Thursday's High Country Sports Update.... (2016-12-15 14:27:51)

Mountaineers Suffer Setback at Tennessee....KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -  Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) scored a game-high 21 points, but it wasn’t enough as Appalachian State University women’s basketball (4-6) suffered a 92-66 defeat to Tennessee (4-6) Wednesday evening at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Story eclipsed the 20-point mark for the sixth time in her career while tonight’s outing was a career-best on the road for the junior.

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) rounded out the leading scorers with her seventh game of the season reaching at least 15 points. Jones also recorded a team-best seven boards in the process. 

Q. Murray (Baltimore, Md./George Mason ) scored six of her eight points on a pair of trifectas in the first 3:28 of the game to help Appalachian hit four of its first six shots and take a 10-6 lead. After UT had tied the game 12-all, the Black and Gold put together a 10-4 run over a 2:25 span to capture their largest lead of the game at six, 22-16. Story scored six of the points while Cydni Cole (Glen Burnie, Md./George Mason ) and Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) both chipped in with buckets.

The Mountaineers started fast against the Vols (5-4) scoring 24 points on a blistering 73.3 percent (11-for-15) in the first quarter to jump out to a 24-20 lead. App State scored its most points in the first quarter this season, and the shooting performance was the highest of any quarter in 10 games.

From that point on, the Vols clamped down on defense against the Apps over the next two quarters, dooming the Mountaineers’ chances for a win. Appalachian was held to 22 points and shot below 20 percent while committing nine of its 15 turnovers in the second and third frames. In the first and fourth quarters, Appalachian outscored UT, 44-43, shot 58.1 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just six times. 

Appalachian performed well from the free throw line, tying a season-high 77.8 percent (14-18) clip with Story hitting a team-best six free throws. Bria Carter(Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) and Murray both led the team in assists with three apiece. Four players recorded at least five boards with Bayley Plummer(Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson), Story and Bassett-Smith following Jones with five boards each. 

Five players scored in double figures with Alexa Middleton scoring a UT-high 20 points off the bench while Jamie Nared notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.

App State will have six days off before UNC Asheville visits the High Country for the non-conference finale on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Holmes Center. 


Angel Elderkin

(Opening Statement)
“I really like the way that our team started the game. That has been one of the things we have really been working on. I thought we came out and really battled in that first quarter. In the second quarter, the shots that we were making in the first didn’t go down. It led to some transition baskets. We know as a group, we have to take some of the moments in this game that were very good and build on them. We need to go back and look at our transition defense and our rebounding. We need to improve as we move forward.”

(On how Appalachian State played against Tennessee’s defense in the first quarter)
“Part of our game plan was to get everyone high. We know that they are really aggressive. So, we were worried more about passing the ball with them tonight. So, our game plan was to get everybody high, and really look to attack off the bounce.”

(On Appalachian State’s defense throughout the game)
“I think when they went to the press defense, it slowed us down a little bit. When they were in the press defense, we didn’t get a chance to set up our offense. So, we were taking quick shots off the press. That was one adjustment I thought they made that disrupted us a little bit. Anytime we were able to get the ball set, we had really good shots.”

(On areas Appalachian State did well, and areas she feels that they can improve)
“I’ll attribute their paint points to their transition points. When they’re shooting layups, that is paint points. That was a lot of our transition defense. I thought that we missed a couple box-outs because we were rotating in penetration. One-on-one, I am really proud in the way our post players stepped up today.”

(On what it meant to be back in Knoxville at Thompson Boling Arena)
“It was a great feeling. Before the game, I went my old path. I didn’t walk by Tennessee’s bench. I walked where Tennessee comes out. Holly came over and she said, `you went the wrong way’. I said, `Yeah, I know, but is it bad luck?’ Then, she just game me a really big hug. I saw the same security guards and the same people. I just needed to take that walk one more time.”

Madi Story
(On quick start in the first quarter of the game)
“The biggest thing was having the opportunity to play against Tennessee. It was huge. We talked about it before the game; it’s not our house to defend, but while we’re on the court, we need to respect it. I think that was just the mindset of our team coming out. We just wanted to give it all we had. We wanted to really try and work as a team, because it was a great opportunity. There is so much history here. There have been so many great coaches and players here. I think the biggest thing was that we didn’t want to pass up our opportunity.”

Joi Jones
(On what it means to play for Coach Elderkin and wear the `We back Pat’ patches on Appalachian State’s uniforms)
“It means a lot. Coach Angel is inspiration. Pat Summitt is inspiration. To follow under Coach Angel’s lead, and know how legendary Pat Summitt was here, we had a lot to play for. We played for more than just ourselves. It meant a lot to us.”

(On the differences of Appalachian State’s performance throughout the game)
“We just got back to our offense. We shied away from it in the second and third quarter. That is why we weren’t knocking down shots. It was about us getting back to the plays that Coach Angel drew up. We executed the plays.”


Pasone Pushes No. 21 Apps Past Campbell, 24-13

BOONE, N.C. — Senior 125-pounder Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) upset Campbell’s No. 11 wrestler en route to Appalachian State University wrestling’s impressive 24-13 win over the Camels on Wednesday night at Varsity Gym.

Pasone came out of the gates quickly, controlling the tempo and forcing his will from the very beginning against Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser. Once the momentum was on the senior’s side, Pasone never let up, eventually taking the weight class with a 9-3 decision.

The Mountaineers (6-1, 2-0 Southern Conference) won five of the last six bouts to seal the victory over the Camels (3-3, 0-1 SoCon), beginning with an all-out barnburner at the 197-pound weight class between sophomore Randall Diabe(Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) and Campbell’s Willie Bivens III. 

Diabe used a quick start to put Bivens on his heels, however, the Camel would battle back toward the end to force the sudden death round at the end of three periods. Once in the overtime period, Diabe got caught in a bind early but made his way out of it without giving up points before returning the favor with a two-point takedown to get the 9-7 sudden victory and bring the Mountaineers within one, 8-9.

Senior No. 8 heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) carried the momentum forward to put Appalachian up on the team score, taking down Jere Heino in a quick 7-2 decision, to give App the 11-9 lead.

After Pasone’s match, freshman Colby Smith (Wentzville, Mo./Holt) continued his impressive year at the 133-pound weight class. Facing Jonathan Ryan, the two battled tough for 6:06 before Smith got the decisive pin.

Sophomore No. 15 149-pounder Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) sealed the win for the Mountaineers in the final bout of the evening against Benjamin Barton. After a close first period, Zovistoski took over the match and recorded the 13-3 major decision to get the win.

Appalachian had to battle back from losing three of its first four matches of the day as things got off to a sluggish start. A shining part of the first half of play came when No. 18 junior Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) made a furious start to the 174-pound match, getting takedown after takedown and a few near-falls. Kee would end up getting the 17-2 technical fall victory over Alexander Herringshaw.

The Black and Gold only dropped a total of four matches all night, as freshmanGavin Londoff (St. Louis, Mo./Holt) and senior Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) fell in decisions decided by less than five points each. JuniorDavid Peters-Logue (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange) fell by just three points off a late takedown while Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) fell 16-6 in a major decision.

Appalachian State wrestling now heads on the road for the next three weeks, traveling to wrestle SIUE in Edwardsville, Ill. on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. and Missouri at Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. The Mountaineers then start of 2017 on New Year’s Day when they head to the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Apps will return home on Sunday, Jan. 8 when they host The Citadel and Clarion in Varsity Gym. Action will begin at 2 p.m.

157: Austin Kraisser (CAM) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 4-1 dec.
165: Quentin Perez (CAM) def. #23 Forrest Przybysz (APP), 9-4 dec.
174: #18 Nick Kee (APP) def. Alexander Herringshaw (CAM), 17-2 TF
184: Ville Heino (CAM) def. David Peters-Logue (APP), 8-5 dec.
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Willie Bivens III (CAM), 9-7/S-V - 8-9
HWT: #8 Denzel Dejournette (APP) def. Jere Heino (CAM), 7-2 dec. -11-9
125: Vito Pasone (APP) def. #11 Nathan Kraisser (CAM), 9-3 dec. - 14-9
133: Colby Smith (APP) def. Jonathan Ryan (CAM), pinned (6:06) - 20-9
141: Joshua Heil (CAM) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 16-6 maj dec. - 20-13
149: #15 Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Benjamin Barton (CAM), 13-3 maj dec. 

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Proves Too Much For Tusculum, 61-33

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Team (5-3, 2-2) won its third straight game in dominant fashion, 61-33, over Tusculum (1-7, 0-4) in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday evening at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior forward Brooke Robinson (Vale, N.C.) led all scorers with 16 points while sophomore forward Madi Suddreth (Taylorsville, N.C.) added 13 points as the Bears held the Pioneers to their lowest point total of the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne was especially dominant in the second half, outscoring Tusculum by a 33-13 margin and limiting the Pioneers to just 23 percent shooting (11-of-47) for the game.

Tusculum, losers of six consecutive games, was led by Kasey Johnson (Greensboro, N.C.) with seven points. The Pioneers also went nine-for-22 from the free throw line and turned the ball 20 times in the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne also improved to 4-0 at home this season and pushed their winning streak at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium to 11 dating back to last year.

Lenoir-Rhyne held a 45-28 advantage on the boards as well while 12 players scored for the Bears in the victory. Sophomore guard Kendall Toineeta (Cherokee, N.C.) had an outstanding all-around contest for the Bears, totaling five points, six steals, three rebounds and three assists.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to face Carson-Newman in a South Atlantic Conference game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Tusculum hosts league-foe Coker Saturday afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m., as well.


Lenoir-Rhyne's Michael DeStephens Earns 2016 NCAA Division II Football All-American Honors

Wichita Falls, Texas - Lenoir-Rhyne University's Michael DeStephens has been named to the 2016 CCA NCAA Division II All-American Football Second Team. CCA is the Conference Commissioner's Association.

DeStephens, a senior punter from Gainesville, Fla., currently ranks fourth in the nation at 44.2 yards per punt this year.

DeStephens also pinned 26 punts inside the 20-yard line this season with his season-long being 60 yards against Wingate on October 15.

DeStephens is a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference First-Team honoree (2014-16) and was named to the All-Super Region II First Team earlier this month.

The Division II Conference Commissioners Association encourages and promotes Division II athletics and high standards of sportsmanship as important elements of higher education.

The CCA is a key communications link among the conferences as they discuss views, policies and regulations that impact Division II intercollegiate athletics and works closely with the NCAA as a communications channel to NCAA Division II member colleges and universities.

2016 CCA NCAA Division II
All-American Football Teams

TE - Adam Shaheen, Ashland (Ohio), Jr., 6-6, 275, Galena, Ohio
OL - Stephen Evans, North Alabama, Sr., 6-4, 300, Boston, Mass.
OL - Jordan Morgan, Kutztown (Pa.), Sr., 6-4, 320, Philadelphia, Pa.
OL - Chase Sherman, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-0, 265, Crete, Neb.
OL - Lavonte Hights, Shepherd (W.Va.), Jr., 6-4, 295, North Chesterfield, Va.
OL - Nate Theaker, Wayne State (Mich.), Sr., 6-6, 305, White Lake, Mich.
WR - Brody Oliver, Colorado Mines, So., 6-3, 195, Elizabeth, Colo.
WR - Garry Brown, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-1, 200, Columbus, Ohio
QB - Justin Dvorak, Colorado Mines, Sr., 6-0, 200, Tomball, Texas
RB - Marty Carter, Grand Valley State (Mich.), So., 6-0, 200, East Chicago, Ind.
RB - Max Mickey, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Jr., 5-9, 185, Holden, Mo.
RS - Garry Brown, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-1, 200, Columbus, Ohio
PK - Matt Davis, UNC Pembroke, Sr., 6-1, 190, Richlands, N.C.

DL - Lucky Baar, McKendree (Ill.), Sr., 6-2, 250, Chicago, Ill.
DL - Sie Doe, Jr., Fort Hays State (Kan.), Sr., 6-1, 230, Cleveland, Ohio
DL - Zach Sieler, Ferris State (Mich.), So., 6-6, 275, Pinckney, Mich.
LB - Jacob Vollstedt, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-2, 215, Iowa City, Iowa
LB - Tyke Kozeal, Nebraska-Kearney, Sr., 6-0, 240, Sargent, Neb.
LB - Michael Mehling, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Sr., 5-11, 200, Las Vegas, Nev.
LB - Osband Thompson, Tuskegee (Ala.), Jr., 6-0, 195, Miami, Fla.
S - Drew Hebel, Black Hills State (S.D.), So., 5-11, 170, Broomfield, Colo.
S - Kevin Berg, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 5-11, 175, Kansas City, Mo.
CB - Tavierre Thomas, Ferris State (Mich.), Jr., 5-11, 195, Detroit, Mich.
CB - Philbert Martial, North Alabama, Sr., 5-10, 165, Mobile, Ala.
P - Tyler Ford, Bentley (Mass.), Sr., 6-0, 210, Amherst, N.H.

TE - Kenny Johnston, Florida Tech, Sr., 6-4, 220, Jacksonville, Fla.
OL - Antonio Green, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Sr., 6-3, 295, Dublin, Ga.
OL - Aaron Cox, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Sr., 6-5, 300, Macomb, Mich.
OL - Jake Daugherty, Ferris State (Mich.), Jr., 6-2, 300, Big Rapids, Mich.
OL - Hasan Shaar, Colorado Mines, Sr., 6-5, 320, Castle Rock, Colo.
OL - Jared Machorro, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., 6-7, 280, Coldspring, Texas
WR - Billy Brown, Shepherd (W.Va.), Sr., 6-4, 240, Gaithersburg, Md.
WR - Matt Heller, Augustana (S.D.), Sr., 6-0, 195, Lakeville, Minn.
QB - Kyle Zimmerman, Northwest Missouri State Sr. 6-1 200 Overland Park, Kan.
RB - Austin Ekeler, Western State Colorado, Sr., 5-9, 195, Eaton, Colo.
RB - Ja'Quan Gardner, Humboldt State (Calif.), Jr., 5-7, 205, Ceres, Calif.
RS - Shawn Hooks, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., 5-8, 165, Daingerfield, Texas
PK - Ryan Sheehan, Colorado Mesa, Jr., 5-10, 180, Chandler, Ariz.

DL - Collin Bevins, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-6, 285, Creston, Iowa
DL - Whitney Richardson, Lane (Tenn.), Jr., 6-5, 235, Perkinston, Miss.
DL - Marcus Martin, Slippery Rock (Pa.), Jr., 6-3, 245, West Mifflin, Pa.
LB - Kevin Haynes, Central Washington, Jr., 6-1, 230, Battle Ground, Wash.
LB - Zachary Blair, Virginia-Wise, Sr., 6-2, 215, Front Royal, Va.
LB - A.J. Wentland, McKendree (Ill.), Sr., 6-4, 240, Machesney Park, Ill.
LB - Collin Schlosser, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Jr., 6-1, 230, Ada, Mich.
S - Jared Chester, LIU-Post (N.Y.), Jr., 5-10, 190, Mount Vernon, N.Y.
S - Aaron Terry, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-0, 205, Pasadena, Md.
CB - Jay Watkins, Indiana (Pa.), Jr., 5-10, 190, Chester, Pa.
CB - Raheem Wilson, Southeastern Oklahoma, Sr., 5-11, 185, DeSoto, Texas
P - Michael DeStephens, Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), Sr., 5-9, 190, Gainesville, Fla.

Ron Lenz National Players Of The Year
Offense - Justin Dvorak (QB), Colorado Mines
Defense - Lucky Baar (DL), McKendree (Ill.)


Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Takes South Atlantic Conference Home Win Over Tusculum, 84-71

Hickory, N.C. - The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (4-5, 3-2) pulled out an 84-71 win over Tusculum (4-4, 2-2) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium in a South Atlantic Conference contest.

Five players scored in double figures for the Bears - led by senior guard Jalen Variste (Baton Rouge, La.) with a game-high 19 points - as Lenoir-Rhyne won its second straight game.

Junior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) added 17 points for the Bears, who led by as many as 19 points - 67-48 with seven minutes left - on their way to the win.

Chase Mounce (Elkin, N.C.) scored a team-high 17 points and Kendall Patterson (Burlington, N.C.) added 16 points for the Pioneers, who lost their third consecutive contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne led the entire contest and received 15 points and three treys off the bench from junior guard Jarvis Calhoun (Birmingham, Ala.).

The Bears also hit nine three-pointers as a team and shot 59 percent (13-of-22) in the decisive second half.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday afternoon at4:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Carson-Newman at Shuford Gymnasium while Tusculum returns home to face Coker.


Photo Courtesy: Joi Jones, App State Athletics