8-10-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, Legion baseball, High school football, College athletics
By Richard Walker
During Tuesday’s offseason media session, Charlotte Hornets president and general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team had finished its offseason roster decisions, had high hopes for the upcoming season and felt the contract extension the team gave head coach James Borrego indicated he would be able to meet those expectations.
Charlotte added veterans Mason Plumlee, Ish Smith, Kelly Oubre and Wes Iwundu and rookies James Bouknight, Kai Jones, J.T. Thor and Scottie Lewis while losing Devonte’ Graham, Malik Monk, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo through free agency and Caleb Martin to release.
The team also retained a core that includes 2021 NBA rookie of the year LaMelo Ball and veterans Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington.
On the team’s offseason roster building, Kupchak said: “I think we are done with the quote unquote, heavy lifting. That doesn’t mean in this business there can’t be additional moves, but our roster in terms of guaranteed contracts is at its limit – in fact, it’s a little bit over the limit going into the regular season. So, yeah, I think we’re done. (And) I think we’ve made some progress. We’ve added some veterans and we had a pretty active draft.”
After going 33-39 and losing in the NBA Play-in tournament, Kupchak said at season’s end the team had progressed more than he had anticipated. On Monday, he’s looking for even more improvement.
“Well, I think we’ve added to the talent pool with our young players and our free agent signings and the trades with the veterans I think give us a better chance to compete,” Kupchak said. “And yes, the bar has been risen. I think there are more expectations this year than there were a year ago. Having said that, the goal is the same really – continue to add talent, grow this roster, make the playoffs and advance in the playoffs. Our goal is just not to get the eighth seed or to make the play-in tournament, we want to get in and we want to advance.”
Kupchak felt the contract extension given to Borrego as he begins his fourth season was an indication of the team’s confidence in Borrego.
“I think you know that we’ve extended our coach,” Kupchak said. “We’re happy to have him back. He gives us stability. A good, young coach that’s gotten better every year that he’s been with us. I think the extension’s a reflection on how we feel about him going forward.”
High school football
Here is the area’s scrimmage schedule:
Wednesday, Aug. 11
Stuart Cramer at East Lincoln, 6 p.m.
Forestview, Chase and Freedom at Newton-Conover, 6 p.m.
Hibriten at Crest, 6 p.m.
Shelby at Concord Robinson, 6 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 13
Charlotte Football Insiders Jamboree at Mountain Island Charter
Highland Tech vs. Pine Lake Prep, 5 p.m.
South Mecklenburg vs. Rocky River, 6:15 p.m.
Butler vs. Olympic, 7:30 p.m.
Mountain Island Charter vs. Harding, 8:45 p.m.
Gaston County Jamboree at Stuart Cramer
Hunter Huss vs. Clover, S.C., 5 p.m.
Ashbrook vs. West Mecklenburg, 6 p.m.
North Gaston vs. Bessemer City, 7 p.m.
Stuart Cramer vs. Hopewell, 8 p.m.
Lincoln County FCA Jamboree at East Lincoln
West Lincoln vs. Ashbrook, 5:30 p.m.
North Lincoln vs. Bandys, 6:30 p.m.
Lincolnton vs. Forestview, 7:30 p.m.
East Lincoln vs. Northwest Cabarrus, 8:30 p.m.
Cleveland County Jamboree at Crest
A.C. Reynolds vs. Burns, 6 p.m.
Asheville vs. Shelby, 7 p.m.
Charlotte Catholic vs. Kings Mountain, 8 p.m.
Newton-Conover vs. Crest, 9 p.m.
Charlotte’s Garinger High School coach Shon Galloway announced on Tuesday the Wildcats’ would not be fielding a varsity football team this season.
Here is the full schedule of games for the 2021 American Legion World Series that begin on Thursday:
Pool play 4-team divisions
Stars – Central Plains (Fargo, N.D.), Mid-Atlantic (Ridge St. Mary’s, Md.), Southeast (Tupelo, Miss.), Western (Honolulu Team Central, Hi.)
Stripes – Great Lakes (Midland Berryhill, Mich.), Mid-South (Dubuque County, Ia.), Northeast (Beverly, Mass.), Northwest (Idaho Falls, Id.)
Thursday Aug. 12
Central Plains vs. Western, 10 a.m.
Mid-South vs. Northeast, 1 p.m.
Great Lakes vs. Northwest, 4 p.m.
Southeast vs. Mid-Atlantic, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 13
Central Plains vs. Southeast, 4 p.m.
Mid-Atlantic vs. Western, 7 p.m.
Idle – Great Lakes, Mid-South, Northeast, Northwest
Saturday, Aug. 14
Mid-South vs. Northwest, 1 p.m.
Great Lakes vs. Northeast, 4 p.m.
Southeast vs. Western, 7:30 p.m.
Idle – Central Plains, Mid-Atlantic
Sunday, Aug. 15
Mid-South vs. Great Lakes, 1 p.m.
Mid-Atlantic vs. Central Plains, 4 p.m.
Northeast vs. Northwest, 7:30 p.m.
Idle – Southeast, Western
Monday, Aug. 16 – semifinals
Stars No. 1 vs. Stripes No. 2, 4 p.m.
Stripes No. 1 vs. Stars No. 2, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 17
Here is the full Hornets’ Las Vegas Summer League schedule:
Aug. 8: Portland (Lost 86-93)
Aug. 9: Sacramento, 6 p.m. (Lost 70-80)
Aug. 12: San Antonio, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
Aug. 14: Toronto, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Aug. 16 or 17 TBD
The Gastonia Honey Hunters fell to 31-33 and saw their four-game winning streak come to an end in Tuesday’s 6-3 home loss to West Virginia.
Gaston College will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since 1975.
The school is holding a Block Party from 3-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19 to unveil the school’s new nickname, logo and colors.
Gaston College was nicknamed the Rebels from 1965 to 1969 and the Warriors from 1969 to 1972 before the school ceased its athletic programs after the 1974-75 school year.
With its restart this fall, it will again compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 10 and field teams in baseball, beach volleyball, esports, men’s basketball, softball and women’s cross country.