N.C. squad falls in Shrine Bowl game

Dec. 24, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

South Carolina scored a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining in the game to sneak away with a 28-23 victory over the North Carolina All-Stars, led by Lee County High School Coach Burton Cates, in this past weekend’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in Spartanburg, S.C. The Shrine Bowl of Carolinas pits the 40 best players from North Carolina against the 40 best from South Carolina.

In what has been billed as possibly the best Shrine Bowl Classic game in the 77-year history of the event, North Carolina rebounded from a 14-0 halftime deficit to score 17 unanswered points in the second half to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Sandlappers would briefly take control again before the score swapped back into the Tar Heel state’s favor with three minutes remaining in the contest. South Carolina quarterback Mason Rudolph, who has not lost a game all year playing for Northwestern, would then engineer a 10-play, 68-yard drive that culminated in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Gaffney’s Shaq Davidson with 16 seconds remaining in the game to seal the South Carolina comeback victory.

After the loss, North Carolina Head Coach Burton Cates said, “That’s how you want an all-star game to be, but you want it to be in your favor in the end. I can’t say enough about the kids. They went through adversity this week with replacement players and key injuries to us. Our coaches did a great job. I knew they would. Our players played extremely hard.”

North Carolina post-game honors included Charlotte Catholic’s Elijah Hood, a UNC commit being named the offensive MVP, while Greensboro Dudley’s Emmanuel Moseley, a Tennessee commit, received defensive MVP recognition. This was the Sandlappers’ second straight victory over the North Carolina extending their all-time series lead to 43-30-4.

Area players participating in the game included Lee County defensive lineman Thomas Ferguson and Middle Creek wide receiver Curtis Burtson. Players and coaches enjoyed a week of practice that also included a visit to the Shriners Hospital, a parade in their honor and a banquet with feature guest speaker Todd Knight, head football coach of Newberry College. A check in the amount of $1,437,720.13 was presented to the Shriners Hospital during the game’s halftime festivities.

Salem College senior center back Stephanie Hubbard (WHHS) continues to add post-season accolades to her collegiate resume. Hubbard and two other Spirit teammates were named last week to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-South Region Team. The NSCAA

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scholar team is comprised of athletes from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma from NCAA Division II and III schools. Salem was the only NCAA DIII from North Carolina with any members selected, and they had the second most selections of any Division III team in the entire region. To be named to a scholar-all region team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average, start more than 50 percent of their games, be a junior or senior, and be a significant contributor to their team. The three selected Salem players were all captains and helped guide the Spirits to a sweep of the Great South Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championship. The team ended its season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 15-4-2 overall record. Hubbard’s other post-season honors include 2013 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Region Second Team, Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year, 2013 College Division All-State Women’s Soccer first team, two-time NSCAA All-South Region Honorable Mention member, four-time GSAC All-Conference selection, three-time All-Academic member and four-time Salem College Women’s Soccer MVP . Hubbard will graduate this year with a 3.53 GPA in chemistry.

Akeem Richmond (SLHS) and East Carolina University (10-3) split games last week — downing VMI, 103-94, but then coming up short against N.C. State, 90-79. Against the Keydets, Richmond finished as the Pirates’ third leading scorer contributing 18 points while adding one rebound, one assist, one steal and one block in 38 minutes of play. Richmond led ECU in scoring later in the week with 23 points in the Pirates’ loss to the Wolfpack. The Purple and Gold will return to the court Sunday as they host Georgia State.

Josh Mellette (SLHS) and Wake Tech (10-3, 3-0) closed out 2013 with two victories, downing Sandhills CC, 106-97, and Central Carolina CC, 77-75. Mellette scored 12 points in the Eagles’ win over Flyers and then registered his eighth double/double of the season scoring 10 points and snagging 13 rebounds in Wake’s victory over the Cougars. The Eagles will be back on the court after Christmas as they travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., to compete in the Daytona State College Tournament.

Alex Tucker (LCHS) and Bethel University (10-4, 2-2) closed out the first half of their season with a win over Crowley’s Ridge, 77-64. The Wildcats will return to action on Jan. 6 when they host Hiwassee College.

Brianna Taylor (SLHS) and Wake Tech (4-3, 2-1) suffered two losses heading into Christmas break, falling to Chipola College, 91-47, and Palm Beach State College, 78-58. The Lady Eagles will return to action on Jan. 4 when they host Virginia Western CC.