CHARLESTON, S.C. — Freshman Fletcher Abee had 17 points, with five 3-pointers, for The Citadel as the Bulldogs fell to UNC-Asheville, 91-76, in the season-opener on Saturday.

Abee, a 2019 Freedom High School graduate, also led The Citadel in minutes (34) after getting the start in his college debut, going 6 of 8 from the floor and 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. He added two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Teammate Hayden Brown added 15 points and Tyson Batiste had 11 points and six assists.

Devon Baker scored 25 points, Tajion Jones had 23 points and seven rebounds and L.J. Thorpe had 12 points and eight rebounds for UNC-Asheville. Jax Levitch added 11 points and nine rebounds.

UNC-Asheville led 57-38 at the break behind Jones' 17 points and Baker' 16.

UNC-Asheville plays Wake Forest on the road on Wednesday. The Citadel faces Georgia on the road on Tuesday.

Blackwell top individual, EB boys 12th at XC states

KERNERSVILLE — Draughn’s Tommy Blackwell was the top local runner and the East Burke boys team finished 12th in the NCHSAA 2A cross country state championships at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville on Saturday.

Blackwell (16:52.32), a Wildcats senior, placed 22nd overall. The Cavaliers averaged 18:12.27, led by Luke Elliott (33rd, 17:13.13), Logan Shuford (47th, 17:30.60), Ayden Lingerfelt (83rd, 18:21.32), Shane Feamster (107th, 18:46.71), Clay Seagle (123rd, 19:09.57), Caleb Johnson-White (154th, 20:30.57) and Jackson Spencer (160th, 20:59.31).

In the girls’ portion, Patton’s Ella Evans (21:22.20) was 48th and Calli Westra (21:41.81) was 64th.

Foard volleyball earns program’s 7th state title

FAYETTEVILLE — Foard won the school’s seventh state championship in volleyball, powering to a three-set sweep over Ayden-Grifton, 25-15, 25-12, 25-11, in the NCHSAA 2A finale on Saturday.

Michelle Thao was the MVP of the match. She was credited with five kills and 12 digs in the contest. Dara Schaffer led the Tigers with 13 kills and a pair of aces. Megan Dorsey also supplied in 11 kills.

Foard, which is led by former Draughn coach Meredith Lutz Lombardi, finished the year 33-1 overall. The Tigers were 14-0 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference, claiming the league regular season and tournament titles, both ahead of second-place Patton.

Foard won its seventh Western Regional championship, appearing in the state championship game for the seventh time and maintaining an unblemished record. It was the Tigers’ first volleyball state title since 2005.

Ayden-Grifton finished 22-6, including 12-0 in the Eastern Carolina 2A Conference. Emily Dykes had eight kills while teammate Alexis Bryant had six. Ultimately, service errors proved too much for the Lady Chargers to overcome in the state title match.

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