Hardin Park beats Blowing Rock in finals

Hardin Park’s Josh Hamilton (43) brings the ball up the court past Blowing Rock defenders Grant Troyer (25) and Sam Nixon (41), with Davis Hunt (14) trailing the play.

BOONE — For most of the 2018-19 regular season, the Hardin Park boys’ basketball team won most of its games in blowout fashion.

That didn’t change in the finals of the 2019 Watauga County Boys’ Middle School Basketball Tournament. The Eagles used a half-court trap to force easy transition baskets in their 49-13 win over Blowing Rock at Watauga High School’s Lentz-Eggers Gym on Feb. 4.

Hardin Park closed out an undefeated season with a 17-0 record. The Eagles dominated Blowing Rock (11-6) with a half-court trap that forced 20 Rockets turnovers in the first half and 24 for the game. Hardin Park claimed a 14-2 lead by the end of the first quarter and increased it to 28-3 by halftime.

Girls middle school basketball

BOONE — The Parkway girls’ athletic program added another banner to its home gym Feb. 4 at Watauga High School’s Lentz-Eggers Gym.

Parkway outlasted Blowing Rock 31-26 to grab the 2019 Watauga County Middle School Girls’ Basketball Tournament championship. Parkway (15-2), seeded second in the tournament, won the low-scoring game by taking a four-point lead into the fourth quarter and scoring just enough to hold off any threat the Rockets could mount.

The problem for Blowing Rock (15-2), which put up a banner in its gym for winning the regular-season championship, was that the Rockets could only outscore Parkway 6-5 in the fourth quarter.

Watauga swimming

CHARLOTTE — The Watauga girls’ swim team placed two relay teams and Ella Campbell placed in the top ten in two events at the girls’ 3-A Western NCHSAA Regional Championships at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center held Feb. 1-2.

Watauga finished in a tie with South Iredell for ninth place overall with 74 points.

Campbell finished eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.31, which qualified her for the state meet. Campbell was also 10th in the 50-freestyle with a time of 25.06 seconds.

Campbell also participated in two relays. Campbell, Olicia Nicklaw, Lindsey Williams and Greta Klein finished sixth in the 200-freestyle relay with a time of 1:43.83, which qualified them for the state meet. Campbell also broke the Watauga school record with a relay lead-off time of 24.71 seconds, which broke the old mark of 24.85 set by Tera Pitts in 1994.

Watauga boys’ swim team

CHARLOTTE — Watauga’s Kenryk Kosmala turned in an eight-place finish in the 50-freestyle in the boys’ Western NCHSAA Regional Championships at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center held Feb. 1-2.

Kosmala clocked a time of 23.20 seconds in the event, which qualified him for the state meet. Barrett Conner was 22nd in the event with a time of 24.77.

Kosmla also finished 16th in the 100-freestyle with a time of 52.52, and was part of Watauga’s 200-freestyle relay team comprised of Jacob Harmon, Collin Dailey and Conner. The team finished with a time of 1:44.19.

Watauga’s 200-medley relay team comprised of Conner, Henri Peet, Kosmala and Reid Triplett was 16th with a time of 1:57.51. Conner added a 14th place finish to his resume with a time of 1:00.72.

App State men’s basketball

BOONE — Appalachian State center Hunter Seacat went from wearing goat horns to making the biggest defensive play in the Mountaineers’ 85-84 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Feb. 2 in front of a crowd of 1,403 at the Holmes Center.

With Appalachian State leading the Warhawks 85-84 with 11.8 seconds left in the game, Seacat had a chance to give the Mountaineers a three-point lead when he stepped to the foul line facing a one-and-one foul shot situation.

Seacat missed the front end of his foul shots and Louisiana-Monroe rebounded. The Warhawks moved the ball down the court quickly looking for the winning shot, but Seacat ruined that opportunity by also moving down the court quickly and then blocking Michael Ertel’s shot off a drive to the basket.

Seacat also punched the ball out of the lane forcing J.D. Williams into a jump shot, which he missed.

App State got a little luck when Ertel rebounded, but his jumper that went through the basket was late, leaving the Mountaineers with the win.

App State women’s basketball

MONROE, La. — The Appalachian State women’s basketball claimed a wire-to-wire 80-58 Sun Belt Conference win over Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 2 at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

It was a balanced scoring effort for the Mountaineers who saw four players score in double figures. All 11 Mountaineers who got into the game earned their way into the scoring column.

Appalachian State’s Madi Story and Bayley Plummer each scored a game-high 16 points. Plummer corralled a game-best 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and shot 7-of-13 from the floor en route to tying a season high in points. In addition, the junior blocked three shots.

Dorsey takes NFL job

BOONE — It seems that Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott is hoping that new quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey can do the same thing for young quarterback Josh Allen that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says Dorsey did for him.

When Newton led the Panthers to a 15-1 record in 2015 and to Super Bowl 50, McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator and Dorsey was the team’s quarterbacks coach. Newton was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player that season and nearly led Carolina to an NFL title.

Dorsey, 37, was hired by new Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz in December to be an offensive assistant coach after the Panthers fired Dorsey at the end of the 2017 season. Dorsey was not hired at App State to be the offensive coordinator, which Drinkwitz has repeatedly said he will handle.

But Dorsey left Appalachian State for the Bills after working a month in Boone. No announcement of a replacement for Dorsey has been made.

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