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Area briefs: Catawba picked No. 1

From staff reports
Catawba’s men’s basketball team was picked first in a preseason poll of SAC coaches in Hickory on Wednesday.
Catawba picked up 73 points in the voting to edge Lenoir-Rhyne by a single point. Both teams received four first-place votes. Carson-Newman was picked third. Fourth-place Newberry got the other first-place nod.
“We are looking for another good season in a highly competitive conference,” Catawba coach Jim Baker said. “We’re young, but we have good talent returning.”
Baker can build around 10 lettermen, including four starters from a squad that made a late run and won the SAC tournament.
First-team All-SAC pick Antonio Houston leads the Indians, along with point guard Dominick Reid, second-team pick Rob Fields and Donzell Williams.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which was 23-7 last season, has 13 lettermen back.
* Tusculum got seven first-place votes to beat out Wingate in the women’s poll.
Catawba was picked seventh.
* Pfeiffer’s men were picked third in the preseason Conference Carolinas poll behind Mount Olive and Barton.
Pfeiffer was 21-8 last season and finished second. Seniors Robert McGriff and Logan Call lead the returners.
Polls and picks are in Scoreboard.
– Prep soccer
Salisbury beat North Rowan 8-1 on Senior Night to close the Hornets’ regular season.
“The seniors played a lot, and they rotated in many different positions and had some fun,” SHS coach Tom Sexton said. “We’re very appreciative of North and Lexington adjusting their schedules so we could give our guys a Senior Night.”
Michael Doran and Scott van der Poel handled keeper duties. Starting keeper Frankie Cardelle played in the field and had a hat trick, including a header off a corner.
“Frankie’s got a lot of savvy out there,” Sexton said. “He’s a threat.”
Randy Almeida had four assists, giving him seven in two nights.
Alex Hunter had two goals and two assists, including a goal on a rocket off a corner.
Oscar Bonilla pumped in two goals, one on a diagonal cross from Miles Jordan.
Victor Nyae also scored for the Hornets (14-4-1, 13-0-1) who won their 11th league title in Tom Sexton’s coaching era. Salisbury has won five CCC crowns in a row and seven of the last eight.
North scored on a penalty kick.
Will Mason (hip) and Dustin Presnell (eye) made token Senior Night appearances for Salisbury, but neither has returned to the lineup from their injuries.
Salisbury has earned a first-round bye in the state playoffs and will debut in the playoffs with a second-round match Nov. 1.
* East Rowan lost to Statesville 2-1 on Senior Night.
The Mustangs played a hard-fought game against the Greyhounds, but could not produce an equalizing goal in the final minutes.
Senior Will Mancil scored for East.
Dillion Arey had another outstanding game in goal. He made 17 saves, including stopping a penalty kick in the second half. Cody Ludwick had an outstanding defensive game.
East finished 2-16-2. A loss in a penalty-kicks shootout with North Iredell last week will be declared a tie by NPC by-laws, coach John McNeil reported.
“We fought hard all season and never gave in,” McNeil said. “I’m proud of the way the boys played in a tough conference. They never quit, always found a reason to play hard.”
Brandon Quiglia and Jared Cline scored in the first half for Statesville.
– Catawba athletics
Catawba’s men’s soccer team fell to SAC rival Tusculum 4-0 on Wednesday.
Bruno Conceicao scored two first-half goals for the Pioneers.
Tyler Held made eight saves for the Indians. Catawba (3-12, 1-6) was outshot 25-8.
– Middle school football
North Rowan’s seventh-graders beat West Rowan 20-12 in a battle of unbeatens and won the Rowan County Conference.
JaQuan Boyd rushed for 90 yards, including a 16-yard TD for the Mavericks (7-0). Mike Connor threw an 18-yard touchdown to Cameron Sifford. Cecil McCauley blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.
North’s offensive line ó Jahari Rustin, Jarrell Reeves, Dylan Benfield, Khalid Sturdivant and McCauley ó blocked well.
McCauley also had a fumble recovery. Kasaun Coney, Xavier Robinson and Sifford had interceptions for the North defense, which allowed only two TDs all season.
* Erwin’s seventh-graders returned two kickoffs for TDs and outscored Corriher-Lipe 38-24. Chris Patterson had a return of 91 yards, while Chase Brown traveled 54.
Calvin Edwards scored TDs for the Eagles, who led 14-8 at halftime, on runs of 15 and 24 yards. Doc Corpening had a 12-yard scoring run. Connor Johnson ran for a 5-yard TD and threw a two-point conversion pass to Brown.
Patterson, Austin Hill and Spencer Bost led Erwin’s defense.
– Middle school softball
Josie McNeely had four hits to lead Erwin to a high-scoring victory against West Rowan. Mariah Poole and Courtney Lyerly had three hits each, while Bobbi Thomas and Jesse Rummage had two each for the Eagles (10-0).
Sydney Poole pitched a five-hitter, struck out 13 and walked one. Steffi Sides and Alli Mills contributed key defensive plays.
* Southeast beat Corriher-Lipe 17-1. Allison Blackwell pitched a two-hitter and hit a double. Sydney Grkman homered.

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