Headlee plays well in Shrine Bowl

Watauga’s Josh Headlee played well for North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl on Dec. 16.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — It could have been argued that the North Carolina offensive line was the Most Valuable Players for the Tar Heels in the Shrine Bowl.

Watauga guard Josh Headlee certainly played a role when it comes to North Carolina generating offense. North Carolina scored three touchdowns when he was on the field in its 55-24 win over South Carolina in a game that Headlee got to play after being a late addition to the North Carolina roster.

“It was tons of fun,” Headlee said after the game that was played at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium. “That was a really cool experience.”

Headlee was just the second player since 1980 to play in the Shrine Bowl. Running back Eric Breitenstein played in the 2007 game after leading Watauga to a berth in the state Western 4-A Regional finals.

Headlee, part of a Watauga offense that averaged 39.8 points per game, was in the lineup during North Carolina’s second scoring drive, a 77-yard, nine play march that ended with a Holton Ahlers 11-yard run and a 14-6 lead.

Headlee was also on the field during North Carolina’s final two score, a 4-yard Joseph Curry touchdown run that capped a nine-play, 78-yard drive and a 72-yard Ricky Person, Jr., run with 2:20 left in the game.

Headlee also did not give up a sack. North Carolina finished with 303 yards rushing and 478 yards in total offense.

“I feel like I did my job,” Headlee said. “There were some pretty good guys out there, but I did my job pretty much overall. I don’t think I gave up any big plays.”

Watauga girls' basketball

TAYLORSVILLE — Watauga’s girls’ basketball team took an early lead and never looked back in its 81-40 victory over Alexander Central Dec. 19.

The visiting Pioneers took a 23-7 lead after going on a 14-2 run in the first quarter. Watauga led 46-28 at halftime, and a running clocked was used in the second half when Watauga outscored Alexander Central 22-2 in the third quarter.

Madie Darner led the Pioneers in scoring with 24 points. Rebekah Farthing finished with 18 points, while Brooke Byrd had 14 and Parris Bolick scored 11.

Watauga boys basketball

TAYLORSVILLE — Watauga squandered a seven point lead in the fourth quarter as Alexander Central closed out the game with a 5-0 run to beat the Pioneers 64-62 on Dec. 19.

Alexander Central’s Jem Lowrence scored a conventional three-point play to give the Cougars a two-point lead with 47 seconds left in the game. Watauga could not answer with a basket as Bryant Greene’s 3-point attempt did not go in.

Alex Marinakis led the Pioneers in scoring with 21 points. Greene finished with 13 points and Hayes Henderson scored 11.

Parkway-Hardin Park girls basketball

BOONE — The situation at Hardin Park’s gym had a similarity to it from earlier in the season. Parkway’s girls’ basketball team was locked into a close game with host Hardin Park and it seemed destined that the game would go down to the final seconds.

The first game between the two teams, played at Parkway, needed a last-second shot to determine the winner. The second game finished the same way, but with a different twist. This time, the visiting Patriots avoided a second heartbreaking loss to Hardin Park and claimed an 18-17 victory on Dec. 18.

Hardin Park rallied to nearly overtake Parkway late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles, trailing 18-16, got a foul shot from guard Kenzie Baldwin to close the gap to one-point. On Parkway’s final possession, the Eagles were forced to foul three times to force a one-and-one foul shooting situation for the Patriots.

When Parkway inbounded the ball for the third time, Megan Patton stole it and called timeout with .8 seconds left. On the following play, Baldwin got an open look at the basket from inside the 3-point arc, but missed the potential game-winning shot.

Parkway-Hardin Park boys

BOONE — Parkway’s Luke Lentz proved that all foul shots can make a difference in the result of a basketball game.

Lentz, Parkway’s point guard, drained two critical foul shots with 6.1 seconds left in Parkway’s 41-40 victory over Hardin Park in a crowded Eagles’ gym Dec. 18. Parkway stayed undefeated, but not without a serious run from Hardin Park, which rallied from a six-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, but fell short.

Lentz hit both of his free throws to give Parkway a 41-37 lead. Hardin Park took the enduing inbounds pass and got the ball to Chase Perry, who hit a 3-point basket with 2.7 seconds left to pull the Eagles to 41-40.

Parkway ran the clock out by not inbounding the ball to end the game.

Lentz, whose drives to the basket often led to either layups or assists, finished the game with 20 points. He helped the Patriots by making 4-of-5 from the foul line and five field goals from the floor.

Jonah Martin added 11 points and Wyatt Keller added 10 for the Patriots. Nobody else scored for the Patriots.

App State women’ basketball

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Appalachian State women's basketball team beat Marshall 56-54 Dec. 16 in the Cam Henderson Center.

App State’s Bayley Plummer scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while also blocking three shots, picking up three steals and dishing out two assists. Plummer shot 6-for-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from the foul line, while getting her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career.

Nicola Mathews added a career-high 17 points and dished out five assists. The Australian point guard shot 5-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range and hit three big foul shots in the fourth quarter. LaPresha Stanley came up with a clutch performance as she scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and shot 5-for-10, after missing all six of her first half shots. She also had six rebounds and four assists.

Plummer, Stanley, and Mathews combined for 49 points, 27 rebounds, and 11 assists while shooting 16-for-37 from the floor.

App State men’s basketball

Ohio State 80, App State 67

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four Appalachian State Mountaineers scored in double figures, but Ohio State shot 52.6 percent from the field in its 80-67 victory over App State on Dec. 16 in a game that was interrupted 20 minutes because of a blaring fire alarm at the Value City Center.

Ronshad Shabazz scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting for the Mountaineers (5-7). Shabazz has now reached double figures in every game this season.

He also handed out three assists and had a steal.

Griffin Kinney had 14 points and seven rebounds, four offensive. Freshman guard Justin Forrest added 12 points and scored a season-high tying 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — It could have been argued that the North Carolina offensive line was the Most Valuable Players for the Tar Heels in the Shrine Bowl.

Watauga guard Josh Headlee certainly played a role when it comes to North Carolina generating offense. North Carolina scored three touchdowns when he was on the field in its 55-24 win over South Carolina in a game that Headlee got to play after being a late addition to the North Carolina roster.

“It was tons of fun,” Headlee said after the game that was played at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium. “That was a really cool experience.”

Headlee was just the second player since 1980 to play in the Shrine Bowl. Running back Eric Breitenstein played in the 2007 game after leading Watauga to a berth in the state Western 4-A Regional finals.

Headlee, part of a Watauga offense that averaged 39.8 points per game, was in the lineup during North Carolina’s second scoring drive, a 77-yard, nine play march that ended with a Holton Ahlers 11-yard run and a 14-6 lead.

Headlee was also on the field during North Carolina’s final two score, a 4-yard Joseph Curry touchdown run that capped a nine-play, 78-yard drive and a 72-yard Ricky Person, Jr., run with 2:20 left in the game.

Headlee also did not give up a sack. North Carolina finished with 303 yards rushing and 478 yards in total offense.

“I feel like I did my job,” Headlee said. “There were some pretty good guys out there, but I did my job pretty much overall. I don’t think I gave up any big plays.”

TAYLORSVILLE — Watauga’s girls’ basketball team took an early lead and never looked back in its 81-40 victory over Alexander Central Dec. 19.

The visiting Pioneers took a 23-7 lead after going on a 14-2 run in the first quarter. Watauga led 46-28 at halftime, and a running clocked was used in the second half when Watauga outscored Alexander Central 22-2 in the third quarter.

Madie Darner led the Pioneers in scoring with 24 points. Rebekah Farthing finished with 18 points, while Brooke Byrd had 14 and Parris Bolick scored 11.

Alexander Central 64, Watauga boys 62

TAYLORSVILLE — Watauga squandered a seven point lead in the fourth quarter as Alexander Central closed out the game with a 5-0 run to beat the Pioneers 64-62 on Dec. 19.

Alexander Central’s Jem Lowrence scored a conventional three-point play to give the Cougars a two-point lead with 47 seconds left in the game. Watauga could not answer with a basket as Bryant Greene’s 3-point attempt did not go in.

Alex Marinakis led the Pioneers in scoring with 21 points. Greene finished with 13 points and Hayes Henderson scored 11.

Parkway-Hardin Park girls basketball

BOONE — The situation at Hardin Park’s gym had a similarity to it from earlier in the season. Parkway’s girls’ basketball team was locked into a close game with host Hardin Park and it seemed destined that the game would go down to the final seconds.

The first game between the two teams, played at Parkway, needed a last-second shot to determine the winner. The second game finished the same way, but with a different twist. This time, the visiting Patriots avoided a second heartbreaking loss to Hardin Park and claimed an 18-17 victory on Dec. 18.

Hardin Park rallied to nearly overtake Parkway late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles, trailing 18-16, got a foul shot from guard Kenzie Baldwin to close the gap to one-point. On Parkway’s final possession, the Eagles were forced to foul three times to force a one-and-one foul shooting situation for the Patriots.

When Parkway inbounded the ball for the third time, Megan Patton stole it and called timeout with .8 seconds left. On the following play, Baldwin got an open look at the basket from inside the 3-point arc, but missed the potential game-winning shot.

Parkway-Hardin Park boys

BOONE — Parkway’s Luke Lentz proved that all foul shots can make a difference in the result of a basketball game.

Lentz, Parkway’s point guard, drained two critical foul shots with 6.1 seconds left in Parkway’s 41-40 victory over Hardin Park in a crowded Eagles’ gym Dec. 18. Parkway stayed undefeated, but not without a serious run from Hardin Park, which rallied from a six-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, but fell short.

Lentz hit both of his free throws to give Parkway a 41-37 lead. Hardin Park took the enduing inbounds pass and got the ball to Chase Perry, who hit a 3-point basket with 2.7 seconds left to pull the Eagles to 41-40.

Parkway ran the clock out by not inbounding the ball to end the game.

Lentz, whose drives to the basket often led to either layups or assists, finished the game with 20 points. He helped the Patriots by making 4-of-5 from the foul line and five field goals from the floor.

Jonah Martin added 11 points and Wyatt Keller added 10 for the Patriots. Nobody else scored for the Patriots.

App State women’ basketball

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Appalachian State women's basketball team beat Marshall 56-54 Dec. 16 in the Cam Henderson Center.

App State’s Bayley Plummer scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while also blocking three shots, picking up three steals and dishing out two assists. Plummer shot 6-for-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from the foul line, while getting her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career.

Nicola Mathews added a career-high 17 points and dished out five assists. The Australian point guard shot 5-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from 3-point range and hit three big foul shots in the fourth quarter. LaPresha Stanley came up with a clutch performance as she scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and shot 5-for-10, after missing all six of her first half shots. She also had six rebounds and four assists.

Plummer, Stanley, and Mathews combined for 49 points, 27 rebounds, and 11 assists while shooting 16-for-37 from the floor.

App State men’s basketball

Ohio State 80, App State 67

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four Appalachian State Mountaineers scored in double figures, but Ohio State shot 52.6 percent from the field in its 80-67 victory over App State on Dec. 16 in a game that was interrupted 20 minutes because of a blaring fire alarm at the Value City Center.

Ronshad Shabazz scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting for the Mountaineers (5-7). Shabazz has now reached double figures in every game this season.

He also handed out three assists and had a steal.

Griffin Kinney had 14 points and seven rebounds, four offensive. Freshman guard Justin Forrest added 12 points and scored a season-high tying 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds.

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