2-22-23 roundup: Pro basketball, football and soccer, High school basketball, Middle school basketball, College basketball and football

By Richard Walker

Former Forestview and Gaston Day standout Nate Hinton was invited to be a member of USA Basketball’s 12-man roster for the 2023 USA Men’s World Cup qualifying team.

Gastonia’s Nate Hinton (third from right on second row) and his Team USA Basketball teammates and coaches.

Hinton and his teammates have two games this week as the United State played Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay on Tuesday before playing Brazil in Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil on Sunday at 7:10 p.m. (Both times are Eastern.)

In Tuesday’s game, Hinton didn’t play in Team USA’s 105-71 victory.

Hinton and the other 11 athletes slated to compete for Team USA have professional experience in the NBA, NBA G League and international leagues.

Hinton is joined on the 2023 USA World Cup Qualifying Team by Deonte Burton, Will Davis II, Abdul Gaddy, Langston Galloway, Treveon Graham, Dusty Hannahs, Jay Huff, Xavier Moon, Elijah Pemberton, Reggie Perry and Craig Sword.

The head coach is Jim Boylen, who will serve his sixth-straight head coaching assignment for the USA Basketball World Cup Qualifying Team. Ty Ellis will return as an assistant coach for his sixth straight window and will be joined by Mike Wells, who was on staff last November. Sydney Johnson will return to USA Basketball after serving as a scout for the February 2020 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying Team.

Team USA seeks to advance to the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup Aug. 25-Sept. 10, in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Hinton, a 2018 Gaston Day graduate, was averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 18 starts for the Cleveland Charge G League team; The Charge is an affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

An All-American Athletic Conference honoree at Houston, Hinton was undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft before signing free agent contracts with the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers with whom he played 23 total games in the NBA in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Cleveland signed him to its G League roster on Oct. 24, 2022.








College baseball

A pair of former Cherryville American Legion Post 100 standouts last weekend had impressive pitching efforts for their respective schools as Seth Willis threw the first no-hitter in Tusculum history and Dalton Pence picked up a win in his pitching debut for the University of North Carolina.

Willis, a 2019 West Lincoln High graduate, threw a seven-inning no-hitter in Sunday’s nightcap of a home doubleheader sweep of Davis & Elkins.

Willis struck out 13 on 88 pitches as the Pioneers rolled to a 23-0 victory.

He also retired the final 18 batters of the game to complete the first no-hitter in the history of a program that began in 1900.

Willis joined the Tusculum program after helping Caldwell Tech to a third-place finish last season in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III baseball championship tournament.

Pence, a 2021 was one of three Tar Heels’ relievers who closed out Sunday’s 4-2 win over visiting Seton Hall.

Pence relieved UNC starting pitcher Connor Bovair after he went 3 2-3 innings and yielded two runs in the fourth inning. Pence got a strikeout to the end the inning then got an inning-ending strikeout in the fifth before another scoreless frame in the sixth to complete a 2 1-3 inning, 4-strikeout effort for the pitching victory.

“I like games that are tight and getting out there with runners in scoring position or on-base,” Pence told goheels.com. “It makes the game more interesting and makes me more locked in on the pitches I need to make. Credit to my teammates. I had confidence in them, and they had confidence in me.”








College basketball

Two former local standouts – Kings Mountain’s Ezekiel Cannedy and Huss’ Cress Worthy – have been honored by the CIAA this week in their 2022-23 season superlatives.

Cannedy, a 2022 Kings Mountain graduate, was named CIAA men’s Rookie of the Year and named to the All-CIAA team. He finished the regular season as a top-five scorer in the conference, averaging 15.4 points while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 38 percent on 3-pointers and 79 percent on free throws. A 6-foot-2 guard, Cannedy also averaged 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

Worthy, a 2017 Huss graduate, was named to the All-CIAA team. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists.










High school basketball

Sixteen area high school basketball teams remain alive in the N.C. High School Athletic Association and N.C. Independent School Athletic Association playoffs.

The remaining boys teams are Crest, Kings Mountain and South Point of the Big South 3A, Bessemer City, Burns, East Gaston and Shelby of the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A, Lincoln Charter of the Catawba Shores 1A/2A and Gaston Day of the Metrolina Athletic Conference.

The remaining girls teams are Ashbrook and Huss of the Big South 3A, East Lincoln of the Western Foothills 3A, Bessemer City and Shelby of the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A, Lincoln Charter of the Catawba Shores 1A/2A and Piedmont Community Charter of the Metro 8 1A.

Here are the respective conference records through the first round of the state playoffs:
Big South 3A 3-1
Western Foothills 3A 1-4
Catawba Valley 2A 1-3
Catawba Shores 1A/2A 3-2
Southern Piedmont 1A/2A 4-1
Metro 8 1A 2-2

Big South 3A 2-3
Western Foothills 3A 2-3
Catawba Valley 2A 2-3
Catawba Shores 1A/2A 1-3
Southern Piedmont 1A/2A 2-2
Metro 8 1A 1-1

Here are the area’s state playoff results and upcoming pairings:

(Feb. 21 first round)
(Class 3A)
No. 5 South Point 73, No. 28 Thomasville Ledford 56
No. 13 Crest 75, No. 20 West Rowan 69
No. 19 Northwest Cabarrus 68, No. 14 Huss 58
No. 16 North Henderson 75, No. 17 North Lincoln 73
No. 15 Greensboro Dudley 56, No. 18 East Lincoln 49
No. 24 Kings Mountain 67, No. 9 West Henderson 60
(Class 2A)
No. 4 East Gaston 85, No. 29 West Wilkes 61
No. 8 Lincoln Charter 88, No. 25 Brevard 58
No. 12 Shelby 73, No. 21 Eden Morehead 47
No. 24 Burns 56, No. 9 Southwestern Randolph 50
No. 2 Reidsville 80, No. 31 Lincolnton 59
(Class 1A)
No. 7 Bessemer City 76, No. 26 Cherokee 60
No. 6 Robbinsville 46, No. 27 Mountain Island Charter 45
No. 3 Eastern Randolph 95, No. 30 Cherryville 60

(Class 3A)
No. 2 East Lincoln 66, No. 31 North Buncombe 39
No. 7 Huss 54, No. 26 W-S Atkins 44
No. 23 St. Stephens 36, No. 10 Cramer 33
No. 15 Ashbrook 53, No. 18 Lake Norman Charter 45
No. 9 Ashe County 54, No. 24 Crest 41
No. 6 Oak Grove 67, No. 27 South Point 57
(Class 2A)
No. 2 Shelby 69, NO. 31 Robinson 33
No. 4 Lincoln Charter 60, No. 29 Brevard 43
No. 15 Southwestern Randolph 60, No. 18 West Lincoln 40
(Class 1A)
No. 7 Bessemer City 59, No. 26 Swain County 34
No. 22 Piedmont Community Charter 50, No. 11 Corvian Community 49
No. 3 Cherokee 78, No. 30 Highland Tech 25

(Feb. 23 second round)
(Class 3A)
No. 5 South Point hosts No. 12 Concord
No. 13 Crest at No. 4 Enka
No. 24 Kings Mountain at No. 8 Southern Guilford
(Class 2A)
No. 4 East Gaston hosts No. 12 High Point Andrews
No. 8 Lincoln Charter hosts No. 24 Burns
No. 12 Shelby at No. 5 Hendersonville
(Class 1A)
No. 7 Bessemer City hosts No. 23 Starmount

(Class 3A)
No. 2 East Lincoln hosts No. 15 Ashbrook
No. 7 Huss hosts No. 23 St. Stephens
(Class 2A)
No. 2 Shelby hosts No. 15 Southwestern Randolph
No. 4 Lincoln Charter hosts No. 13 Newton-Conover
(Class 1A)
No. 7 Bessemer City hosts No. 23 Uwharrie Charter
No. 22 Piedmont Community Charter at No. 6 East Wilkes


-NCISAA state playoffs
(3A boys)
Feb. 18 – Gaston Christian 54, Cape Fear Academy 49
Feb. 21 – Greensboro Day 30, Gaston Christian 27

(2A boys)
Feb. 18 – Gaston Day 77, Sanford Grace Christian 56
Feb. 21 – Gaston Day 72, Raleigh Trinity Academy 55
Feb. 23 – Gaston Day at Burlington School

(3A girls)
Feb. 14 – Hickory Grove Christian 45, Gaston Christian 33



















College basketball

(Wednesday’s games)
UNC Pembroke 87, Belmont Abbey 51: The Crusaders ended their regular season at 17-11 overall and 13-7 in Conference Carolinas with the road loss.

Liberty 85, Queens 77: B.J. McLaurin had a career-high 19 points as Queens fell to 17-13, 7-10 in the home loss.

Davidson 74, St. Bonaventure 61: Foster Loyer and Sam Mennenga combined for 51 points and 7-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers as Davidson’s second straight win improved them 13-14, 6-9.

Spartanburg Methodist 65, Gaston College 64: The visiting Pioneers dropped the Rhinos to 16-8 overall and 4-5 in Region 10.

(Thursday’s games)
Longwood at Gardner-Webb
North Texas at Charlotte

(Friday’s game)
Queens at Liberty

(Saturday’s games)
Gardner-Webb at USC Upstate
Rice at Charlotte
Richard Bland at Gaston College

(Sunday’s game)
Davidson at Duquesne








College baseball

(Wednesday’s game)
Gaston College 5, Guilford Tech 0: Six pitchers, including starter and winner Derek Vartanian, combined on Gaston College’s sixth shutout of the season as the Rhinos improved to 14-1.










Middle school basketball

Gaston County Conference standings through Feb. 22:

Southwest 10-0
Belmont 7-1
Holbrook 6-2
Mount Holly 6-2
Grier 5-3
Stanley 4-5
Cramerton 3-5
York Chester 3-6
Chavis 2-6
Bessemer City 0-8
W.C. Friday 0-8

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

(Wednesday’s games)
Middle school basketball
Grier 54, W.C. Friday 34: Zyir Sowell (10 points, 3 steals) and Qualan Lindsay (12 points, 7 rebounds) led Grier.

Southwest 77, York Chester 51: Zaiyir Phillips had 23 points, Karma Minter 15, Ny’Sier Dawkins 13 and Jakelan Littlejohn 10 for Southwest and Najeh Potts had 15 points and Chavis Mitchell and Raymond Hodge 10 each for York Chester.

W.C. Friday 51, Grier 39

Southwest 32, York Chester 27: Sa’Ryah McCorkle had 28 points for Southwest and Unique McDowell had 10 points and Arian Worthy 9 for York Chester.

(Thursday’s games)
Belmont at Mount Holly, Bessemer City at Holbrook, Chavis at Grier, Cramerton at W.C. Friday

(Monday’s games)
Cramerton at Chavis, W.C. Friday at Bessemer City, Grier at Belmont, Holbrook at York Chester, Mount Holly at Stanley













Pro basketball

Could the Charlotte Hornets be adding the embattled Miles Bridges to their roster soon?

According to Bridges, that could be the case.

Bridges to The Associated Press on Tuesday after halftime of the Michigan State home game against Indiana, “It’s been a long process. I might be back in March.

Bridges hasn’t played this season after being charged with assaulting the mother of his two children in June 2022. He pleaded no contest three months ago in Los Angeles to the charges of a felony count of injuring a child’s parent and agreed to do so in exchange for three years probation and no jail time. Bridges also has to complete 52 weeks of parenting classes, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and 100 hours of community service.

According to Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak earlier this month, the NBA was conducting an investigation of Bridges and could discipline Bridges further. Bridges averaged career-highs of 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season before the incident last summer just days before he was to become a restricted free agent clouded his future.

Here’s the 2022-23 Charlotte Hornets schedule:

(17-43 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 (L 98-114)
3 at Detroit (L 112-118)
5 Orlando (L 113-119)
8 at Washington (L 104-118)
10 at Boston (L 116-127)
11 Denver (L 105-119)
13 Atlanta (W 144-138)
15 San Antonio (W 120-110)
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 soccer

Here is Charlotte FC’s full 2023 schedule:

Feb. 25 New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
March 4 at St. Louis City SC, 8:30 p.m.
March 11 Atlanta United FC, noon
March 18 at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
March 25 New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
April 1 at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
April 8 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.
April 15 Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.
April 22 Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
April 29 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
May 6 New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 13 at Atlanta United FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 17 Chicago Fire FC, 7:30 p.m.
May 20 Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m.
May 27 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.
May 31 at Philadelphia Union, 7:30 0.m.
June 3 at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
June 10 Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.
June 21 at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
June 24 CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
July 5 at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.
July 8 FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
July 15 at CF Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 20 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 L.A. FC, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Nashville SC, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at New England Revoultion, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Inter Miami CF, TBD













Auto racing

The 2023 NASCAR schedule (with winners in parentheses):

Feb 5 Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles CA (Martin Truex, Jr.)
Feb 16 Duel No. 1, Daytona Beach FL (Joey Logano)
Feb 16 Duel No. 2, Daytona Beach FL (Aric Almirola)
Feb 19 Daytona 500, Daytona Beach FL (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)
Feb 26 NASCAR Cup Series at California, Fontana CA 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Mar 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Mar 12 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Mar 19 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Mar 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Apr 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA, 3:30 p.m. on FS1
Apr 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN, 7 p.m. on FOX
Apr 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville VA, 3 p.m. on FS1
Apr 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 3 p.m. on FOX
Apr 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Dover, Dover DE, 2 p.m. on FS1
May 7 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on FS1
May 14 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 3 p.m. on FS1
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open Race, North Wilkesboro NC, 6 p.m. on FS1
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro NC, 8 p.m. on FS1
May 28 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 6 p.m. at FOX
Jun 4 NASCAR Cup Series at World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison IL, 3:30 p.m. on FS1
Jun 11 NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma, Sonoma CA, 3:30 p.m. on FOX
Jun 25 NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville, Lebanon TN, 7 p.m. on NBC
Jul 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Chicago, Chicago IL, 5:30 p.m. on NBC
Jul 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA, 7 p.m. on USA
Jul 16 NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire, Loudon NH, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono, Long Pond PA, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Jul 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 6 NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan, Brooklyn MI, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Aug 13 NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Road Course, Speedway IN, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Aug 20 NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen NY, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona, Daytona Beach FL, 7 p.m. on NBC

(Cup Playoffs)
Sep 3 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 6 p.m. on USA
Sep 10 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on USA
Sep 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN, 7:30 p.m. on USA
Sep 24 NASCAR Cup Series at Texas, Fort Worth TX, 3:30 p.m. on USA
Oct 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 8 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 15 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 22 NASCAR Cup Series at Miami, Homestead FL, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville, 2 p.m. on NBC
Nov 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ, 3 p.m. on NBC