LOCAL ROUNDUP: HPU baseball picked No. 3 in conference preseason poll

Jan. 25—HIGH POINT — High Point University has been picked to finish third in the Big South Conference's preseason poll.

USC Upstate was selected the favorite by the conference coaches. The Spartans topped the poll with 79 points, receiving seven first-place votes. Gardner-Webb was second in the nine-team field with 61 and High Point was third with 50.

Four Panthers made the preseason all-conference team — redshirt junior outfielder Brett Ahalt, graduate infielder Cael Chatham, redshirt senior infielder Adam Stuart and senior starting pitcher Gus Hughes. Ahalt, Chatham and Hughes were second team all-conference last season.

Hughes was also selected the conference's preseason pitcher of the year. He is the first Preseason Pitcher of the Year honoree since 2019 and second overall. The Panthers went 20-34 overall and 12-14 in the conference last season, tying for sixth place.

The season begins Friday, Feb. 16, and the first Big South conference weekend is March 15-17. The top four teams in the conference will advance to the conference tournament, which will be held May 23-25 at Truist Point. The champion will receive the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


HIGH POINT — High Point University has been picked to finish second in the Big South Conference's preseason poll.

Mercer, last year's undefeated conference regular-season and tournament champion, was the top pick with 81 points — including all nine first-place votes. High Point was second with 71, followed by Furman with 62 in the nine-team league.

High Point senior midfielder Kay Rosselli, who was second team all-conference last year, and junior defender Caitlyn Baehr were selected to the preseason all-conference team. The Panthers, who went 8-10 overall and 7-2 in the conference last year, will open their season Sunday, Feb. 11, against Duke.


HIGH POINT — High Point University has been selected for all six of the Big South Conference's weekly indoor track awards.

A'lajuwan Robinson is the conference's Men's Track Athlete of the Week, while Andrew Taylor is the Men's Field Athlete of the Week and Shaun Thomas is the Men's Freshman Athlete of the Week.

Katie Taylor is the conference's Women's Track Athlete of the Week, while Sydney Horn is the Women's Field Athlete of the Week and Brianna Malone is the Women's Freshman Athlete of the Week.

Robinson was third in the 60-meter dash at the Hokie Invitational in a season-best tying time of 6.74 seconds — which is 10th-best all-time in the conference. He also finished fourth in the 200 in 21.75.

Andrew Taylor won the high jump for the second straight week, this time at the Dick Taylor Carolina Challenge with a jump of 2.15 meters. Thomas recorded a podium finish at the Dick Taylor Carolina Challenge, taking third with a height of 2.05 meters in the high jump.

Katie Taylor ran a school-record time of 9:32.35 in winning the 3,000 at the Hokie Invitational — the second-fastest time in Big South history. Horn cleared 4.34 meters in the pole vault at the Hokie Invitational to finish fifth.

Malone eclipsed her personal best in the mile with a time of 4:50.79 at the Hokie Invitational, the eighth-best mark in conference history and five seconds clear of her previous best. She also took third in the 3,000 in 9:44.37.


HIGH POINT — High Point University's Kezza Giffa has been selected as one of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Oscar Robertson National Players of the Week.

He joined Zach Ede from Purdue (Big Ten), DaRon Holmes II from Dayton (Atlantic 10), Dalton Knecht from Tennessee (SEC) and Jamal Shead from Houston (Big 12) in receiving the weekly honor.

Giffa averaged 28.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 48.4% from the field, 45.5% from 3-point range and 84.0% from the foul line in a pair of Big South victories last week.




WALKERTOWN — Thomasville lost 64-47 against Walkertown in nonconference boys basketball Wednesday at Walkertown. The Bulldogs moved to 8-6 overall.



WINSTON-SALEM — High Point Central picked up a win during Wednesday's wrestling match at Atkins.

Central won 36-27 against Southern but lost 48-27 against Atkins. Southern also lost 66-14 against Rockingham County.

Bennett Robison (132 pounds, forfeit), Matthew Myers (138, forfeit), Brooks Robinson (150, forfeit), Nylson Pacheco (157, forfeit), Ellis Chia (190, MFFL) won for Central against Southern. Jaelyn Carlyle (113, forfeit), Myers (138, fall), Chia (190, dec 7-4), Austin Pacheco-Monroy (215, fall) and Nalou Maliphone (285, fall) won against Atkins.

Camorie Townsend (113, fall), Trevon Cherry (126, fall), Kaleb Lindsay (144, dec 5-3), Brooklyn Vasquez (165, forfeit) and Bruce Dudley (175, forfeit) won for Southern against Central. Townsend (113, forfeit), Trevon Cherry (126, dec 10-5) and Dudley (175, TF 18-2) won against Rockingham County.


TRINITY — Wheatmore earned a pair of wins during Wednesday's quad match at Wheatmore.

The Warriors won 72-12 against Bishop McGuinness and 60-17 against Lexington but lost 50-21 against Grimsley. Bishop also won 39-36 against Lexington but lost 78-6 against Grimsley.

Johnathan Wall (106 pounds, forfeit), Ben Dudley (113, fall), Cayden Smith (120, forfeit), Landon Watkins (126, fall), Nolan Hammonds (132, forfeit), Trey Swaney (138, fall), Hayden Johnson (144, forfeit), Zack Starkweather (150, forfeit), Gary Rodriguez (165, fall), Dominic Hittepole (175, fall), Braxton Shoemaker (190, forfeit) and Scottie Shumate (285, forfeit) won for Wheatmore against Bishop.

Hammonds (132, dec 7-2), Swaney (138, fall), Starkweather (150, dec 8-2), Hittepole (175, dec 4-1) and Johnathon Kelley (215, fall) won against Grimsley. Wall (106, forfeit), Dudley (113, forfeit), Smith (120, forfeit), Watkins (126, forfeit), Hammonds (132, fall), Swaney (138, forfeit), Johnson (144, fall), Starkweather (157, forfeit), Hittepole (175, forfeit) and Shoemaker (190, fall) won against Lexington.

Adam O'Connell (120, forfeit), Thomas Hammond (126, forfeit), Bryce Schnyder (138, fall), Benjamin Stewart (157, forfeit), Ryan McKenna (165, forfeit), Alessio Jewell (175, forfeit) and Mason Payne (215, dec 9-2) won for Bishop against Lexington. Payne (215, fall) won against Grimsley, and Stewart (157, forfeit) and Payne (215, fall) won against Wheatmore.


KERNERSVILLE — Glenn lost 69-9 against Davie County in wrestling Wednesday at Glenn.

Yusel Aguilar (113, fall) and Alexander Lopez (132, dec 8-4) won for the Bobcats.