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2-28-24 roundup: Pro basketball and soccer, College basketball, High school basketball, baseball and golf, Middle school basketball, Auto racing

By Richard Walker

Three area high schools extended existing opening round postseason winning streaks in Tuesday’s 2024 start to the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

On a night where 10 of the 15 of the boys teams and 5 of the 14 girls teams who qualified moved on, Lincoln Charter’s boys and girls and Shelby’s girls joined select company with their victories.

Lincoln Charter’s win gave the Eagles 10 straight opening round playoff wins to join 3 other schools with double-digit opening round winning streaks.

Burns streak of 11 straight opening round wins from 1979 to 1981, 1985 to 1988, 1991 and 1993 to 1995 is the top boys streak while Cherryville (1998 to 2007) and Lincoln Charter (since 2015) have won 10 straight opening round games in 10 straight seasons and Shelby also won 10 straight opening round games from 1987 to 1989, 1992 to 1993 and 1997 to 2000.

Shelby’s girls and Lincoln Charter’s girls increased their opening round wins streaks to 5 years and moved within 1 year of tying 3 schools for the area record.

Shelby has won 5 straight since 2020 while Lincoln Charter’s 5-year streak runs from 2019 to 2020 and 2022 to this season.

The all-time streaks of 6 years are held by East Lincoln (1972-75 and 1977-78), East Gaston (1993-98) and Forestview (2007-12).

Here are the results and pairings for the local teams in the state playoffs:

-Boys
(Tuesday, Feb. 27 1st round)
1A No. 29 W-S Carver at No. 4 Piedmont Community Charter – PCC 72-57
1A No. 23 Mountain Island Charter at No. 10 Hiwassee Dam – MIC 82-73
1A No. 32 Highland Tech at No. 1 South Stokes – SS 81-46
2A No. 25 Brevard at No. 8 Shelby – Shelby 54-43
2A No. 18 Maiden at No. 15 Lincoln Charter – LC 76-70
2A No. 17 Surry Central at No. 16 Lincolnton – Lincolnton 62-60
2A No. 22 East Gaston at No. 11 West Caldwell – EG 80-78
2A No. 27 Burns at No. 6 Randleman – Randleman 93-69
3A No. 28 Statesville at No. 5 Crest – Crest 71-60
3A No. 22 Northwest Cabarrus at No. 11 Kings Mountain – NWC 75-71
3A No. 21 Concord at No. 12 Ashbrook – Ashbrook 68-65
3A No. 17 Franklin at No. 16 North Lincoln – NL 78-35
3A No. 18 Huss at No. 15 North Henderson – Huss 83-52
3A No. 24 South Point at No. 9 Freedom – Freedom 79-73
3A No. 25 East Lincoln at No. 8 Piedmont – Piedmont 66-65

(Friday, March 1 2nd round)
1A No. 20 North Rowan at No. 4 Piedmont Community Charter
1A No. 23 Mountain Island Charter at No. 7 South Stanly
2A No. 16 Lincolnton at No. 1 Reidsville
2A No. 9 Monroe at No. 8 Shelby
2A No. 22 East Gaston at No. 6 Randleman
2A No. 15 Lincoln Charter at No. 2 Salisbury
3A No. 16 North Lincoln at No. 1 Hickory
3A No. 12 Ashbrook at No. 5 Crest
3A No. 18 Huss at No. 2 Central Cabarrus

-Girls
(Tuesday, Feb. 27 1st round)
1A No. 21 Highland Tech at No. 12 Piedmont Community Charter – HT 33-26
1A No. 22 Bessemer City at No. 11 Uwharrie Charter – UC 46-43
1A No. 29 Mount Island Charter at No. 4 Albemarle – Albemarle 73-19
2A No. 24 Pine Lake Prep at No. 9 Shelby – Shelby 60-43
2A No. 21 Maiden at No. 12 Lincoln Charter – LC 51-40
2A No. 25 Burns at No. 8 HP Andrews – HPA 63-28
2A No. 32 West Lincoln at No. 1 North Wilkes – NW 59-42
3A No. 30 Forestview at No. 3 East Lincoln – EL 79-33
3A No. 27 Foard at No. 6 Cramer – Cramer 64-49: Oshauna Holland (45 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block, 5 steals), Ellia Barajas (5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks), Brianna McGinnis (4 points, 1 rebound), Unique McDowell (4 points, 4 rebounds) and
Hadley Womack (2 points, 11 steals) led Cramer
3A No. 17 Crest at No. 16 Dudley – Dudley 53-41
3A No. 18 North Lincoln at No. 15 Northwest Cabarrus – NWC 62-40
3A No. 25 South Point at No. 8 West Henderson – West Henderson 59-43: Claire Frank (16 points), Amya Graham (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Maddie Frank (7 points, 5 assists) led South Point.

(Friday, March 1 2nd round)
1A No. 21 Highland Tech at No. 5 East Wilkes
2A No. 9 Shelby at No. 8 HP Andrews
2A No. 12 Lincoln Charter at No. 5 Randleman
3A No. 19 Freedom at No. 3 East Lincoln
3A No. 11 Hibriten at No. 6 Cramer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro basketball

The Charlotte Hornets have signed free agent forward Aleksej Pokusevski. The 17th overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, Pokusevski appeared in 150 games (65 starts) in 4 seasons (2020-24) with the Oklahoma City Thunder and averaged 7.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 20.6 minutes per game.

A 22-year-old native of Belgrade, Serbia, Pokusevski logged three professional seasons (2017-20) in Greece with Olympiacos, where he became the youngest player in team history to play in the EuroLeague (17 years, 83 days). In 39 games (27 starts) between Olympiacos, Olympiacos B and Olympiacos U18, Pokusevski tallied 10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.8 blocks and 20.6 minutes per contest.

To make room for Pokusevski on the roster, the Hornets released Marques Bolden after his 10-day contract ended.

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

October
Wed. 25 ATLANTA (W 116-110)
Fri. 27 DETROIT (L 99-111)
Mon. 30 BROOKLYN (L 121-133)
November
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)
December
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)
January
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)
February
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 (W 115-107)
Fri. 23 at Golden State (L 84-97 )
Sun. 25 at Portland (W 93-80 )
Tue. 27 at Milwaukee (L 85-123)
Thu. 29 MILWAUKEE 7 p.m.
March
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.
April
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle school basketball

Final Gaston County Conference regular season standings:
-Boys
Grier 10-0
Belmont 8-2
Stanley 7-3
W.C. Friday 6-4
Southwest 6-4
Holbrook 6-4
York Chester 6-4
Chavis 3-7
Bessemer City 1-9
Cramerton 1-9
Mount Holly 1-9

-Girls
Holbrook 10-0
Belmont 9-1
Southwest 8-2
Bessemer City 7-3
Mount Holly 6-4
Grier 5-5
Cramerton 4-6
Stanley 3-7
Chavis 2-8
W.C. Friday 1-9
York Chester 0-10

(Playoffs)
Feb. 29: Semifinals
-Boys
No. 4 W.C. Friday at No. 1 Grier
No. 3 Stanley at No. 2 Belmont
-Girls
No. 4 Bessemer City at No. 1 Holbrook
No. 3 Southwest at No. 2 Belmont

March 5: Boys championship game
March 6: Girls championship game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro soccer

Here is the Charlotte FC 2024 schedule:

(1-0-0 record)
Saturday, Feb 24, New York (W 1-0)
Saturday, Mar 2, at Vancouver, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Mar 9, at Toronto, 2 PM
Saturday, Mar 16, at Nashville, 8:30 PM
Saturday, Mar 23, Columbus, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Mar 30, Cincinnati, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 6, at New England, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Apr 13, Toronto, 7:30 PM
Sunday, Apr 21, Minnesota, 6 PM
Saturday, Apr 27, at New York, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 4, Portland, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 11, Nashville, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 15, at Chicago, 8:30 PM
Saturday, May 18, LA Galaxy, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 25, Philadelphia, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, May 29, at New York Redbulls, 7:30 PM
Sunday, Jun 2, at Atlanta, 4:30 PM
Saturday, Jun 15, DC, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, Jun 19, Orlando, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jun 22, at Philadelphia, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jun 29, at Houston, 8:30 PM
Wednesday, Jul 3, Miami, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jul 13, at Cincinnati, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, Jul 17, at Columbus, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Jul 20, at Austin, 8:30 PM
Saturday, Aug 24, New York Redbulls, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Aug 31, Atlanta, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Sep 14, at Montreal, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, Sep 18, at Orlando, 8 PM
Saturday, Sep 21, New England, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Sep 28, at Miami, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, Oct 2, Chicago, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Oct 5, Montreal, 7:30 PM
Saturday, Oct 19, at DC, 6 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Wednesday, Feb. 28)
Francis Marion 88, Belmont Abbey 68
Southwest Virginia 102, Cleveland CC 81
USC Salkehatchie 90, Gaston College 84
CIAA tournament CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Md.: Virginia State 66, J.C. Smith 56

(Thursday, Feb. 29)
Longwood at Gardner-Webb

(Friday, March 1)
Kennesaw State at Queens
CIAA tournament CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Md.

(Saturday, March 2)
Charlotte at South Florida
Gardner-Webb at Winthrop
Massachusetts at Davidson
Spartanburg Methodist at Gaston College
CIAA tournament CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Md.

(Sunday, March 3)
Hosanna Bible College at Gaston College
CIAA tournament CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Md.
Conference Carolinas tournament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school baseball

Defending N.C. 2A state champion Burns is the only team from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties to be voted in the HighSchoolOT.com preseason baseball poll.

Here is the poll:

1. T.C. Roberson, 26-8
2. Burns, 28-4
3. West Henderson, 27-5
4. Providence, 24-6
5. D.H. Conley, 17-5
6. Wake Forest, 26-7
7. Eden Morehead, 23-7
8. Corinth Holders, 21-8
9. Greenville J.H. Rose, 26-5
10. Ardrey Kell, 20-8
11. Fayetteville Terry Sanford , 25-5
12. Wilmington Hoggard, 17-9
13. Randleman, 23-5
14. West Rowan, 19-7
15. Orange, 25-3
16. Northwest Guilford, 27-7
17. Hopewell, 22-7
18. Midway, 23-3
19. Hough, 16-8
20. Metrolina Christian, 22-4
21. Uwharrie Charter, 22-10
22. Southern Pines Pinecrest, 23-5
23. East Rowan, 23-6
24. Davie County, 16-11
25. Pfafftown Reagan, 21-7

Here’s are the area’s results and schedule:

(Wednesday, Feb. 28)
Cherryville 3, East Burke 0
East Lincoln at Lincolnton, ppd. Thursday
Forestview at Bandys, ppd. Thursday
North Lincoln 13, Lincoln Charter 1 (5 innings)
Mountain Island Charter 15, North Meck 0 (4 innings)
North Gaston at East Gaston, ppd. Thursday
Piedmont Community Charter at Thomas Jefferson, ppd. Thursday

(Thursday, Feb. 29)
Ashbrook at Highland Tech
Burns at Lincoln Charter
Caldwell Academy at Gaston Day
Crest at Roberson
East Lincoln at Lincolnton
Forestview at Bandys
North Gaston at East Gaston
Piedmont Community Charter at Thomas Jefferson
Shelby at Kings Mountain

(Friday, March 1)
Bandys at East Lincoln
Bessemer City at Huss
Carolina Royals at Gaston Christian
Lincolnton at Statesville
North Gaston at Cherryville
North Lincoln at Forestview
Piedmont Community Charter at Highland Tech
R-S Central at West Lincoln
South Point at East Gaston
Union Academy at Mountain Island Charter

(Saturday, March 2)
Chase at Shelby
Crest at Burns
West Lincoln at Bessemer City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school boys golf

West Lincoln opened its season with a win on Tuesday at Lincolnton Country Club. The Rebels had a team score of 172 and were led Zach Hendricks (42), Haydon Thompson (43), Holden Turner (43) and Zander Harrelson (44). West Lincoln’s next match is Thursday at Deer Brook Golf Club in 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)
Mon. Feb. 19 Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway (William Byron)
Sun. Feb. 25 Ambetter Health 400, Atlanta Motor Speedway (Daniel Suarez)
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