Paint it Red or Black, 2nd Haiti Benefit

Show your school spirit on Senior Night 2010 by wearing Red or Black to support the Vikings.  Paint the “Octagon” red or black when the Vikings tangle with Mitchell.

UIC and YAHH will also be holding a second night of fund raising, taking donations for the victims of the Haitian Earthquakes…please make plans to join the Vikings in these efforts.

Avery to Hold Benefit for Haiti Tonight

Young Adults Helping Haiti (YAHH) is teaming with United in Christ (UIC) at Avery High tonight in an effort to raise money for Haitian Relief.

The Avery Vikings are slated to face off with the Polk Wolverines this evening in Viking Gymnasium in WHC action in what look to be four great games.  During the evening, Avery will also be honoring Dustin Clarke in recognition of his 1,000th career point for the Vikings.

UIC and SGA will have a table set up in the lobby where they will receive donations.  They will also be holding raffles during the evening.

Please make plans to attend, not only for some great basketball, but also for an even greater cause!

Clarke Scores 1,000th Point

Vikings Roll Past Gryphons 90-31

(Serena Smith Photo)

Dustin Clarke entered Monday evening’s contest with Thomas Jefferson needing 21 points to reach 1,000 for his career.  The Junior Guard reached the milestone midway through the 3rd quarter on Monday evening, with what would be his final basket of the game.

Clarke has improved his average over the past two seasons, averaging 17.7 points per game last season, and improving that mark to 21.6 this season.  This meaning he would only need to match his average to achieve the 1,000 point plateau.

“I didn’t know,” stated an overwhelmed Clarke following the game.  “I had no idea.  I have a great group of guys around me, and they do a great job of working the ball around to find open shots.  We’re good together, we just try to keep winning; we’re not really worried about it, just glad that it happened.”

Clarke provided the spark for the Vikings in the opening quarter, scoring nine of Avery’s 23 first quarter points, opening up a 23-7 lead after one quarter of play.

In the second quarter, the Vikings continued to build the lead, but maybe more impressive than the offensive burst was the defensive pressure that the Vikings provided.  Avery’s smothering defense held the Gryphons to just three points in the quarter to open a 43-10 halftime lead.

The Vikings ended the half, with Clarke leading the way with 15 points and 5 steals.  Kody Hughes also added 9 points, with Joey Potter chipping in with 6 points for the Vikings.

(Serena Smith Photo)

In the third quarter, Potter caught fire, netting 10 points, and sparking the Viking offense with a performance that was overshadowed by the third basket from Clarke, which gave him the milestone.  The sixteen combined points for Potter and Clarke sparked a 24-9 quarter for Avery, putting them up 67-19 after three.

In the final quarter, the Viking attack received 16 points from three JV players, who were moved up to the Varsity ranks for the contest.  Shea Buchanan, Dustin Clark (soph.), and Austin Lyons combined for 16 points to lead the Vikings to a 23 point final stanza.  Clark and Lyons each scored seven, with Buchanan adding two from the charity stripe, as the Vikings rolled to the 90-31 victory.

The elder Clarke and Potter each netted 21 points to lead all scorers, as Clarke added seven steals and three assists, and Potter, six rebounds and four assists.  Hughes added 11 for the Vikes in the victory.

The win follows up a great week for the Vikings, extending their winning streak to four, as they picked up wins over Owen and Thomas Jefferson last week.  On Tuesday, January 19, the Vikes rallied to defeat Owen 58-54, and Friday, were able to knock off the Gryphons in Mooresboro, 79-38.

Clarke amassed 61 points, 15 steals, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the three games.

The Vikings traveled to Hendersonville last night to tangle with the Bearcats, falling 82-78 in a tough contest.  They return home to face off with Polk on Thursday in WHC action.  Avery now sits at 7-7 overall, 5-2 in conference play.

The JVs split the week, knocking off the Warhorse JVs in last  Tuesday evening’s action, traveling to Hendersonville last night falling in a tough contest to the Bearcat JVs on the road.

Avery’s Lady Vikings Ranked #10 in Latest 1A Polls

The Lady Vikings have battled their way into the top ten rankings among the NCHSAA 1A rankings.  The Lady Vikings are 14-2 on the season, 6-1 in conference play.  Mitchell’s Lady Mountaineers are also ranked, sitting at #8 in the latest poll.

A couple of WHC teams are also ranked among the 1A and 2A standings in boys competition, a full rundown of the polls are as follows:

1A GIRLS
1. Bishop McGuinness (7) 10-4 – 115
2. East Surry (1) 14-3 – 101
3. Mount Airy (2) 13-2 – 98
4. Williamston (3) 14-0 – 95
5. Robbinsville 13-1 – 79
6. River Mill 21-4 – 74
7. Cherokee 13-2 – 55
8. Mitchell 13-4 – 37
9. Southside 12-2 – 25
10. Avery 12-2 – 11

HONORABLE MENTION: Alleghany (10-4) – 9; Chatham Central (12-4) – 6; Murphy (11-6) – 5; Pender (n/a) – 4; Weldon (n/a) – 1

2A BOYS
1. Kinston (13) 14-3 – 138
2. Shelby 12-2 – 114
3. East Rutherford (1) 15-1 – 107
4. West Caldwell 13-2 – 85
5. West Bladen 13-2 – 75
6. Cedar Ridge 15-2 – 63
7. Smoky Mountain 12-3 – 55
8. Northeastern 15-1 – 46
9. Pisgah 12-2 – 22
10. Providence Grove 17-3 – 20

HONORABLE MENTION: Mountain Heritage (10-2) – 15; Jordan-Matthews (15-4) – 11; Trinity (14-3) – 6; Brevard (12-3) – 4; North Brunswick (11-3) – 4; Wilkes Central (12-3) – 1; Salisbury (9-4) – 1

1A BOYS
1. Winston-Salem Prep (12) 18-3 – 135
2. Cherryville (1) 12-2 – 119
3. Monroe (1) 16-1 – 113
4. Pender 12-1 – 88
5. Lejeune 16-1 – 75
6. Hendersonville 12-2 – 71
7. Murphy 13-3 – 50
8. Weldon 12-1 – 45
9. Wallace-Rose Hill 11-1 – 37
10. North Rowan 11-4 – 15

HONORABLE MENTION: SW Onslow (7-1) – 10; Rocky Mount Prep (15-8) – 5; North Wilkes (12-4) – 4; Bishop McGuinness (12-5) – 2; Hayesville (14-3) – 2; Albemarle (8-3) – 1

Lady Avalanche Win Two of Three at TFC Friendlies College Showcase

Mary Chesnut Smith (4) and Emily Banner played great over the weekend, leading the Lady Avalanche over the victory (Serena Smith Photo)

HCSA Lady Avalanche ’92 U17 soccer team traveled to Fayetteville, NC to play in the TFC Friendlies College Showcase. Mother Nature made it difficult to get together and practice much prior to the weekend, but most of the team have played together at least two seasons, with some more than that. The girls came from five different high schools: Ashe, Avery, Hibriten, Watauga and Wilkes Central. Ashe was represented by sophomore Kebrina Keys; missing in action was injured sophomore player MacKenzie Domske. Avery’s players were juniors Emily Banner and Mary Chesnut Smith. Hibriten had three players; juniors Hallie Hilliard and Miranda McCrary played with the team all fall; Kayla Stamey was a guest player for the weekend. One of the two keepers was sophomore Caitlin Curley from Wilkes Central; junior Christina Call was out taking the SATs. Watauga High players included juniors Sam Byrd, Mary Kate Huffman and Bethany Miller. Watauga sophomores were Kendyl Baird, Skylar Hicks, Katelynn Mullenix and Jeanette Vines. The team is coached by the Director of Coaching for the High Country Soccer Association, Kiki Wallace.

At the last minute, fields were changed and games shortened due to the recent hard rains in Fayetteville. Unfortunately, the Lady Avalanche still had an 8 AM game on Saturday. The games Saturday were all 55 minutes, with no half time (and therefore no switching of ends which made it tough on the keepers facing the sun).  With temperatures in the high30s and a very damp field, players and parents alike were very cold, and had numb toes at the end of the first game. However, spirits were high as the Lady Avalanche played ragged but tough and managed a 2-0 win over the TFC White. They were from the host club and were ranked 15th in the state. The Lady Avalanche were ranked 13th. The scoring came in the middle of the game with both goals coming in a 4 minute period. The first was off the foot of Hallie Hilliard with an assist from fellow forward Kendyl Baird. Almost exactly four minutes later, a pair of midfielders teamed up for the second goal with Kebrina Keys assisting Mary Chesnut Smith for the score.

Hot showers and food were the next order of the day, followed by a 2 PM match in the stadium field back at Reid Ross Classical School. The stadium field was definitely narrow, causing the Lady Avalanche to change their normal mode of play. All of the scoring in this game came in the first 15 minutes of play. The Avalanche, taking advantage of the narrow field, scored off of two throw-ins by Mary Chesnut Smith, who was able to put the ball in front of the goal. The first score came off the head of Kebrina Keys while Hallie Hilliard scored her second goal of the day off the second throw-in. The 14th ranked CASL Spartan United scored within a minute of the second Avalanche goal.  This however was the last score of the game, giving the Avalanche a 2-1 victory. With the temperature in the mid-forties and only a light breeze, the conditions had been better during the second game.

Emily Banner eyes the ball in weekend competiton (Serena Smith Photo/HCSA)

The two Avalanche captains were selected for the All – Star game Saturday evening. Tired and sore, Bethany Miller and Mary Chesnut Smith joined 9 other juniors to play 11 other juniors in a very fast-paced 35 minute game. They said it was one of the hardest games they had ever played in due to the speed of play. Of course, having already played two tough games after a two month lay-off from soccer made them sorer and more tired than normal.

Fortunately their game on Sunday had been postponed an hour, so the team had a little longer to rest before hitting the fields for their 10:30 match-up against what Coach Kiki thought would be the toughest game of the weekend for the team. Although the Maryland team was officially unranked, their record was good. Other coaches said they were a physical team. The Avalanche came mentally and physically prepared for a tough game and got on the score board first. In the 15th minute of the first 30 minute half, midfielder Mary Chesnut Smith was able to send the ball to the back of the net from about 20 yards out, placing it just over the keeper’s hands. In the 23rd minute the Maryland Matrix were able to get one off the fingers of the Avalanche keeper, Caitlin Curley.

The Avalanche answered in the next minute, when Avery teammates connected; Emily Banner crossed the ball to Smith who powered the ball past the keeper to make the score 2-1, where it stayed for the rest of the half. In the second minute of the second half, the Matrix found a way to get past Avalanche keeper Mary Kate Huffman to tie the score. Not to be outdone, the Avalanche took the lead again within the next minute, Hallie Hilliard passed the ball to Kendyl Baird who dropped it to Smith, who was able to take the ball through traffic and get the ball past the keeper to score, for a hat trick. The score remained 3-2 until the 25th minute of the half when the Matrix got past their defenders and sailed a ball over the keeper’s hands to tie the score. Play remained intense with the score knotted at 3 and time running down.

With just a minute left in the game, the Matrix found a way to take the lead for the first time of the day, but it was to be the time that counted as the Lady Avalanche were not able to answer that goal before time ran out. It was a good game, but a hard one to swallow after leading most of the game and dominating the play for the most part.

Trojans ‘Easley’ Charge Past Bobcats 90-73

Adam McFerran netted a career-high 20 points in 24 minutes off the Bobcat bench in Saturday's contest (Phillip Greene Photo)

Kendrick Easley scored 30 points on 10 of 22 from the floor, hitting 4 of 11 from behind the arc, as the Mount Olive Trojans rolled past the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon.

Easley opened the contest with eight of the Trojan’s first 14 points, as Mount Olive opened an early ten point, 14-4 advantage over the Lees McRae Bobcats.  The Bobcats battled back over the next five minutes, going on a 10-4 run to cut it to an 18-14 Trojan advantage with just under nine minutes to play in the first half.

The Trojans responded with a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to take a 30-18 lead.

The Bobcats battled back, with Sam Youse capping an 8-3 run with a trey from the wing to cut the lead to seven with just under four minutes to play in the half.  The Trojans again responded with a run, pushing it to 42-28 with 1:38 left on the first half clock, and holding on to a 46-33 lead at the half.

The Trojans opened the lead to 18, at 55-37 with 16:23 to play, but Youse again connected from deep to cut it back to 15, and an Adam McFerran basket pulled it back to the 13 point halftime margin.  The “Cats would hang around until the ten minute mark, trailing 63-50, but an 11-1 run capped by an Easley basket, pushed the lead to 74-51 with 7:33 to play.

In the final minutes of play, the Bobcats were unable to cut the lead below 16 as the Trojan defense kept the Bobcats at bay, clinching the 17-point, 90-73 victory in Williams Gymnasium.

Leading the way for the Bobcats in the loss was Adam McFerran with a career-high 20 points in just 24 minutes off the bench.  Youse added 12 points, hitting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, and three Bobcats added 9 points in the loss.

The Bobcats hit the road Monday, facing off with Belmont Abbey at 7:30 PM.  They return home on Thursday to face Pfeiffer following the women’s contest in William’s Gymnasium.

Lady Trojans Hold off Lady Bobcats in Thriller

Colette Montgomery led all scorers with 16 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday's contest with Mount Olive (Phillip Greene Photo)

Saturday’s contest between the Lady Bobcats and Lady Trojans came down to the wire, thanks in part to a great comeback effort by Lees McRae that fell just short in the waning moments, as Mount Olive escaped with a 59-58 victory in Banner Elk.

It took two full minutes for either team to find the basket, but once they did, no one in Williams Gymnasium knew the excitement that awaited as the game wound down.  Lees McRae took the early lead, when Janina Thurus found the basket with 17:49 on the clock to give the Lady Bobcats a 2-0 advantage.  The Lady Trojans responded with two 3-pont baskets to take the 6-2 lead, but Thurus answered with a three of her own to cut the lead to 1 with just under 17 minutes remaining in the first half.

On the next possession, a Sophia White basket gave the Lady ‘Cats the lead, and Lauren Casey’s rebound and putback 14:32 on the first half clock extended the lead to 9-6, in favor of Lees McRae.

The Lady Trojans then pieced together a 12-0 run over the next five minutes to take an 18-9 lead with just over 9 minutes to play in the opening half, extending their lead to 28-15 at the 4:04 mark to take control of the contest.  The Lady Bobcats, however, closed the half with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 30-23 as the half closed.

In the second half, the two teams again started slow, but a 6-2 run to start the half for the Lady Bobcats cut it to three at 32-29 with just over 16 minutes to play.  Over the next 9 minutes the Lady Bobcats would battle tough, but Mount Olive would steadily build their lead back to an 11 point advantage, taking a 52-41 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the contest.

Colette Montgomery led the charge over the next six minutes, scoring 10 points, pulling down four rebounds and adding two assists to pull the Lady Bobcats within three at 59-56 with 1:31 left to play.  Casey cut it to one, taking the ball at the wing and dribbling underneath for a reverse lay-up to make it 59-58 with 52 seconds to play.

Lauren Casey had 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in Saturday's loss to the Lady Trojans (Phillip Greene Photo)

The Lady Bobcat defense stood firm, forcing a turnover to get the ball back with just over 30 seconds to play.  The Trojan defense buckled down, facing up Casey, and keeping her from getting a good look at the basket as her shot fell just short and Mount Olive grabbed the rebound to earn the victory.

Montgomery led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Casey added 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.  The loss drops the Lady Bobcats to 2-12, 2-8 in conference action; while the Lady Trojans improved to 7-8 overall, and 6-4 in Conference Carolinas play.

LMC hits the road on Monday, traveling to Belmont Abbey, before returning home to face Pfeiffer on Thursday, January 28; gametime for both contests is set for 5:30 PM.