1-31-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football and soccer, High school basketball and wrestling, Middle school basketball, College football and basketball

By Richard Walker

During the recent Carolina Panthers head coaching search, reports indicated team owner David Tepper was interested in an offensive-minded coach.

Frank Reich is introduced as Carolina Panthers head football coach.

At Tuesday’s news conference to officially introduce Frank Reich, Tepper confirmed them.

“Every year we get in these NFL (owners) meetings and every year they put some new rule in to benefit the offense – every single year,” Tepper said at a news conference at Bank of America Stadium. “Every single year, and it’s never going to end. Every year. And the reason is that scoring brings eyeballs.”

Reich was introduced five days after the team announced his hire to become the first Panthers head coach with an offensive background.

Reich, the starting quarterback of Carolina’s first three games in 1995, spent 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback before working his way through the coaching ranks as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator before becoming a head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2018.

Tepper added that he didn’t want to make the same “mistake” as he did in 2020 when he hired Matt Rhule, whom he classified as a “CEO type” coach; Tepper fired Rhule after going 11-27 following the fifth game of this season.

“It’s preferable to have a coach that is really extraordinary on one side of the ball or the other side of the ball,” Tepper said. “And we think Frank is really good on offense.”

Interim Panthers head coach Steve Wilks became an extremely popular figure in the Carolina locker room this past season after guiding the team to a 6-6 record after replacing Rhule when the team was 1-4 and had just traded its best offensive player in Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers.

Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer echoed his owner’s comments about Reich.

“When you have a head coach who has played the position, he knows what looking through that lens of a quarterback looks like,” Fitterer said. “He knows what processing looks like, how to call games through that eye. So there are a lot of advantages to having an offensive head coach.”

Tepper and Fitterer both said Reich distanced himself from other candidates because he’d already locked in on quality assistant coaches to join his staff even as no hires have been made official.

“He was the one who stood out clearest to vet the very best coaches we can have to help this team be as successful as we can be,” Tepper said. “Everybody presented who they had and what they were thinking to help us win in the future, and we made the decision based on that.”

The Panthers are 29-53 since Tepper purchased the team and haven’t won a playoff game since 2015.

Carolina’s defense is considered one of the NFL’s best but the franchise hasn’t had continuity at quarterback since Cam Newton started a franchise record 136 times as the primary quarterback from his rookie year of 2011 until 2018.

Since Newton suffered a shoulder injury in 2018, the Panthers have used seven starters including Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker last season. Darnold, who will be an unrestricted free agent, Walker and injured 2022 rookie Matt Corral are the three quarterbacks currently on the team’s roster.

A handful of Reich’s teammates from that 1995 expansion team attended the news conference, among them Pete Metzelaars, John Kasay and Carlton Bailey; Reich accounted for the first score in team history on TD pass to Metzelaars.

Additionally, the three team captains from last year – Taylor Moton, Donte Jackson and Jeremy Chinn – along with Ikem Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Chuba Hubbard, and Marquis Haynes Sr., sat in front-row chairs to hear from their new head coach.

All previous head coaches – fulltimers Dom Capers, George Seifert, John Fox, Ron Rivera and Matt Rhule and interim coaches Perry Fewell and Wilks had defensive backgrounds.

The Panthers pursued or interviewed the following: Reich, Wilks, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, former Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and Wake Forest head coach Jim Caldwell, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. (Johnson withdrew his name from consideration, Ryans canceled a scheduled interview and Mayo declined an interview request to remain with his team. And Reich and Wilks had second interviews and Wilks was popular among the Panthers’ players after guiding the team to a 6-6 record and 7-10 final record that was one win shy of the NFC South Division title.)

Also on Tuesday, there was information on three other Panthers’ head coaching candidates – the Houston Texans hired Ryans as head coach, the Denver Broncos hired Payton as head coach and the San Francisco 49ers requested permission to interview Wilks for defensive coordinator vacancy created by Ryans’ departure.









High school basketball

(Tuesday’s games)
Kings Mountain 67, Forestview 60

Cramer 60, Huss 57: Jacob Joyner (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists), Quinton Rybczyk (16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) and Justin Rocquemore (17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) led Cramer.

North Gaston 58, Ashbrook 54: Stepfon Simmons had 15 points, Key Murrell 12 and Issac Byers Jr. 10 for North Gaston and Jashaun Clark had 26 points for Ashbrook.

South Point 79, Crest 64: Dylan Bradley (24 points), Jaquis Rumph (14 points), Greyson Kines (10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), Sully Absher (17 rebounds) and Sean Gore (8 points, 9 assists) led South Point.

Burns 69, Cherryville 57
Cherryville won the JV game 61-60.

Thomas Jefferson 49, Highland Tech 23

Piedmont CC 81, Cabarrus Charter 66

East Lincoln 78, Foard 54: Keandre Walker (19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists), Jackson Fannon (16 points), Palmer Crichton (15 points, 8 rebounds) and Mason Simmons (11 points) led East Lincoln.

North Lincoln 67, St. Stephens 62

Gaston Christian 49, Concord Academy 47

Gaston Day 78, Hickory Grove Christian 60: Callum Richard had 18 points, Kurt Hunter 15 and Colin Fayed and Evan Montanari 12 each for Gaston Day.


Huss 51, Cramer 49 (OT): Brooklyn Swann had 18 points and Myla Hoover 14 for Huss and Oshuana Holland (25 points, 7 rebounds), Zion Duncan (14 points, 14 rebounds) led Cramer.

Ashbrook def. North Gaston

Crest 50, South Point 36

Burns 43, Cherryville 37

Thomas Jefferson 48, Highland Tech 38

Piedmont CC 59, Cabarrus Charter 3: Lyric Brown had 18 points, Hailey Moore 12, Kennedy Williams 11 and Grace East 9 for Piedmont Community Charter.

East Lincoln 71, Foard 27

St. Stephens 62, North Lincoln 24








College football

East Lincoln’s James McLain committed to play at Brevard.

And Mountain Island Charter’s Ashton Miller committed to play at Davidson.









Pro basketball

LaMelo Ball had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for a record-setting eighth triple-double in Charlotte’s 124-115 loss at Milwaukee.

Ball passes Anthony Mason for the all-time franchise lead in that statistical category.

Terry Rozier (20 points, 7 rebounds), Gordon Hayward (16 points, 7 rebounds), Jalen McDaniel (15 points, 6 rebounds), Mason Plumlee (14 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists) and P.J. Washington (14 points, 7 rebounds) led Charlotte.

Here’s the 2022-23 Charlotte Hornets schedule:

(15-37 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 (W 122-118)
23 at Utah (L 102-120)
24 at Phoenix (L 97-128)
26 Chicago (W 111-96)
29 Miami (W 122-117)
31 at Milwaukee (L 115-124)
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.










High school wrestling

(Wednesday’s matches)
-Western N.C. 2A regionals at Lincolnton HS
No. 1 seed Newton-Conover vs. No. 12 seed Lincolnton
No. 10 seed West Lincoln vs. No. 11 seed Bandys
Semifinal winners (winner advances to Saturday’s 4 p.m. state championship at the Greensboro Coliseum Field House)










Middle school basketball

Gaston County Conference standings through Jan. 30:

Belmont 3-0
Southwest 3-0
Mount Holly 2-0
York Chester 2-1
Grier 1-1
Holbrook 1-1
Chavis 1-2
Cramerton 1-2
Stanley 1-2
Bessemer City 0-3
W.C. Friday 0-3

Belmont 3-0
Holbrook 2-0
Mount Holly 2-0
Southwest 2-1
Stanley 2-1
Chavis 1-2
Cramerton 1-2
W.C. Friday 1-2
York Chester 1-2
Grier 0-2
Bessemer City 0-3

(Thursday’s games)
Belmont at Southwest, Bessemer City at Mount Holly, Chavis at Holbrook, Cramerton at Grier, York Chester at Stanley











College basketball

(Tuesday’s games)
Virginia Commonwealth 61, Davidson 59: The Wildcats slump continued with a sixth loss in seven games to drop their record to 10-12 overall and 3-7 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

(Wednesday’s games)
Belmont Abbey at Erskine
Gardner-Webb at Charleston Southern
Gaston College at Spartanburg Methodist

(Thursday’s games)
Florida International at Charlotte
Queens at Lipscomb

(Saturday’s games)
Davidson at Massachusetts
Florida Atlantic at Charlotte
Francis Marion at Belmont Abbey
Gaston College at Caldwell Tech
Presbyterian at Gardner-Webb
Queens at Austin Peay








College football

The ACC has released its 2023 football schedule. Here are the team-by-team schedules:

2023 ACC football schedules

Boston College
Sept. 2 Northern Illinois
Sept. 9 Holy Cross
Sept. 16 Florida State
Sept. 23 at Louisville
Sept. 30 Virginia
Oct. 7 at Army
Oct. 14 OPEN
Oct. 21 at Georgia Tech
Oct. 28 UConn
Nov. 3 at Syracuse (Fri.)
Nov. 11 Virginia Tech
Nov. 16 at Pitt (Thurs.)
Nov. 24 Miami (Fri.)

Sept. 4 at Duke (Mon.)
Sept. 9 Charleston Southern
Sept. 16 Florida Atlantic
Sept. 23 Florida State
Sept. 30 at Syracuse
Oct. 7 Wake Forest
Oct. 14 OPEN
Oct. 21 at Miami
Oct. 28 at NC State
Nov. 4 Notre Dame
Nov. 11 Georgia Tech
Nov. 18 North Carolina
Nov. 25 at South Carolina

Sept. 4 Clemson (Mon.)
Sept. 9 Lafayette
Sept. 16 Northwestern
Sept. 23 at UConn
Sept. 30 Notre Dame
Oct. 7 OPEN
Oct. 14 NC State
Oct. 21 at Florida State
Oct. 28 at Louisville
Nov. 2 Wake Forest (Thurs.)
Nov. 11 at North Carolina
Nov. 18 at Virginia
Nov. 25 Pitt

Florida State
Sept. 3 Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.)
vs. LSU (Sun.)
Sept. 9 Southern Miss
Sept. 16 at Boston College
Sept. 23 at Clemson
Sept. 30 OPEN
Oct. 7 Virginia Tech
Oct. 14 Syracuse
Oct. 21 Duke
Oct. 28 at Wake Forest
Nov. 4 at Pitt
Nov. 11 Miami
Nov. 18 North Alabama
Nov. 25 at Florida

Georgia Tech
Sept. 1 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (Atlanta, Ga.)
Louisville (Fri.)
Sept. 9 South Carolina State
Sept. 16 at Ole Miss
Sept. 23 at Wake Forest
Sept. 30 Bowling Green
Oct. 7 at Miami
Oct. 14 OPEN
Oct. 21 Boston College
Oct. 28 North Carolina
Nov. 4 at Virginia
Nov. 11 at Clemson
Nov. 18 Syracuse
Nov. 25 Georgia

Sept. 1 Chick-fil-A Kickoff (Atlanta, Ga.)
at Georgia Tech (Fri.)
Sept. 7 Murray State (Thurs.)
Sept. 16 at Indiana
Sept. 23 Boston College
Sept. 29 at NC State (Fri.)
Oct. 7 Notre Dame
Oct. 14 at Pitt
Oct. 21 OPEN
Oct. 28 Duke
Nov. 4 Virginia Tech
Nov. 9 Virginia (Thurs.)
Nov. 18 at Miami
Nov. 25 Kentucky

Miami, Fla.
Sept. 1 Miami (OH) (Fri.)
Sept. 9 Texas A&M
Sept. 14 Bethune-Cookman (Thurs.)
Sept. 23 at Temple
Sept. 30 OPEN
Oct. 7 Georgia Tech
Oct. 14 at North Carolina
Oct. 21 Clemson
Oct. 28 Virginia
Nov. 4 at NC State
Nov. 11 at Florida State
Nov. 18 Louisville
Nov. 24 at Boston College (Fri.)

North Carolina
Sept. 2 Duke’s Mayo Classic (Charlotte, N.C.)
vs. South Carolina
Sept. 9 App State
Sept. 16 Minnesota
Sept. 23 at Pitt
Sept. 30 OPEN
Oct. 7 Syracuse
Oct. 14 Miami
Oct. 21 Virginia
Oct. 28 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 4 Campbell
Nov. 11 Duke
Nov. 18 at Clemson
Nov. 25 at NC State

N.C. State
Sept. 2 at UConn
Sept. 9 Notre Dame
Sept. 16 VMI
Sept. 22 at Virginia (Fri.)
Sept. 29 Louisville (Fri.)
Oct. 7 Marshall
Oct. 14 at Duke
Oct. 21 OPEN
Oct. 28 Clemson
Nov. 4 Miami
Nov. 11 at Wake Forest
Nov. 18 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 25 North Carolina

Sept. 2 Wofford
Sept. 9 Cincinnati
Sept. 16 at West Virginia
Sept. 23 North Carolina
Sept. 30 at Virginia Tech
Oct. 7 OPEN
Oct. 14 Louisville
Oct. 21 at Wake Forest
Oct. 28 at Notre Dame
Nov. 4 Florida State
Nov. 11 at Syracuse (The Bronx, N.Y.)
Nov. 16 Boston College (Thurs.)
Nov. 25 at Duke

Sept. 2 Colgate
Sept. 9 Western Michigan
Sept. 16 at Purdue
Sept. 23 Army
Sept. 30 Clemson
Oct. 7 at North Carolina
Oct. 14 at Florida State
Oct. 21 OPEN
Oct. 26 at Virginia Tech (Thurs.)
Nov. 3 Boston College (Fri.)
Nov. 11 Pitt (The Bronx, N.Y.)
Nov. 18 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 25 Wake Forest

Sept. 2 at Tennessee (Nashville, Tenn.)
Sept. 9 James Madison
Sept. 16 at Maryland
Sept. 22 NC State (Fri.)
Sept. 30 at Boston College
Oct. 7 William & Mary
Oct. 14 OPEN
Oct. 21 at North Carolina
Oct. 28 at Miami
Nov. 4 Georgia Tech
Nov. 9 at Louisville (Thurs.)
Nov. 18 Duke
Nov. 25 Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
Sept. 2 Old Dominion
Sept. 9 Purdue
Sept. 16 at Rutgers
Sept. 23 at Marshall
Sept. 30 Pitt
Oct. 7 at Florida State
Oct. 14 Wake Forest
Oct. 21 OPEN
Oct. 26 Syracuse (Thurs.)
Nov. 4 at Louisville
Nov. 11 at Boston College
Nov. 18 NC State
Nov. 25 at Virginia

Wake Forest
Aug. 31 Elon (Thurs.)
Sept. 9 Vanderbilt
Sept. 16 at Old Dominion
Sept. 23 Georgia Tech
Sept. 30 OPEN
Oct. 7 at Clemson
Oct. 14 at Virginia Tech
Oct. 21 Pitt
Oct. 28 Florida State
Nov. 2 at Duke (Thurs.)
Nov. 11 NC State
Nov. 18 at Notre Dame
Nov. 25 at Syracuse










Pro football

Here’s the 2022-23 NFL playoff schedule:

-Wild Card weekend
Jan. 14-16
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
No. 4 Jacksonville at No. 1 Kansas City – Kansas City 27-20
No. 3 Cincinnati at No. 2 Buffalo – Cincinnati 27-10

No. 6 N.Y. Giants at No. 1 Philadelphia – Philadelphia 38-7
No. 5 Dallas at No. 2 San Francisco – San Francisco 19-12

-Conference championship games
Jan. 29
NFC – No. 2 San Francisco at No. 1 Philadelphia – Philadelphia 31-7
AFC – No. 3 Cincinnati at No. 1 Kansas City – Kansas City 23-20

-Super Bowl
Feb. 12
At Glendale, Ariz. – Philadelphia vs. Kansas City, 6:30 p.m. (FOX)









Pro soccer

Crown Legacy Football Club today announced the Club has signed Iuri Tavares, João Pedro and Jacob Williams to MLS NEXT Pro contracts.

Tavares, from Portuguese club Estoril Praia SAD, becomes the Club’s first-ever permanent transfer. Defender João Pedro comes to the Queen City on loan from first division Brazilian Club Atletico Paranaense. Williams, from Navy, is already familiar with Crown Legacy FC, featuring in the Club’s pilot program during the fall of 2022.