1-21-24 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker

As the 2024 Gaston County Middle School Conference basketball season gets underway on Monday, a competitive race is projected by boys coaches while the Holbrook girls are picked to win a third straight title.

Defending champion Southwest, Belmont, Holbrook and Grier are the favorites in a boys race where Southwest is the defending champion.

In the girls race, Holbrook is a unanimous favorite. The Lions enter the season with a 25-game winning streak that is 4th-longest in county history behind W.C. Friday (36 straight wins from 2013 to 2016), Stanley (33 from 1992 to 1994) and Chavis (27 straight from 2000 to 2002).

Here is the preseason boys poll:
1. Southwest
2. Belmont
3. Holbrook
4. Grier
5. Mount Holly
6. Stanley
7. Cramerton
8. York Chester
9. Bessemer City
10. Chavis
11. W.C. Friday

Here is the preseason girls poll:
1. Holbrook
2. Belmont
3. Southwest
4. Cramerton
5. Bessemer City
6. Mount Holly
7. Grier
8. Stanley
9. W.C. Friday
10. York Chester
11. Chavis

Here is the 2024 Gaston County boys and girls basketball schedule:

Jan. 22: Stanley at Mount Holly, York Chester at Holbrook, Belmont at Grier, Bessemer City at W.C. Friday, Chavis at Cramerton, BYE – Southwest
Jan. 25: Holbrook at Southwest, Grier at Stanley, W.C. Friday at York Chester, Cramerton at Belmont, Chavis at Bessemer City, BYE – Mount Holly
Jan. 29: Mount Holly at Grier, Southwest at W.C. Friday, Stanley at Cramerton, York Chester at Chavis, Belmont at Bessemer City, BYE – Holbrook
Feb. 1: Holbrook at W.C. Friday, Cramerton at Mount Holly, Southwest at Chavis, Bessemer City at Stanley, York Chester at Belmont, BYE – Grier
Feb. 5: Grier at Cramerton, Holbrook at Chavis, Mount Holly at Bessemer City, Southwest at Belmont, Stanley at York Chester, BYE – W.C. Friday
Feb. 8: Chavis at W.C. Friday, Bessemer City at Grier, Belmont at Holbrook, York Chester at Mount Holly, Stanley at Southwest, BYE – Cramerton
Feb. 12: Cramerton at Bessemer City, W.C. Friday at Belmont, Grier at York Chester, Holbrook at Stanley, Mount Holly at Southwest, BYE – Chavis
Feb. 15: Belmont at Chavis, York Chester at Cramerton, Stanley at W.C. Friday, Southwest at Grier, Mount Holly at Holbrook, BYE – Bessemer City
Feb. 20: Bessemer City at York Chester, Chavis at Stanley, Cramerton at Southwest, W.C. Friday at Mount Holly, Grier at Holbrook, BYE – Belmont
Feb. 22: Belmont at Stanley, Bessemer City at Southwest, Chavis at Mount Holly, Cramerton at Holbrook, W.C. Friday at Grier
Feb. 26: Southwest at York Chester, Mount Holly at Belmont, Holbrook at Bessemer City, Grier at Chavis, W.C. Friday at Cramerton, BYE – Stanley
Feb. 29: Semifinals
March 5: Boys championship game
March 6: Girls championship game

And here is a team-by-team look at the 2024 season with information provided by the respective coaches:


Belmont Wildcats
Head coach: Pet Sumner (5th year, 36-11)
Assistant coach: Zach Bumgarner
Top returning players: Braydon Walden (PF, 8th), Chris Conley (C, 8th)
Top newcomers: Tucker McWhirter (G, 8th), Jackson Penley (SF, 8th), Wilson London (G/F, 8th)

Bessemer City Tigers
Head coach: Matt Carpenter (2nd year, 0-10 in 2017)
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided

Chavis Wolverines
Head coach: Alan Thomas (1st year)
Assistant coach: John Roghelia
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided

Cramerton Eagles
Head coach: Richard Carsner (1st year)
Assistant coaches: none
Top returning players: Carson Sloan (SG, 8th), Yazid Cherigui (G/W, 8th), Zach Janik (PG, 8th), Caleb Johnson (F, 8th)
Top newcomers: none listed

W.C. Friday Cavaliers
Head coach: Nathan Sherrill (1st year)
Assistant coach: Jake McDaniel
Top returning players: Aiden Thompson, D.J. Stinson, Malik Jordan, Tavi Medlin, Mason Hayes, Caden Martin, Ta Robbins, Jakeam Gilmore
Top newcomers: JaCorey Davis, Zvarea Mingo, Jaisharr Kirby, Quinchie Olivier, Priceless Chambers

Grier Knights
Head coach: Alec Hudson (2nd year, 7-3)
Assistant coach: Brandon Lewis
Top returning players: Braylon Smith (G, 8th), T.J. Caldwell (G, 7th), Raheem McClure (G, 8th)
Top newcomers: Christian Bailey (F, 8th), Emery Green (G, 8th), Myquavis Lindsay (F, 8th), Johnny Adams (G, 8th), Kaiden Blackwell (G, 8th), Braylon Vernon (F, 8th)

Holbrook Lions
Head coach: Markeseo Williams (1st year)
Assistant coaches: Terry Vaughan
Top returning players: Aiden Smith (G, 8th), Eden Lindsay (G/F, 8th), Payton McRae (G, 8th), Jontae Lowery (G/F, 8th)
Top newcomers: none listed

Mount Holly Hawks
Head coach: ​Ricky Bullock (3rd year, 12-9)
Assistant coach: Carlos Leslie
Top returning players: none listed
Top newcomers: none listed

Southwest Roadrunners
Head coach: James Prince (1st year)
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided

Stanley Blue Devils
Head coach: Brandon Messick (1st year)
Assistant coach: Jonathan Safrit
Top returning players: Bryson Summey (G, 8th), Devin Phillips (F, 8th), Cam Stillwell (F, 7th), Gabe Sides (G, 7th)
Top newcomers: Jacole Bates (F/C, 8th), Johnny Thompson (F, 8th), Tay McCorkle (F, 8th), Cooper Sadler (G, 8th), Keagan Lucas (G, 8th)

York Chester Cougars
Coach: Jaret Hill (1st year)
Assistant coach: Levi Worley
Top returning players: Raymond Hodge (SG, 8th), Zaquan Anderson (PF, 8th), K’uandarius Wilson (PG, 8th)
Top newcomers: Carmello Buntyn (C, 8th), Malik Adams (PF, 8th), Zavion Anderson (PG, 7th), Juel McGill (SF, 7th), Naziir Carroll (SF, 8th), Dereon Huels (SF, 7th), Jamel Moise (PF, 8th), Antonio Monroe (SG 6th), Malachi Anderson (C, 6th), Christopher Edwards (SG, 6th), Kahlil Williams (PG, 6th), King Gardin (C, 8th)


Belmont Wildcats
Head coach: Carey Galbreath (8th year, 45-30)
Assistant coaches: Chuck Lari, Kevin Cline
Top returning players: Stella Absher (C, 8th), Rowen Trexler (PG, 8th), Lucy Rodenberger (F, 8th)
Top newcomers: Sally Risk (SF, 8th), Alice Bass (G, 8th)

Bessemer City Tigers
Head coach: Timothy Justiss (3rd year, 3-17)
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided

Chavis Wolverines
Head coach: Cheryl Word (6th year, 9-41)
Assistant coach: Abby Hawkins
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided

Cramerton Eagles
Head coach: Carrie Curtis (8th year, 52-25)
Assistant coaches: none
Top returning players: Maddie Potter (G/F, 8th), Addison Duncan (F/C, 8th), Addi Dellinger (G/F, 8th), Savannah Barnhill (G, 8th), Kalli Stuart (G/F, 8th), Sophia Green (G/F, 7th), McKayla Smith (G/F, 7th)
Top newcomers: Peyton Lampkin (G/F, 8th), Fatoumata Diallo (F/C, 7th), Faith Shoffner (G/F, 7th), Kahleeiah Blaes (G, 6th), Kasi Changappa (G, 6th), Eason Hobbs (F/C, 6th), Jeriyah Williams (F/C, 6th)

W.C. Friday Cavaliers
Coach: Amy Brown (2nd year, 7-4)
Assistant coach: Jake McDaniel
Top returning players: Bre Bates, Blair Culberson, Zoe Culberson, Audrey Whitlock
Top newcomer: Braylen Whitten

Grier Knights
Head coach: Christy Banks (1st year)
Assistant coaches: Lisa Jones, Darius Lindsay
Top returning players: Sa’Niyah Moore (G, 7th), Christine Parks (G, 8th)
Top newcomers: Nicole Cherry (F, 8th), Moriyah Thompson (G, 6th)

Holbrook Lions
Head coach: Bryan Nichols (4th year, 28-6)
Assistant coaches: John Brown, Ian McFadden
Top returning players: JaKyra Sadler (G, 8th), Shemiah McCoy (G, 8th), Makenzie McCaskill (F, 8th), Isabella Escamirosa (G, 8th), Shevinique Barnes (C, 7th), Genesis Hall (G, 7th), Caleah Foster (G, 7th)
Top newcomers: Kennedi Johnson (F, 6th), Caitlyn Lindsay (G, 6th), Eimy Vicente (F, 8th), Izzy Edsel (C, 8th)

Mount Holly Hawks
Head coach: Daniel Poole (1st year)
Assistant coaches: none
Top returning players: Brinley Womack (G, 7th), Toni Booker (G, 8th), Chloe Robinson (G, 7th), Emily Pridgeon (F, 8th), Brooklyn Moore (F, 8th)
Top newcomers: Amasia McDowell (F, 7th), Sage Gibson (C, 7th), Elise Taylor (G, 8th), Kennedy Foxx (F, 7th), Aubree Dukes (F, 7th), Sterling Stephens (G, 6th), Serenity Alexander (F, 7th), Serenity Bowman (G, 7th)

Southwest Roadrunners
Head coach: Darius Hill (1st year)
Assistant coach: Ashelin Hunt
Top returning players: Sariyah McCorkle (F, 8th), Sajiah Miller (G, 7th), Zoei Williams (G, 8th), Arianna Crosland (F, 8th), Kaydence Guy (F, 8th)
Top newcomers: Lundyn Barber (F, 8th), Mia Earle (F, 8th), Kendall Bachman (G, 6th), Kyzland Forney (G, 6th), Faith Coleman (G, 7th), Karolina Rocha (F, 7th)

Stanley Blue Devils
Head coach: Brooke Cook (6th year, 21-29)
Assistant coaches: Mark Grahl, Jeff Tignor
Top returning players: Lilly Rymer, Rhianna Deal, Aqua Campbell, Molly Kuproski, Olivia Falls
Top newcomers: Prudence Hammond, Peyton Safrit, Madi Perrigo, Lexi Wheeler, Amelia Burr, Avery Price, Jayda McKinney, Kamirra Currie-Coleman

York Chester Cougars
Head coach: no information provided
Top returning players: no information provided
Top newcomers: no information provided







Pro basketball

Here is the Charlotte Hornets’ 2023-24 regular season schedule:

Wed. 25 ATLANTA (W 116-110)
Fri. 27 DETROIT (L 99-111)
Mon. 30 BROOKLYN (L 121-133)
Wed. 1 at Houston (L 119-128)
Sat. 4 at Indiana (W 125-124)
Sun. 5 at Dallas (L 118-124)
Wed. 8 WASHINGTON (L 116-132)
Fri. 10 at Washington (W 124-117)
Sun. 12 at New York (L 107-129)
Tue. 14 MIAMI (L 105-111)
Fri. 17 MILWAUKEE (L 99-130)
Sat. 18 NEW YORK (L 108-122)
Mon. 20 BOSTON (W 121-118, OT)
Wed. 22 WASHINGTON (W 117-114)
Sun. 26 at Orlando (L 117-130)
Tue. 28 at New York (L 91-115)
Thu. 30 at Brooklyn (W 129-128)
Sat. 2 MINNESOTA (L 117-123)
Wed. 6 at Chicago (L 100-111)
Fri. 8 TORONTO (W 119-116)
Mon. 11 MIAMI (L 114-116)
Wed. 13 at Miami (L 104-115)
Fri. 15 NEW ORLEANS (L 107-112)
Sat. 16 PHILADELPHIA (L 82-135)
Mon. 18 at Toronto (L 99-114)
Wed. 20 at Indiana (L 113-144)
Sat. 23 DENVER (L 95-102)
Tue. 26 at LA Clippers (L 104-113)
Thu. 28 at LA Lakers (L 112-133)
Fri. 29 at Phoenix (L 119-133)
Mon. 1 at Denver (L 93-111)
Tue. 2 at Sacramento (W 111-104)
Fri. 5 at Chicago (L 91-104)
Mon. 8 CHICAGO (L 112-119, OT)
Wed. 10 SACRAMENTO (L 98-123)
Fri. 12 at San Antonio (L 99-135)
Sun. 14 at Miami (L 87-104)
Wed. 17 at New Orleans (L 112-132)
Fri. 19 SAN ANTONIO (W 124-120)
Sat. 20 PHILADELPHIA (L 89-97 )
Mon. 22 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Wed. 24 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Fri. 26 HOUSTON 7 p.m.
Sat. 27 UTAH 7 p.m.
Mon. 29 NEW YORK 7 p.m.
Wed. 31 CHICAGO 7 p.m.
Fri. 2 at Oklahoma City 8 p.m.
Sun. 4 INDIANA 6 p.m.
Mon. 5 LA LAKERS 7 p.m.
Wed. 7 TORONTO 7 p.m.
Fri. 9 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Sat. 10 MEMPHIS 7 p.m.
Mon. 12 INDIANA 7 p.m.
Wed. 14 ATLANTA 7 p.m.
Thu. 22 at Utah 9 p.m.
Fri. 23 at Golden State 10 p.m.
Sun. 25 at Portland 9 p.m.
Tue. 27 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Thu. 29 MILWAUKEE 7 p.m.
Fri. 1 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sun. 3 at Toronto 6 p.m.
Tue. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Fri. 8 at Washington 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 BROOKLYN 7 p.m.
Mon. 11 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Wed. 13 at Memphis 8 p.m.
Fri. 15 PHOENIX 7 p.m.
Sat. 16 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Tue. 19 at Orlando 7 p.m.
Sat. 23 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Mon. 25 at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Wed. 27 CLEVELAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 29 GOLDEN STATE 7 p.m.
Sun. 31 LA CLIPPERS 6 p.m.
Mon. 1 BOSTON 7 p.m.
Wed. 3 PORTLAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Sun. 7 OKLAHOMA CITY 6 p.m.
Tue. 9 DALLAS 7 p.m.
Wed. 10 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Fri. 12 at Boston 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 14 at Cleveland 1 p.m.










High school basketball

Here are area results/upcoming schedule:

(Monday, Jan. 22)
Gaston Christian at Gaston Day

(Tuesday, Jan. 23)
Ashbrook at Huss
Cramer at Forestview
Kings Mountain at Crest
South Point at North Gaston
Cherryville at Burns
East Gaston at Bessemer City
Highland Tech at Thomas Jefferson
East Lincoln at North Lincoln
Lincolnton at West Lincoln
Gaston Christian at SouthLake
Metrolina at Gaston Day
Lincoln Charter at Corvian
Mountain Island Charter at Community School of Davidson
Piedmont CC at Carolina International

(Wednesday, Jan. 24)
Sugar Creek at Highland Tech

(Thursday, Jan. 25)
Cramer at Kings Mountain

(Friday, Jan. 26)
Crest at Forestview
Huss at North Gaston
South Point at Ashbrook
Burns at Shelby
Cherryville at Thomas Jefferson
Highland Tech at East Gaston
Hickory at East Lincoln
Statesville at North Lincoln
Lincolnton at Bunker Hill
West Lincoln at Bandys
Westminster Catawba at Gaston Christian
Community School of Davidson at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Christ the King
Piedmont CC at Sugar Creek

(Monday, Jan. 29)
Victory Christian Center at Gaston Christian

(Tuesday, Jan. 30)
Crest at Huss
Forestview at South Point
Kings Mountain at Ashbrook
North Gaston at Cramer
Burns at Highland Tech
Shelby at Cherryville
Thomas Jefferson at Bessemer City
East Lincoln at Statesville
North Lincoln at Hickory
Lincolnton at Newton-Conover
Maiden at West Lincoln
Concord Academy at Gaston Day
Langtree at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Pine Lake Prep
Piedmont CC at Valor Prep

(Friday, Feb. 2)
Ashbrook at Crest
Cramer at South Point
Huss at Kings Mountain
North Gaston at Forestview
Bessemer City at Cherryville
East Gaston at Thomas Jefferson
Highland Tech at Shelby
Piedmont CC at Queen’s Grant
East Lincoln at West Iredell
North Lincoln at North Iredell
Bandys at Lincolnton
West Lincoln at Bunker Hill
Gaston Day at Gaston Christian
Langtree at Mountain Island Charter
Lincoln Charter at Pine Lake Prep
Piedmont CC at Queen’s Grant










Pro football

The 2023-24 NFL playoffs schedule:

Wild Card round: Jan. 13-15
No. 1 Baltimore (13-4), bye
(Monday, Jan. 14)
No. 7 Pittsburgh (10-7) at No. 2 Buffalo (11-6) – Buffalo 31-17
(Saturday, Jan. 13)
No. 6 Miami (11-6) at No. 3 Kansas City (11-6) – Kansas City 26-7
(Saturday, Jan. 13)
No. 5 Cleveland (11-6) at No. 4 Houston (10-7) – Houston 45-14
No. 1 San Francisco (12-5), bye
(Sunday, Jan. 14)
No. 7 Green Bay (9-8) at No. 2 Dallas (12-5) – Green Bay 48-32
(Sunday, Jan. 14)
No. 6 L.A. Rams (10-7) at No. 3 Detroit (12-5) – Detroit 24-23
(Monday, Jan. 15)
No. 5 Philadelphia (11-6) at No. 4 Tampa Bay (9-8) – Tampa Bay 32-9

Divisional round: Jan. 20-21
(Saturday, Jan. 20)
No. 4 Houston at No. 1 Baltimore – Baltimore 34-10
(Sunday, Jan. 21)
No. 3 Kansas City at No. 2 Buffalo – Kansas City 27-24
(Saturday, Jan. 20)
No. 7 Green Bay at No. 1 San Francisco – San Francisco 24-21
(Sunday, Jan. 21)
No. 4 Tampa Bay at No. 3 Detroit – Detroit 31-23

Conference championships: Jan. 28
AFC: Kansas City at Baltimore, 3 p.m. (CBS)
NFC: Detroit at San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. (FOX)

Super Bowl LVIII: Feb. 11
At Las Vegas, 6:30 p.m. (CBS)










College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Monday, Jan. 22)
USC Salkehatchie at Gaston College

(Tuesday, Jan. 23)
J.C. Smith at Livingstone
UAB at Charlotte
Virginia Lynchburg at Belmont Abbey

(Wednesday, Jan. 24)
Central Arkansas at Queens
Cleveland CC at Guilford Tech
Davidson at Saint Louis
Gardner-Webb at Longwood

(Friday, Jan. 26)
Gaston College at Denmark Tech

(Saturday, Jan. 27)
Belmont Abbey at Southern Wesleyan
Charlotte at Tulane
Cleveland CC at Fayetteville Tech
J.C. Smith at Claflin
Queens at North Alabama
USC Upstate at Gardner-Webb
VCU at Davidson

(Sunday, Jan. 28)
Cleveland CC at Southwest Virginia
Denmark Tech at Gaston College

(Tuesday, Jan. 30)
Shaw at J.C. Smith

(Wednesday, Jan. 31)
Belmont Abbey at Converse
Davidson-Davie at Cleveland CC
Gaston College at Caldwell Tech
UNC Asheville at Gardner-Webb

(Thursday, Feb. 1)
Eastern Kentucky at Queens
J.C. Smith at Winston-Salem State

(Saturday, Feb. 3)
Bellarmine at Queens
Chowan at Belmont Abbey
East Carolina at Charlotte
Gaston College at Wake Tech
Johnston CC at Cleveland CC

(Sunday, Feb. 4)
Davidson at Loyola