Thursday’s roundup: KM, EL win volleyball titles, All-conference cross country, G-W announces spring football schedule, college basketball results

By Richard Walker

Kings Mountain High School completed unbeaten Big South 3A Conference championship runs in varsity and junior varsity volleyball on Thursday at Crest.

Kings Mountain High School completed an unbeaten Big South 3A Conference volleyball season by sweeping Crest 3-0 on Thursday night.

The Mountaineers won 25-19, 25-12, 25-17 to finish 11-0 in league play and win all 33 sets they played. Kings Mountain now awaits Saturday’s playoff pairings to know who it’ll play in Tuesday’s home playoff match.

Thursday’s victory was led by Aaliyah Byers (25 kills, 12 digs, 10 serve receptions, 2 blocks, 7 service points), Meile Songaila (10 kills, 15 digs, 11 serve receptions, 13 service points), Emma Goff (8 kills, 9 service points), Paige Bagwell (44 assists, 8 digs, 4 blocks) and Kyann Crocker (2 assists, 12 digs, 17 serve receptions, 6 service points).

Crest, which finished second in the conference at 7-2, also will participate in the state playoffs next week.

Kings Mountain’s junior varsity also completed a perfect championship season (8-0 record) by sweeping Crest 2-0 (25-9, 25-16). The Mountaineers were led by Mary Quay Moss (6 kills, 2 blocks) and Jessie Ozmore (18 service points, 8 assists).

East Lincoln 3, Maiden 0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-12): East Lincoln wrapped up its third conference title in four years as senior Kaylee Spees recorded her 1,500th career dig. The Mustangs are 10-1 and await playoff pairings to find out who they’ll host in Tuesday’s playoff match.

Christ the King 3, Cherryville 0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-18): Cherryville, which finished 4-9 overall and 4-8 in conference play, was led by Rileigh Kiser (11 digs, 11 assists), Megan Smith (11 digs) and Reese Hoyle (5 kills).

Forestview 3, Stuart Cramer 1 (25-16, 25-23, 18-25, 25-16): Forestview, which finished 7-4, was led by Lily Harmon (6 kills, 10 assists, 2 aces), Emma Thornburg (6 kills, 2 aces) and Anna Townsend (6 kills, 2 aces).
Forestview also the JV match 2-1.

East Lincoln’s Kaylee Spees set a career milestone on Thursday as the Mustangs wrapped up the South Fork 2A Conference volleyball championship with a win over Maiden.

South Point d. Chase: South Point (10-2, 9-2) awaits pairings to find out who they’ll play in Tuesday’s playoff match.

High school boys basketball
Davidson Day 79, Gaston Day 49: Gaston Day, which plays again Tuesday at Northside Christian, falls to 6-5.

Crest at Stuart Cramer: Friday’s scheduled game has been moved to Monday due to the threat of inclement weather.

Crest 73, Forestview 59 (Wednesday): The Chargers, who host Stuart Cramer on Friday, won their opener behind Mari Adams (24 points, 5 assists, 5 steals), Caleb Borders (15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals) and Jadin Merritt (15 points, 10 rebounds).

High school cross country
Big South 3A all-conference: Forestview senior Emma Hughlett was named girls runner of the year and Stuart Cramer junior Nick Willer was named boys runner of the year.
Other girls all-conference selections were Kings Mountain freshman Thalia Kushman, Forestview senior Alexandra Floder, Stuart Cramer senior Summer Bahr, Kings Mountain sophomore Divinity Ervin, Stuart Cramer freshman Keaton Schneider, Kings Mountain freshman Parker Wilson, Forestview sophomore Sarah Shiflet, Forestview junior Josie Braddy, Kings Mountain sophomore Ashley Gural, Kings Mountain sophomore Nicole Poston, Stuart Cramer senior Meghan Kimbirl, Forestview sophomore Anna Grace Dixon, Stuart Cramer junior Alexis Granados, Crest senior Claire Horne and Forestview freshman Rachel Long.
Other boys all-conference selections were Forestview junior Austin Brotemarkle, Stuart Cramer junior Zach Willer, Forestview senior Oussama Ajala, Stuart Cramer senior Jacob Wootton, Ashbrook senior Michael Gates, Kings Mountain junior Parker Key, Stuart Cramer junior Luke Auten, Hunter Huss freshman Ben Kimmel, Ashbrook junior Anthony Varriale, Kings Mountain freshman Hunter Cruise, Forestview senior Evan Shiflet, Kings Mountain sophomore Marty Lovingood, Kings Mountain senior Kohen Johnson, Forestview senior Aaron Floyd and Forestview senior Jose Acuna.

College football
Gardner-Webb now has six games on its 2021 spring football schedule as added a home game against longtime rival Presbyterian on Thursday.
The 2021 Bulldogs schedule:
Feb. 27 Elon, 3 p.m.
March 6 Presbyterian, 1 p.m.
March 20 Monmouth, TBA
March 27 Kennesaw State, TBA
April 3 at Charleston Southern, TBA
April 10 at Robert Morris, TBA

College women’s basketball
Belmont Abbey 84, Bluefield State 66: Brittany Autry scored 19 points as the Lady Crusaders improved to 3-1 on the season.
Belmont Abbey plays again on Saturday at 4 p.m. at home against Bluefield State.

Charlotte 49ers back in action: It’s been nearly a month since the 49ers had live game action but that will change on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. when Charlotte (1-4) hosts Conference USA rival Marshall in a back-to-back.

College athletics
Belmont Abbey has been selected as Conference Carolinas’ nominee for the 2021 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence, the association and league announced on Thursday. The accolade recognizes initiatives in the past year that exemplify the Division II philosophy, community engagement and student-athlete leadership. Twenty-eight schools and one conference earned distinction as finalists with all 23 Division II conferences submitting a nominee for the first time since 2015. Six additional finalists were picked as at-large honorees for submitting a strong nomination that was not chosen as the finalist for their conference.

“We are ineffably grateful to the NCAA for selecting Belmont Abbey College as the Conference Carolinas nominee for the 2021 Division II Award of Excellence,” Vice-President and Director of Athletics Stephen Miss said in a school news release. It’s “a testament to the vision, leadership, and hard work of so many of our SAAC students – not just this past Spring but over the 10 years since it’s inception – Mr. Crusader has grown in stature and significance on our campus and is now a staple of our academic calendar and Abbey culture. I would be remiss not to acknowledge and thank Coach Toni Elyea for her good work in partnership with Michelle McNeight. We anticipate eagerly learning the overall outcome of this prestigious award.”

Belmont Abbey submitted its annual Mr. Crusader Pageant, where student-athletes participate in a multitude of events and the audience votes for their favorite student-athlete by donating money to Make-A-Wish. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members plan, organize and produce the evening, which is also the the department’s largest fundraiser and community engagement event. Avery Wilson, a Make-A-Wish recipient who participates each year as a judge, was celebrated for beating cancer, helping SAAC break the previous record for Make-A-Wish donations.

College signings
South Point High School on Thursday announced college scholarship signings for Asheton Queen (Gardner-Webb softball) and Jackson Risk (Belmont Abbey baseball).