2-7-24 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College basketball, High school basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker

Gastonia finally knows the owners of its new Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team after Andy Kaufmann of Zawyer Sports & Entertainment announced the formation of the Gaston Baseball Club.

Andy Kaufmann

Kaufmann inherits the ALPB ownership of the team formerly called Gastonia Honey Hunters after that ownership group was kicked out of the league after unpaid bills led the team to declare for bankrupcy.

In 2024, the team will be called the Gastonia Baseball Club but will adopt a nickname afer soliciting fan input.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Kaufmann’s group owns 6 minor league hockey teams and the Gastonia venture is its first in baseball.

Zawyer Sports & Entertainment owns and operates the Jacksonville, Fla., Icemen (ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres), Savannah, Ga. Ghost Pirates (ECHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights), Lake Tahoe, Cal., Knight Monsters, the Allen, Tex., Americans, the Community First Igloo in Jacksonville, Fla., and 32 Degrees Marketing of North Florida.

Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, a two-time college football champion at Florida and a 6-year NFL quarterback, is a part of the Zawyer Sports & Entertainment ownership group.

Kaufmann said on Wednesday his organization will pay former Honey Hunter employees any money owed, make any vendors owed money by the Honey Hinters whole and any churches or civic groups that made reservations will be accommodated.

“We want to get it right,” Kaufmann said. “We’re here to not mess it up and to make sure it’s amazing.”

In an interview afterward, Kaufmann said his team may have to pay back more than $1 million in debt accrued by NC Gas House Gang, which operated the Honey Hunters.

“We anticipate a seven figure number,” Kaufmann said.

The Zawyer Sports & Entertainment’s news conference comes during litigation between the City of Gastonia and NC Gas House Gang, which operated the Honey Hunters for the last 3 seasons in addition to Gastonia’s CaroMont Health Park.

Prior to the approval of the new ownership group, attorneys for NC Gas House Gang held their own news conference, calling the city’s decision “reckless.”

NC Gas House Gang attorney Ron Drescher, who represents owner Brandon Bellamy of the Hunters claimed a judge has not yet ruled on whether their lease termination is valid and that NC Gas House Gang still has a claim to the ballpark. They want to use the park to hold non-baseball events to help raise money to pay off their creditors and out of debt.

The City of Gastonia responded to NC Gas House Gang’s claims in new legal motions filed Monday by asking a judge to dismiss the countersuit against them and denying the new allegations.

Zawyer Sports & Entertainmente is expected to move into CaroMont Health Park on Feb. 20, which is the same day NC Gas House Gang goes before a bankruptcy judge.

The new ownership group has asked the City of Gastonia to cover any legal expenses that may come their way in response to their move into the stadium and the city’s attorneys agreed.

ALPB president Rick White was present for Wednesday’s Gastonia Baseball Club news conference and apologized to the fans of Gastonia.

“Our organization on the ground in Gastonia over the past couple of years took what could best be characterized as a left turn, and it was a left turn off of the tracks,” White said. “It was never the intention of the league. It was never the purpose of the league, and it was something that when it became untenable, the league had to take actions to protect its investment in this community.
“So we apologize to the residents, especially those residents who are employees of the ballclub. To the community at large, which owns this home that the Gastonia Ball Club is going to occupy, to those service providers, to those sponsors, to those advertisers, all of whom made an investment in good faith in our ballclub here, we let you down, and we’re sorry.”

Mauro “Goose” Gozzo, who managed the Honey Hunters the previous 3 seasons, will be retained, said he plans on bringing back the coaching staff and that 16 players have already been signed for the 2024 team.

“We’re excited,” Gozzo said. “We’re going to build a team that’s going to be out there, competitive.”

The 2024 season for the Gastonia Baseball Club begins on April 25. Here is the full schedule:

25 So. Maryland
26 So. Maryland
27 So. Maryland
28 So. Maryland
29 York
30 York

3 at Charleston, W.Va.
4 at Charleston, W.Va.
5 at Charleston, W.Va.
7 at Hagerstown
8 at Hagerstown
9 at Hagerstown
10 at York
11 at York
12 at York
14 Charleston, W.Va.
15 Charleston, W.Va.
16 Charleston, W.Va.
17 Lexington
18 Lexington
19 Lexington
21 at Lancaster
22 at Lancaster
23 at Lancaster
24 So. Maryland
25 So. Maryland
26 So. Maryland
27 So. Maryland
28 at Long Island
29 at Long Island
30 at Long Island
31 at Staten Island

1 at Staten Island
2 at Staten Island
4 Staten Island
5 Staten Island
6 Staten Island
7 Long Island
8 Long Island
9 Long Island
11 at Lexington
12 at Lexington
13 at Lexington
14 at Lexington
15 at Lexington
16 at Lexington
18 High Point
19 High Point
20 High Point
21 at Charleston, W.Va.
22 at Charleston, W.Va.
23 at Charleston, W.Va.
25 High Point
26 High Point
27 High Point
28 at Lexington
29 at Lexington
30 at Lexington

2 at High Point
3 at High Point
4 at High Point
5 Lexington
6 Lexington
7 Lexington
9 at Charleston, W.Va.
10 at Charleston, W.Va.
11 at Charleston, W.Va.
12 at Lexington
13 at Lexington
14 at Lexington
16 So. Maryland
17 So. Maryland
18 So. Maryland
19 at Charleston, W.Va.
20 at Charleston, W.Va.
21 at Charleston, W.Va.
23 at High Point
24 at High Point
25 at High Point
26 Charleston, W.Va.
27 Charleston, W.Va.
28 Charleston, W.Va.
30 at High Point
31 at High Point

1 at High Point
2 Lexington
3 Lexington
4 Lexington
6 High Point
7 High Point
8 High Point
9 at So. Maryland
10 at So. Maryland
11 at So. Maryland
13 at High Point
14 at High Point
15 at High Point
16 Lexington
17 Lexington
18 Lexington
20 at High Point
21 at High Point
22 at High Point
23 Lexington
24 Lexington
25 Lexington
27 High Point
28 High Point
29 High Point
30 Hagerstown
31 Hagerstown

1 Hagerstown
2 Hagerstown
3 at So. Maryland
4 at So. Maryland
5 at So. Maryland
6 at So. Maryland
7 at So. Maryland
8 at So. Maryland
10 Charleston, W.Va.
11 Charleston, W.Va.
12 Charleston, W.Va.
13 Charleston, W.Va.
14 Charleston, W.Va.
15 Charleston, W.Va.









Pro basketball

According to one media report, the Charlotte Hornets rebuilding job could involve a change in the front office.

Mitch Kupchak has been the organization’s president of basketball operations and general manager since April 2018.

But league sources are saying new owners Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall are interested in change.

After Wednesday’s game, the Hornets were 10-40 this season and earlier this month the team traded away guard Terry Rozier and reports indicate forwards Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington could also be shipped elsewhere before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Kupchak’s tenure as general manager has resulted in a 175-258 overall record that would rank him 3rd all-time in franchise history for front office victories; Bob Bass, the general manager from 1995 to 2002, is the all-time leader with a 311-231 record and Rich Cho (2011-18) had a 212-321 record.

Toronto 123, Charlotte 117: Miles Bridges struck for the 7th-highest scoring effort in Hornets’ franchise history (45 points) but it wasn’t enough as Charlotte lost its 9th straight game.

In falling to 10-40 overall, Charlotte is off to the 3rd-worst 50-game start in franchise history; Only the 7-43 start in the 2011-12 season and 9-41 start in the 1989-90 season were worse.

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 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

Three area teams are ranked in The Charlotte Observer/The News and Observer statewide N.C. high school basketball rankings.

Boys teams from Ashbrook and Crest and the East Lincoln girls are ranked among the state’s top 10 teams in their respective classifications.

In 3A boys, Crest is ranked No. 7 and Ashbrook No. 8. Crest was No. 4 last week and Ashbrook No. 6.

And in 3A girls, East Lincoln remained No. 3.

Here are area results/upcoming schedule:

(Wednesday, Feb. 7)
Kings Mountain 68, Shelby 59

Shelby 38, Kings Mountain 27: Sydnie Enste had 13 points and Da’Mani French 12 for Shelby and Farri Martin had 11 points and Mia Bridges 9 for Kings Mountain.

Bradford Prep 37, Piedmont CC 29

(Thursday, Feb. 8)
MAC tournament: Gaston Day at Gaston Christian

(Friday, Feb. 9)
Ashbrook at North Gaston
Cramer at Huss
Kings Mountain at Forestview
South Point at Crest
Burns at Bessemer City
Cherryville at Highland Tech
Shelby at East Gaston
East Lincoln at St. Stephens
Foard at North Lincoln
Lincolnton at West Caldwell
West Lincoln at Newton-Conover
Bradford Prep at Mountain Island Charter
Lincoln Charter at Christ the King

(Monday, Feb. 12)
Lincoln Charter at Bradford Prep

(Tuesday, Feb. 13)
Ashbrook at Cramer
Crest at North Gaston
Huss at Forestview
South Point at Kings Mountain
Bessemer City at Highland Tech
Burns at East Gaston
Thomas Jefferson at Shelby
Queen’s Grant at Piedmont CC
North Iredell at East Lincoln
West Iredell at North Lincoln
Maiden at Lincolnton
West Lincoln at East Burke
Pine Lake Prep at Mountain Island Charter
Queen’s Grant at Piedmont CC

(Wednesday, Feb. 14)
Piedmont CC at Bradford Prep

(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









College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Wednesday, Feb. 7)
Davidson 72, Duquesne 59
Presbyterian 77, Gardner-Webb 75

(Thursday, Feb. 8)
J.C. Smith at Fayetteville State
Queens at Lipscomb

(Friday, Feb. 9)
Gaston College at Cape Fear CC

(Saturday, Feb. 10)
Belmont Abbey at Young Harris
Gaston College at Brunswick CC
George Mason at Davidson
High Point at Gardner-Webb
Queens at Austin Peay
St. Augustine’s at J.C. Smith

(Sunday, Feb. 11)
Charlotte at Temple

(Tuesday, Feb. 13)
LaSalle at Davidson
Lees-McRae at Belmont Abbey

(Wednesday, Feb. 14)
Cleveland CC at Mountain Gateway
North Florida at Queens
Gardner-Webb at Charleston Southern

(Thursday, Feb. 15)
Gaston College at Richard Bland
UTSA at Charlotte

(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










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 – Kansas City 17-10
NFC: Detroit at San Francisco – San Francisco 34-31

Super Bowl LVIII: Feb. 11
At Las Vegas: Kansas City vs. San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. (CBS)










Middle school basketball

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

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

(Thursday, Feb. 8)
Chavis at W.C. Friday, Bessemer City at Grier, Belmont-Holbrook at Ashbrook HS, York Chester at Mount Holly, Stanley at Southwest, BYE – Cramerton

(Monday, Feb. 12)
Cramerton at Bessemer City, W.C. Friday at Belmont, Grier at York Chester, Holbrook at Stanley, Mount Holly at Southwest, BYE – Chavis







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.

(N.C. Lady Gems)
The N.C. Lady Gems AAU team is holding tryouts on Feb. 10. The tryout schedule is as follows: Elementary School Players (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) and Middle School and High School Players (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.).
For information, contact George Adams (704-842-0085) for location details.








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 7 p.m. FS1/MRN
Thu. Feb. 15 Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona, Daytona Intl Speedway 7 p.m. FS1/MRN
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