BOONE — Western Union County has produced its share of competitive football programs over the past 10 years.
Watauga has played its share of these teams as the Pioneers were seeking their first victory over a Union County program in Cuthbertson on Nov. 15. This time, Watauga turned the tables on Union County football by blasting Cuthbertson 61-21 in the first round of the state western 3-AA playoffs at Jack Groce Stadium.
Watauga has already lost playoff games to Porter Ridge two times, and to Weddington in the 3-AA playoffs last season. Weddington went on to win the state 3-AA championship in 2018.
Watauga’s victory also spoiled the return of Cuthbertson head coach Trey Kavanaugh and assistant coach Mo Gore to Boone. Both coaches graduated from Watauga with the class of 2011, which was the first class to graduate from the new school.
Both teams produced plenty of offense. Watauga outgained the Cavaliers 502-446 in total yardage, but Watauga’s defense forced three turnovers that led to Pioneers points. Watauga did not turn the ball over and also did not punt the ball.
Watauga ran the ball 443 yards and had three players rush for at least 100 yards. Jaiden Bond ran for 164 yards on five carries, including an 86-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Watauga quarterback Anderson Castle ran for 104 yards and touchdown runs of 13, 23 and three yards. Castle also found Grant Oliver for a 53-yard touchdown pass with just 28 seconds left in the first half that gave the Pioneers a 26-7 halftime lead.
Watauga boys’ soccer
CONCORD — The Watauga boys’ soccer team had plenty of chances to reach the next level of the state 3-A soccer playoffs. The problem was the Pioneers could not convert those chances into points.
Watauga fell 2-0 to Concord in the fourth round of the state playoffs, but have nobody but themselves to blame. Watauga coach Josh Honeycutt felt that despite a small and muddy field, the Pioneers outplayed Concord.
But the Pioneers had three shots hit the crossbar and one of the goal posts of the Concord goal. Honeycutt said Watauga’s yearlong strategy was working well, but the Pioneers could not put the ball in the back of the Concord net.
App State football
ATLANTA — Appalachian State took control of the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference with its 56-27 win over East rival Georgia State Nov. 16 at Georgia State Stadium, which used to be known as Turner Field.
The Mountaineers improved to 9-1 overall, 5-1 in the Sun Belt. Appalachian State has two games left – at home against Texas State Nov. 23 and another road game at Troy Nov. 29. Appalachian State can clinch a second straight East Division title with wins over each.
It didn’t come easy, at least in the beginning, against Georgia State (6-4, 3-3 Sun Belt) The Panthers took the early lead by using big plays in their running game to build a 21-14 advantage in the first quarter. Tra Barnett had 75 yards rushing on eight carries including a 44-yard bolt. Destin Cotes added 92 yards rushing, including a 67-yard touchdown run.
Georgia State’s Chris Bacon made things even more difficult on the Mountaineers when he returned a Zac Thomas pass for a 34-yard interception return to put the Panthers in front 21-7. But, the Mountaineers answered with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Corey Sutton to bring App State to 21-14.
A long pass to Sutton put the Mountaineers in the position to score on a 3-yard TD run by Thomas to tie the game 21-21. It was the first of six straight App State touchdowns that was sparked by a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Shaun Jolly.
Middle school boys’ basketball
ZIONVILLE — Every member of the Green Valley boys’ basketball team scored in its 41-4 victory over host Mabel Nov. 18 at Mabel School.
No member of the Green Valley roster scored more than five points, but three Eagles — Eli Greene, Zach Whittington and Chase Cawvey — scored five points for Green Valley. Four Eagles — Chance Miller, Tyler Coffey, Cooper Critcher and Walker Norris — scored four points. None of the Eagles made more than two field goals from the floor.
Blowing Rock-Hardin Park
BOONE — The Blowing Rock middle school boys’ basketball team took a big first-quarter lead and never looked back in a 61-31 victory over Hardin Park at Hardin Park School on Nov. 14.
The Rockets (3-0) took an 11-6 lead before ending the first quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 22-6 lead. Blowing Rock’s Wyatt Kohout scored six of the points in the run, which went to his game-high 18 points.
Blowing Rock’s lead was never in any serious jeopardy, but Hardin Park (1-2) managed to pull within 28-18 with 3:38 left in the second quarter. Blowing Rock regrouped and closed the half with a 14-6 run to take a 42-24 halftime lead.
Middle school girls’ basketball
ZIONVILLE — The Mabel girls’ basketball team got 22 points from Diane McGlamery and cruised to a 38-17 win over visiting Green Valley in middle school girls’ basketball.
McGlamery used defense to score the first 10 points of the game. She turned three steals into breakaway baskets to leave Mabel (1-3) with an early 10-0 lead.
Candence Greene and Alyssa Graham each scored a basket to put Mabel in front 14-0 before Green Valley (0-4) got on the scoreboard with a Larson Berry foul shot that stopped the Mustangs’ run. The Eagles used the foul shot to help ignite an 8-1 second quarter run sparked by two baskets by Grace Tillary. Berry added a basket and Kaitlyn Winebarger scored Green Valley’s final basket of the second quarter to pull the Eagles to within 15-9.
Blowing Rock girls vs. Hardin Park
BOONE — The Blowing Rock girls’ basketball team used solid defense in the second half to beat Hardin Park 31-18 in middle school basketball at Hardin Park on Nov. 14.
Blowing Rock (3-0) took control of the game by outscoring the Eagles 11-3 in the third quarter to take a 25-14 advantage. The Rockets did not score any points from the field in the fourth quarter, but made 6-of-10 foul shots to outscore Hardin Park 6-4 in the fourth quarter and claim their third straight win of the season.
Blowing Rock got 10 points from E.T. Tilly. Mattie Durham scored eight points, Katie Durham scored five and both Katie Sears and Doriannah Whitehead scored four each.
Hardin Park (2-1) got 10 points from Brielynn Myers, three points from Kaitlyn Darner and two each from Madelyn Trexler and Kate Yoblinski. Julie Matheson and Georgia Parker each scored one point.
Jolly named Player of the Week
BOONE — App State’s Shaun Jolly was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
A sophomore cornerback from Stone Mountain, Ga., Jolly intercepted two passes and set another career high by breaking up three more in No. 22 App State’s 56-27 win at Georgia State on Saturday night. His 30-yard interception return for a touchdown broke a 21-all tie with 2:18 remaining in the first half, and his second interception less than 90 seconds later set up the touchdown that allowed the Mountaineers to take a 35-21 lead into halftime.
With five interceptions this season, Jolly is tied for fourth place nationally and first place in the Sun Belt. He also returned an interception for a touchdown against Coastal Carolina, and he’s tied for the national lead as one of six players with two pick-six scores.
Matttison to transfer
BOONE — Brock Mattison, a redshirt defensive lineman from Duluth, Ga., announced on Twitter that he would be transferring out of Appalachian State.
Mattison, who is listed as a 6-foot-1, 217-pound defensive lineman, did not say where he would transfer.
App State men’s basketball
GREENSBORO – Isaac Johnson and Kendall Lewis each posted double-doubles, but Appalachian State men’s basketball fell 55-41 to UNC Greensboro in the final contest of the Spartan Invitational on Monday evening.
Johnson finished with 10 points, a season-high 14 rebounds and three steals. His 14 rebounds are the second most he has recorded in a game, trailing only a 17-rebound effort at Georgetown last season.
App State has now held its last three and four of its last five opponents under 60 points.
App State volleyball
NEW ORLEANS — Three members of the App State volleyball team were named All-Sun Belt, the league announced Nov. 19.
Outside hitter Emma Longley and libero Emma Reilly were named First Team All-Sun Belt, while middle blocker Kara Spicer was tabbed as Second Team All-Sun Belt.
Longley earns her second consecutive First Team All-Sun Belt honor. This season, she has tallied a team-high 12 double-doubles and reached double figures in kills in 26 of 29 matches, including all 16 conference matches. She has 447 total kills and is averaging 3.99 kills per set, both of which rank second in the Sun Belt.