Area Athletes Update
By Mike London
Area athletes update …
Charlotte freshman Ayanna Holmes (Salisbury) didn’t score until crunch-time, but she made the two clutch shots that lifted the 49ers to a 61-60 Atlantic 10 win at George Washington on Saturday.
With Charlotte down 58-57, Holmes drove for a layup with 1:16 remaining to give the 49ers a lead.
George Washington reclaimed a one-point lead with 37 seconds left, but Holmes pulled up and hit a decisive foul-line jumper with 11 seconds left
“Ayanna is a competitor,” Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra said. “She has a will to win. I believed that she would make those shots.”
Ironically, Shi-Heria Shipp, who played with Holmes on Salisbury’s 2009 state championship team, had a strong game for George Washington. Shipp played 20 minutes and scored 10 points.
Both former Hornets had three assists in the game. – Freshman Ayana Avery (West Rowan) was hot for Radford in Saturday’s 79-69 loss at Charleston Southern.
Avery jumped off the bench and hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points for the Highlanders.
Ashia Holmes (Salisbury), Ayanna Holmes’ twin, started for Radford and had six points and five rebounds. – Bubbles Phifer (Salisbury) made two 3-pointers and scored 14 points for sixth-ranked Tallahassee Community College in Saturday’s 74-65 loss to third-ranked Gulf Coast State.
Phifer averages 13.7 points per game. Her high this season is 26. – Gardner-Webb freshman Jessica Heilig (Salisbury) shot 2-for-2 from the floor and scored six points in a 54-43 loss to Presbyterian on Saturday.
Heilig averages 5.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Bulldogs. – DaQuondra Cuthbertson (North Rowan) became eligiblewith the start of the new semester at Fayetteville State and should help the Broncos. She debuted against Chowan on Jan. 7 with 12 points and eight rebounds, and she had 7 and 6 against Elizabeth City State. – Katelynne Poole (East Rowan) had two points and two points in Brevard’s 71-70 loss to Young Harris on Thursday. – Nicole Barringer (South Rowan) hit a 3-pointer for Averett in a 64-44 romp against Peace on Saturday.
Teven Jones (A.L. Brown) is enrolling immediately at short-handed Virginia and will join the Cavaliers’ basketball program this week.
Jones spent the pre-Christmas portion of this season playing point guard for Fishburne Military School’s post-graduate team.
Prior to that, he was a basketball standout at A.L. Brown, although he was better known as a football wideout. Jones had no Division I offers when he graduated high school, but he received an offer from the Cavaliers in September and quickly accepted.
Jones won’t be on the court for the Cavaliers this semester and won’t lose any eligibility. This semester will serve as his redshirt year.
He will be taking classes, and he’ll be able to practice with coach Tony Bennett’s surprising team.
That’s the main reason for Jones heading to Charlottesville early. Virginia needs him for immediate practice help because two players — K.T. Harrell and James Johnson — are transferring.
Charlotte’s K.J. Sherrill (West) made his only shot and had two rebounds and two steals in 13 minutes in Saturday’s 68-67 loss to St. Louis. Sherrill has played in all 16 games, starting two. – Brevard’s Darius Moose (Carson) was held to six points by Lenoir-Rhyne in a 56-45 loss to the Bears on Saturday. Hunter Morrison (South), who became eligible to play for Brevard at the start of the second semester, scored his first points of the season on a three-point play against L-R. Morrison got 15 minutes off the bench, so his playing time may be increasing.
Junior Hairston (West) was sizzling in Iceland on Thursday. He had 30 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocked shots to lead his Thor Thorl squad to an 82-76 victory.
Donte Minter (West) scored 14 points in 16 minutes a 76-64 win in his most recent action in Holland’s pro league.
Bryan McCullough (North) scored eight points for the Halifax Rainmen in a 121-104 victory against the St. John Mill Rats in the National Basketball League of Canada on Saturday. – In a 102-91 loss to the Quebec Kebs on Saturday, Shamari Spears (Salisbury) scored eight points for the London Lightning.
Spears had a 31-point game in December, but he’s been quieter lately. He’s averaging 11.4 points per game. – Donald Rutherford (Catawba) had 11 points and seven rebounds in his return to action after the holiday break in Denmark. – Antonio Houston (Catawba) scored 18 points in a game on Thursday for his team in Germany.
Track and field
Several local athletes did well in the Dick Taylor Invitational held in Chapel Hill.
Western Carolina’s Alisha Bradshaw (Salisbury) was third in the weight throw and ninth in the shot put.
Olivia Jacobs (South) was seventh in the 5000 meters.
Keith Leonard (East) tied for seventh in the pole vault, while Livingstone’s B.J. Grant (South) was fifth in the high jump and seventh in the long jump.