Indians take on Moose
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 11, 2014
Catawba’s basketball teams play this afternoon at Brevard, with the women opening the doubleheader at 2 p.m.
The biggest obstacle for a Catawba men’s victory will be former Carson star Darius Moose, who has become one of the SAC’s top players as a junior.
The 6-foot-3 Moose is third in the league in scoring with 20.1 points per game. He’s seventh in rebounding (7.8) and ranks eighth in assists (3.7).
Moose is shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from the 3-point line.
It’s a big game for both teams. They have identical records — 3-4 in the league and 3-8 overall.
Catawba has won its last four meetings with Brevard and 10 of 13 in the series.
Catawba is the SAC’s best shot-blocking team and had 13 rejections in Wednesday’s double-overtime win against Newberry.
Kijuan Arrington (18.8 ppg.) and Tyrece Little (14.1) lead the Indians.
• Catawba’s women (7-4, 5-2) are tied for second in the SAC and will be looking to bounce back from a loss on Wednesday.
Catawba has won 11 of 13 meetings with the Tornados.
Chloe Bully (14.5 ppg.) and Mallary Clay (10.7) lead the Indians.
Livingstone stays on the road tonight at Virginia State, with the LC men trying to rebound from an overtime loss on Thursday and the women trying to build on a winning streak.
The Virginia State men (7-7, 0-4) are still looking for their first CIAA victory, but the Virginia State women (11-1, 2-1 are strong).
Davie County’s boys lost 75-63 to West Forsyth in CPC action on Friday.
Peyton Sell scored 23 points for the War Eagles. Nic Starnes had 11, and Tre Redmond had 10.
• A.L. Brown’s girls lost to Mallard Creek 71-49.
Aitana Grant scored 20 for the Wonders, who were tied at halftime.
• Central Cabarrus has named Kenyan Weaks as its new boys basketball coach.
Weaks, 36, lived in Salisbury for many years. He was a standout at Concord High and played on Florida’s Final Four team in 2000.
East Rowan’s jayvee boys won 54-40 against South Rowan on Friday.
Datavian Davis and Lucas Morton had 20 points each and both pulled down five rebounds.
Logan Shuping scored six points for the Mustangs. Corbin Elliott had 10 rebounds.
• North Rowan’s jayvee boys won 47-46 against West Davidson on Friday.
More baseball updates …
Sophomores Andy Austin (East Rowan) and Ryan Foster (Davie) are back for UNC Wilmington this season.
The Seahawks open at home on Feb. 14 against VMI.
• Senior outfielder Jon Crucitti (West Rowan) will be a key player for Army this season. The Black Knights open at William & Mary on Feb. 14.
• Freshman left-hander Justin Evans (West) is on the Carson-Newman roster. The Eagles open at Augusta on Feb. 1.
• Liberty opens the season in a tournament in Florida on Feb. 14. Junior pitcher Carson Herndon and freshman infielder Nick Boswell, both former Davie War Eagles, are on the Flames’ roster.
• UNC Greensboro opens at home against George Washington on Feb. 14.
Caleb Henley, a 6-foot-7 junior southpaw from East Rowan returns for the Spartans.
• Guilford opens on Feb. 1 at Piedmont.
Sophomore catcher Nathan Fulbright and junior pitcher Avery Rogers, a pair of former East Rowan standouts, will be counted on by the Quakers.
• Freshman outfielder Taylor Garczysnki (West) is on the Francis Marion roster.
The Patriots will get started on Feb. 1 with a home game against Limestone.
• Sophomore pitcher Corey Randall (Davie) returns for UNC Asheville. The Buldogs open Feb. 14 at home against Delaware State.
Marv Albert and Rick Reilly have been elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, executive director Dave Goren announced.
Albert, a longtime network play-by-play announcer, and Reilly, who spent the bulk of his career at Sports Illustrated before moving to ESPN, will be honored during the 55th Annual NSSA Awards Weekend on June 7-9 in Salisbury.
The South Rowan YMCA is accepting registrations for adult dhurch league basketball and boys high school basketball.
Registration is open now through Feb. 4. Cost for the church league is $425 per team and teams provide own jerseys. Boys high school basketball is $39 for members and $69 for potential members. Contact Carvie Kepley at 704-857-7011 or email@example.com for information.
East Rowan’s baseball camps that were scheduled for today have been postponed to next Saturday due to weather concerns.
Sacred Heart’s varsity girls defeated Hickory Christian Academy 31-20. Julia Honeycutt scored 14 points. Mary Sobataka had seven points. Sara Nguyen, Leah Wyrick and Mary McCullough were key contributors.
• Sacred Heart’s varsity boysdefeated Hickory Christian 42-23. Michael Childress scored 21 points, and Will Taylor had 13. Eric Turnbull had five points and five rebounds. Henry Holman had seven rebounds and four blocks. Melvin Bonilla sparked the Dolphins’ defense with 3 consecutive steals and had six assists.
The Dolphins travel to Statesville Christian on Monday.
Sports Junction is hosting a four week baseball camp starting Jan. 12. Sports Junction general manager, Jim Knight will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy. Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to six players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Registration is now under way. Visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.
Record-setting receiver Sammy Watkins knew before the season began it would likely be his last at Clemson.
Watkins announced earlier this week he’d given up his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He stopped back on campus for this weekend’s football banquet before heading off to train in Tampa, Fla., for his expected invite to the NFL combine.
Watkins said Friday he talked with his coaches before the year started about returning to his freshman numbers that put him on the AP All-America team. Watkins did even better with 101 catches for 1,464 yards.
this season, both Clemson single-season records.
Watkins didn’t totally block out talk of his high draft status and worked to finish college ball with a flourish.
“I think that’s how I approached the season and that’s how the coaches approached me this year,” Watkins said. “They were going to get the best out of me and they were going to get the ball to me all year and I’ve got to be a complete player.”
“I think I managed that well this year,” Watkins continued.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior has been considered by several analysts the top receiver in next May’s draft.
There were a few times, Watkins said with a grin, where he’d joke with coach Dabo Swinney or receiver coach Jeff Scott about coming back. In the end, Watkins was ready to reach the goal he’d worked toward since playing youth football in Fort Myers, Fla.
“The dream is here now,” Watkins said.
Not that his time at Clemson was all as smooth as his pass routes.
After a stunning freshman season in 2011 — he had 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 TDs to help Clemson to its first Atlantic Coast Conference crown in two decades — Watkins was arrested the following May and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drug possession. Voted the 2012 preseason ACC player of the year, Watkins was suspended for the first two games by Swinney and never found his football groove.
Still, Watkins believes the incident helped him to reach this point.
“Everyone thinks of that as a bad point of my life, but I think it helped me out,” he said. “It helped me see the bigger picture.”
While his sophomore numbers of 57 catches for 708 yards sounded solid, Watkins understood he had to dig deeper this season. He got stronger, putting 10 pounds or so of muscle on the skinny physique he had when he came to campus.
Watkins also worked on his downfield blocking, not wanting that to impede his rise on NFL draft boards. He said ex-teammate DeAndre Hopkins — who gave up his senior season last January and was a first-round pick of the Houston Texans — emphasized that pro scouts have seen all the great grabs and breakaway runs. “They’re looking at the plays when you’re not getting the ball,” Watkins said. “That’s what I wanted to focus on this year.”
But Watkins true talent comes with the ball in his hands. His best game at Clemson may have been his last one as Watkins was voted the Orange Bowl’s most outstanding player after catching 16 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-35 victory over Ohio State.
Watkins kept his cool in the postgame ceremony, but got emotional in the locker room as he walked off the field for Clemson a final time. “I didn’t want to cry in front of everybody,” he said.
His favorite accomplishment? Being the only receiver in the country this year and first in Clemson history with two touchdowns of more than 90 yards in his 91-yard grab against Syracuse and a 96-yard catch against Virginia.
Watkins feels he ready to take his talents to the NFL. He’s prepared for the hard questions evaluators may have on his drug arrest and why he struggled at times against Florida State and rival South Carolina.
“I’m looking forward to that time,” he said. “To letting those guys know who I am and how I grew here at Clemson, how I’m for the team and the kind of citizen I am.”