The following are highlights from teams across Watauga County for the week of Nov. 9-17.

Nov. 9

• BOONE — Steven Jones Jr. was honored with the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week award on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Jones’ three interceptions and two pick-six TDs were a highlight in a 48-14 victory against the Arkansas State Red Wolves. In 2019, teammate Demetrius Taylor received the same honor from the Nagurski Trophy after becoming the first FBS player in this millennium with 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception in same game (a 34-31 victory against North Carolina).

Nov. 10

• BOONE — Head Coach Shelly Hoerner and App State softball staff have announced the signing of three future Mountaineer student-athletes on Wednesday afternoon.

Alannah Hopkins from Sylvia, Ambry Lucas from Senoia, Ga., and Kaylee Kardash from Fishers, In., have signed on to begin their college careers with App State.

“We are excited for this incoming class; as this day is something every young lady looks forward to. They are proven winners, competitors and more importantly great character individuals,” Hoerner said. “Our program continues to elevate every year and these signees will continue to help us make an impact in our Boone community, App State and the Sun Belt Conference.”

Nov. 11

• MACON, GA., — Playing on the road for the first time this season, App State put forth a valiant effort but fell short 61-57 to Mercer on Thursday night at Hawkins Arena.

The Mountaineers’ only lead in the game was 2-0 in the opening minutes, but they never gave up the fight as the score remained within reach the entire way against a Mercer (1-1) squad that has made the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons as the Southern Conference tournament champion.

With 45 seconds left in the game, a backdoor cut pass from Faith Alston to Janay Sanders — and her ensuing layup — again cut it to a one-point game again at 55-54, but the Bears made six of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the outcome.

Freshman Emily Carver scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Mountaineers in her second collegiate game. All four of her field goals were from beyond the arc, including a clutch triple with 18 seconds left that made it 58-57 before Mercer closed out the game with three free throws.

A tenacious, trapping App State defense forced 22 Mercer turnovers, but the Bears’ 60-40 rebounding advantage helped keep the home team on top.

• BOONE — App State volleyball dropped its home finale to Coastal Carolina 3-0 on Thursday evening.

McCall Denny and Victoria Wilform tallied 12 kills apiece for the Mountaineers (7-20, 3-12 SBC). Denny finished with six digs, while Wilform tallied four. Daryn Armstrong added eight kills on a .312 hitting mark, while Lulu Ambrose tallied seven kills. Sam Bickley had 26 assists and seven digs, while Emma Reilly tallied 13 digs.]

Nov. 12

• LOUISVILLE, Ky., — Izzy Evely led App State women’s cross country to an 18th-place team finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday.

Evely set a new 6K personal record with a final time of 21:17.1, placing 38th on the individual leaderboard by charging up six spots in the closing 1,000 meters. She clocked the 5th fastest 6K time in program history.

N.C. State won both the individual crown and team title, 34 points, and will advance to the NCAA Championship in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 20. Kelsey Chmiel captured the individual crown for the Wolfpack with a 6K time of 19:58.4.

• LOUISVILLE, Ky., — App State men’s cross country placed 14th at the NCAA Southeast Regional Friday, led by personal bests from Ryan Brown and Isaac Benz.

Five Mountaineers individually placed top 100 among 222 competing student-athletes. Ryan Brown led the Black and Gold with a 10K personal record of 31:13.1, finishing 76th.

Brown, Oliver Wilson-Cook, Danniel Smith, Ryan Teuscher and Benz all posted sub 32-minute 10K times. Benz clocked a 31:35.1 en route to his personal record.

Wake Forest took home the team title with 47 total points.

Nov. 14

• CONWAY, S.C. — App State volleyball dropped a 3-1 (25-11, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22) decision at Coastal Carolina in its regular season finale on Sunday afternoon.

McCall Denny paced the Mountaineers (7-21, 3-13) with a team-best 11 kills. Victoria Wilform added nine kills on a .333 hitting percentage, Anna Kincaid finished with seven kills on a 0.400 hitting mark and Daryn Armstrong tallied six kills on a 0.400 hitting percentage.

Sam Bickley finished with 21 assists and seven digs. Emma Reilly finished in double figure digs with a team leading 15.

• BOONE — Michaela Porter scored a career-high 21 points, Faith Alston added a career-high 17 and Janay Sanders also added 17 as App State overpowered North Carolina Central 80-66 on Sunday afternoon at the Holmes Convocation Center.

The Mountaineers (2-1) scored their most points since an 81-78 win over Georgia Southern on Feb. 27 last season and have won their first two home games for the second straight year.

App State made five of 23 three-point attempts – a season low – but more than made up for it with a plethora of transition buckets and a whopping 42 points in the paint against the Eagles (0-2) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

“A lot of our points were generated from our defense,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “At one point, we had 30 deflections. They were leading to easy runouts. Our team has grown in that area. Also with the press, I just thought our team was very sharp on how to break the press.”

• BOONE — With a breakout performance from Caleb Smith and major decision from Jonathan Millner in a matchup of top-12 wrestlers at 149 pounds, App State wrestling finished with six Invitational finalists and two Open champions at the Mountaineer Invitational on Sunday.

The event included 24 ranked individuals with wrestlers from teams representing the Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, Big 12, MAC and Southern conferences.

Nov. 15

BOONE — App State men’s basketball defeated William Peace 98-49 on Monday evening in the Holmes Convocation Center.

James Lewis Jr. led four Mountaineers (2-1) in double figure scoring with 15 points. He added five rebounds. CJ Huntley tallied 14 points, on 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) shooting, off the bench. Donovan Gregory had a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds and Adrian Delph added 10 points and four rebounds.

Also off the bench, Christopher Mantis had nine points, Xavion Brown had eight points, six rebounds and five assists and RJ Duhart tallied seven points and four rebounds. In all, 14 of the 15 Mountaineers to see the court scored at least two points.

The Mountaineers drained 10 3-pointers for the second consecutive contest. In addition, the Mountaineers won the rebounding battle 54-29 and outscored the Pacers 50-10 in the paint. App State also held a 28-9 edge in second chance points and a 19-0 advantage in fast break points.

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