2-15-24 roundup: Pro basketball and football, College basketball, High school basketball, Middle school basketball, Auto racing

NOTE: www.CarolinasSportsHub.com is doing a 5-part series on conference tournament history that starts today.

Here’s the schedule:
Part 1: Invented in 1891, it took nearly 30 years for area high schools to field teams. Once all schools did, it took awhile for the current conference tournament schedule to be adopted. (Feb. 12)

Part 2: West Lincoln has struggled as much as any area high school in basketball. But the Rebels have won 2 conference tournament titles – 1 in their first season and again over an eventual state champion. (Feb. 13)

Part 3: The Crest-Shelby rivalry runs hot in virtually every sport. In the 1970s, the teams seemed to face each other virtually every year in tense conference tournament matchups. (Feb. 14)

Part 4: Amazingly, the Ashbrook-Huss rivalry began as a non-conference series in its early years. And the talent that has played for both rosters is simply amazing and their 1st conference tournament meeting featured perhaps the most talent. (Feb. 15)

Part 5: N.C. High School Athletic Association conference tournaments begin next week in the area and while upsets are certainly celebrated, they also are uncommon. We look at upsets and the most consistent winning schools over the years.

(Thursday’s roundup)
By Richard Walker

Huss star Eric “Sleepy” Floyd and Ashbrook star James Worthy at a basketball camp at Grier Junior High School in the 1980s.

As hard as it may be to believe, the Ashbrook-Huss boys basketball rivalry actually started as a non-conference matchup between schools that are six miles apart when they were members of two Charlotte-area conferences.

However, when that changed when the schools were placed in the Western 4A Conference in 1975 with Asheville, East Burke, Freedom, Hickory and McDowell County did it ever change.

Clearly, having a pair of future NBA All-Stars and multiple future collegians on the teams’ respective rosters is an indication of just how blessed with talent the two schools have been in their respective histories.

In fact, the rivalry featured at least one NCAA Division I player on one of the two rosters every year from 1971 to 2001 – and many years with multiple Divisio I players – and a future collegian has played for one of the two teams every year since the rivalry began.

And while the intensity was always there as the first Gastonia intracity high school rivalry when it began in the 1964-65 season, the intensity has grown ever since the first conference tournament title meeting between the schools in 1977.

That year, Ashbrook’s Green Wave featured Worthy and Huss had Floyd and future University of Maryland player Jon Robinson.

And while Ashbrook won that meeting 64-57 at Morganton’s Freedom High School for its fourth win of the season over Huss, their meeting three weeks later has been immortalized since the Huskies rallied to knock off the Green Wave 60-59 in the 1977 N.C. 4A state championship game at Greensboro’s Grimsley High School.

In the years since, the teams have met 14 more times in conference tournaments, including seven more title game matchups.

The teams entered the 2023-24 season in a 68-all tie for their all time series. Naturally, it’s just as close in conference tournament meeting as Huss holds a slim 8-7 overall advantage while Ashbrook has won five of the eight championship game matchups.

Additionally, a rivalry that has been held in 22 different gymnasiums has seen its 15 conference tournament matchups played at Charlotte’s Bojangles’ Arena (1994), UNC Charlotte’s Halton Arena (1998) and at Freedom (1977), McDowell (1985), East Gaston (2003), Forestview (2004 and 2012), Berry Academy (2005), South Point (2011), Crest (2013), Lake Norman Charter (2016) and Kings Mountain (2019) high schools in addition to the Ashbrook (2006) and Huss (2008) gyms.

In the Big South Conference where the two currently are members, the teams met four straight years from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2011 to 2014.

Worthy and Floyd would famously meet as collegians with Worthy being named MVP for North Carolina in the Tar Heels’ 63-62 NCAA title game over Georgetown in 1982.

And a host of other future college standouts have played in the rivalry among them Belmont Abbey’s Latrasky Pressley, Connecticut’s Isaiah Whaley, Fayetteville State’s Darrell Armstrong, Old Dominion’s Skip Youngblood, Queens’ Reggie Hopkins, UNC Charlotte’s Roderick Howard, Western Carolina’s Vincent Walker for Ashbrook and East Carolina’s Kevin Armstrong, East Tennessee State’s Junior Floyd, Fayetteville State’s Cress Worthy, High Point’s Danny Anderson and Roy Smith, North Carolina’s Kris Lang, North Carolina A&T’s Tyrone Brice, Virginia Tech’s Shawn Smith and Western Carolina’s Thomas Wilson.

Huss’ Kris Lang (00) snags a rebound for the Huskies in a MEGA 7 4A Conference tournament game at UNC Charlotte’s Halton Arena.

Wilson would become Gaston County’s first NBA player, Armstrong (still an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks) was the longest-tenured NBA player in county history and Youngblood and Lang played in the early years of what is now the G-League.










High school basketball

Here is the area’s upcoming schedule:

(Friday, Feb. 16)
Kings Mountain at Crest
Forestview at Cramer
Huss at Ashbrook
North Gaston at South Point
East Gaston at Highland Tech
Shelby at Burns
Thomas Jefferson at Cherryville
East Lincoln at North Lincoln
West Lincoln at Lincolnton
Mountain Island Charter at Lincoln Charter

(Saturday, Feb. 17)
NCISAA 2A playoffs: TBD at Gaston Day
NCISAA 3A playoffs: TBD at Gaston Christian











Pro football

The Carolina Panthers have filled out their coaching staff for the 2024 season on Thursday as general manager Dan Morgan and head coach Dave Canales announced 5 new coaches, as well as a football support staff member.

The new coaches are the following:
Will Harriger: Quarterbacks
Nathan Carroll: Pass game coordinator
Pat McPherson: Tight ends
Keli’i Kekuewa: Assistant offensive line
Daren Bates: Special teams assistant
Scott Cooper: Director of coaching development

In addition to the new faces, Canales has also retained 13 assistants including the entire defensive staff led by coordinator Ejiro Evero.

Here are those coaches and their respective jobs:

Ejiro Evero: Defensive coordinator
Dom Capers: Senior defensive assistant
Jim Caldwell: Senior assistant
Todd Wash: Defensive line
Bert Watts: Secondary/Safeties
Jonathan Cooley: Secondary/Cornerbacks
Peter Hansen: Inside linebackers
Tem Lukabu: Outside linebackers
DeAngelo Hall: Assistant defensive backs
Mayur Chaudhari: Defensive assistant
Bobby Maffei: Defensive QC
Mike Bercovici: Offensive assistant
George Li: Game management coordinator

Previously, the club had officially hired Brad Idzik (offensive coordinator), Tracy Smith (special teams coordinator),
Harold Goodwin (assistant head coach/run game coordinator), Bernie Parmalee (running backs), Rob Moore (wide receivers) and Joe Gilbert (offensive line).









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 (W 128-125)
Wed. 24 at Detroit (L 106-113)
Fri. 26 HOUSTON (L 104-138)
Sat. 27 UTAH (L 122-134)
Mon. 29 NEW YORK (L 92-113)
Wed. 31 CHICAGO (L 110-117)
Fri. 2 at Oklahoma City (L 106-126)
Sun. 4 INDIANA (L 99-115)
Mon. 5 LA LAKERS (L 118-124)
Wed. 7 TORONTO (L 117-123)
Fri. 9 at Milwaukee (L 84-120)
Sat. 10 MEMPHIS (W 115-106)
Mon. 12 INDIANA (W 111-102)
Wed. 14 ATLANTA (W 122-99 )
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.









College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Thursday, Feb. 15)
Richard Bland 74, Gaston College 69
Charlotte 79, UTSA 70

(Friday, Feb. 16)
Jacksonville at Queens

(Saturday, Feb. 17)
Belmont Abbey at Barton
Cleveland CC at Guilford Tech
Davidson at St. Bonaventure
Gardner-Webb at USC Upstate
J.C. Smith at Shaw

(Sunday, Feb. 18)
Wake Tech at Gaston College
Wichita State at Charlotte

(Tuesday, Feb. 20)
Fordham at Davidson

(Wednesday, Feb. 21)
Caldwell Tech at Gaston College
Charlotte at Memphis
Cleveland CC at Davidson-Davie
King at Belmont Abbey
Livingstone at J.C. Smith

(Thursday, Feb. 22)
Queens at Stetson
Radford at Gardner-Webb

(Saturday, Feb. 24)
Belmont Abbey at Emmanuel
Charlotte at Tulsa
Claflin at J.C. Smith
Davidson at Richmond
Gardner-Webb at UNC Asheville
Louisburg at Cleveland CC
Queens at Florida Gulf Coast

(Sunday, Feb. 25)
Lenoir CC at Cleveland CC











Middle school basketball

Gaston County Conference standings through Feb. 15:
Grier 7-0
Belmont 7-1
Stanley 5-3
W.C. Friday 4-3
Holbrook 4-3
York Chester 4-3-x
Southwest 3-4
Chavis 2-5
Cramerton 1-5-x
Bessemer City 1-6
Mount Holly 1-6
x-missing Feb. 15 result

Holbrook 7-0
Belmont 7-1
Bessemer City 6-1
Southwest 5-2
Mount Holly 4-3
Cramerton 3-4
Grier 3-4
Chavis 2-5
Stanley 2-6
W.C. Friday 1-6
York Chester 0-8

(Thursday, Feb. 15)
Belmont 55, Chavis 21: Wilson London (12 points, 10 rebounds), Chris Conley (10 points, 10 rebounds), Braydon Walden (10 points) and JoJo Holt (7 points, 5 steals, 4 assists) led Belmont.

York Chester at Cramerton

Stanley 40, W.C. Friday 38: Bryson Summey (20 points), Jacole Bates (6 points, 10 rebounds) and Devin Phillips (6 points, 9 rebounds) led Stanley.

Grier 41, Southwest 23: Raheem McClure (13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) and Braylon Smith (11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals) led Grier.

Holbrook 49, Mount Holly 22: Payton McRae had 15 points and Christopher Johnson 9 led Holbrook.

BYE – Bessemer City

Belmont 43, Chavis 22: Ellis Boyd had 9 points and Rowen Trexler 8 for Belmont.

Cramerton 29, York Chester 3: Maddie Potter had 15 points for Cramerton.

Stanley 26, W.C. Friday 20: Olivia Falls had 9 points and Rhianna Deal 6 for Stanley and Zoe Culberson had 6 points for W.C. Friday.

Southwest 39, Grier 25: Saniyah Moore (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Moriyah Thompson (7 points, 8 rebounds) led Grier.

Holbrook 39, Mount Holly 6: Shemiah McCoy had 24 points and JaKyra Sadler 10 for Holbrook.

BYE – Bessemer City

(Tuesday, Feb. 20)
Bessemer City at York Chester, Chavis at Stanley, Cramerton at Southwest, W.C. Friday at Mount Holly, Grier at Holbrook, BYE – Belmont

(Thursday, Feb. 22)
Belmont at Stanley, Bessemer City at Southwest, Chavis at Mount Holly, Cramerton at Holbrook, W.C. Friday at Grier

(Monday, Feb. 26)
Southwest at York Chester, Mount Holly at Belmont, Holbrook at Bessemer City, Grier at Chavis, W.C. Friday at Cramerton, BYE – Stanley

Tri-County Conference final regular season standings:

(East Division)
Kings Mountain 10-0
Lincolnton 7-3
North Lincoln 6-4
East Lincoln 4-6
Burns 3-7
West Lincoln 0-10
(West Division)
Shelby 9-1
Crest 7-3
East Rutherford 6-4
R-S Central 4-6
Chase 3-7
Thomas Jefferson 1-9

(East Division)
North Lincoln 10-0
Kings Mountain 8-2
Lincolnton 6-4
East Lincoln 4-6
Burns 2-8
West Lincoln 0-10
(West Division)
Thomas Jefferson 9-1
Crest 8-2
East Rutherford 7-3
R-S Central 4-6
Shelby 2-8
Chase 0-10

(Monday, Feb. 12)
Kings Mountain defeated Crest
Shelby 53, Lincolnton 43
-Girls semifinals
Kings Mountain 43, Thomas Jefferson 30
North Lincoln 40, Crest 33

(Wednesday, Feb. 14)
-Girls championship game
Kings Mountain 39, North Lincoln 38

(Monday, Feb. 19)
-Boys championship game
Kings Mountain at Shelby







Travel basketball

(Denver Nuggets)
The Denver Nuggets Travel boys’ basketball teams will be holding tryouts for the following teams: 6th-8th Grade Boys Wednesday, March 6th, Thursday, March 7th, Monday, March 11th and Tuesday, March 12th from 6:00-7:30 PM in the competition gym at East Lincoln High School (6471 Hwy 73 Denver, NC 28037). 9th-11th grade boys have the same dates from 7:30-9:00 PM. Players need to be at all 4 tryout dates if possible.
All basketball players in Lincoln and surrounding counties are encouraged to try out for the teams. Parent Permission, Medical Consent, and Information forms are required to try out and can be electronically sent to you. Contact Chip Ashley, at [email protected] or call or text 704-718-5136.









Auto racing

Here is the 2024 NASCAR schedule with date, race and site and winners in parentheses:

Sat. Feb. 3 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, LA Memorial Coliseum (Danny Hamlin)
Thu. Feb. 15 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at Daytona, Daytona Intl Speedway (Tyler Redick)
Thu. Feb. 15 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona, Daytona Intl Speedway (Christopher Bell)
Sun. Feb. 18 Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway 2:30 p.m.Fox/MRN
Sun. Feb. 25 Ambetter Health 400, Atlanta Motor Speedway 3 p.m. Fox/PRN
Sun. Mar. 3 Pennzoil 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m.Fox/PRN
Sun. Mar. 10 Shriners Children’s 500, Phoenix Raceway 3:30 p.m.Fox/MRN
Sun. Mar. 17 Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m.Fox/PRN
Sun. Mar. 24 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas 3:30 p.m.Fox/PRN
Sun. Mar. 31 Toyota Owners 400, Richmond Raceway 7 p.m. Fox/MRN
Sun. Apr. 7 Cook Out 400, Martinsville Speedway 3 p.m. FS1/MRN
Sun. Apr. 14 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400, Texas Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m.FS1/PRN
Sun. Apr. 21 GEICO 500, Talladega Superspeedway 3 p.m. Fox/MRN
Sun. Apr. 28 Wurth 400, Dover Motor Speedway 2 p.m. FS1/PRN
Sun. May 5 AdventHealth 400, Kansas Speedway 3 p.m. FS1/MRN
Sun. May 12 Goodyear 400, Darlington Raceway 3 p.m. FS1/MRN
Sun. May 19 NASCAR All-Star Open, North Wilkesboro Speedway 8 p.m. FS1/MRN
Sun. May 19 NASCAR All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro Speedway 8 p.m. FS1/MRN
Sun. May 26 Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway 6 p.m. Fox/PRN
Sun. June 2 Enjoy Illinois 300, World Wide Technology Raceway 3:30 p.m.FS1/MRN
Sun. June 9 Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway 3:30 p.m.Fox/PRN
Sun. June 16 Iowa Corn 350, Iowa Speedway 7 p.m. USA/MRN
Sun. June 23 Cup Series race at New Hampshire, New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2:30 p.m.USA/PRN
Sun. June 30 Ally 400, Nashville Superspeedway 3:30 p.m.NBC/PRN
Sun. July 7 Grant Park 165, Chicago Street Course 4:30 p.m.NBC/MRN
Sun. July 14 Cup Series Race at Pocono, Pocono Raceway 2:30 p.m.USA/MRN
Sun. July 21 Brickyard 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2:30 p.m.NBC/IMS
Sun. Aug. 11 Cook Out 400, Richmond Raceway 6 p.m. USA/MRN
Sun. Aug. 18 FireKeepers Casino 400, Michigan International Raceway 2:30 p.m.USA/MRN
Sat. Aug. 24 Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona International Speedway 7:30 p.m.NBC/MRN
Sun. Sept. 1 Cook Out Southern 500, Darlington Raceway 6 p.m. USA/MRN
(NASCAR playoff race schedule 2024)
Sun. Sept. 8 Quaker State 400, Atlanta Motor Speedway 3 p.m. USA/PRN
Sun. Sept. 15 Go Bowling at the Glen, Watkins Glen International 3 p.m. USA/MRN
Sat. Sept. 21 Bass Pro Shops Night Race, Bristol Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m.USA/PRN
Sun. Sept. 29 Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway 3 p.m. USA/PRN
Sun. Oct. 6 YellaWood 500, Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. NBC/MRN
Sun. Oct. 13 Bank of America Roval 400, Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 2 p.m. NBC/PRN
Sun. Oct. 20 South Point 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2:30 p.m.NBC/PRN
Sun. Oct. 27 Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami, Homestead-Miami Speedway 2:30 p.m.NBC/MRN
Sun. Nov. 3 XFINITY 500, Martinsville Speedway 2 p.m. NBC/MRN
Sun. Nov. 10 NASCAR Cup Series Championship, Phoenix Raceway 3 p.m. NBC/MRN