (FOX)

-Conference championship games
NFC, 3 p.m. on Jan. 29 (FOX)
AFC, 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 (CBS)

-Super Bowl
Feb. 12 at Glendale, Ariz., 6:30 p.m. (FOX)