First-year Tennessee Temple University wrestling coach Dale Enloe has loaded up going into serious NCWA competition this semester, including bringing in two promising 125-pounders known better by nicknames: Steven "Peanut" Byrd from Cleveland County in North Carolina and Sutthiphong "Bang" Thaphina from Plano, Texas, and Frisco Liberty HIgh School. Thaphina joins fellow Liberty alumnus Tyler Crawford, a 157-pounder who's been at Temple since the beginning of the school year. Enloe has been a high school coach in North Carolina the last four years, and two guys from Hunter Hoss High in Gastonia who knew him also are new enrollees: 2011 Huss graduate Darius Stocks at 133 and 2012 grad Brandon Bruce at 157. Both were state qualifiers. Byrd is a 2011 grad of King's Mountain High and also a state qualifier. Out much longer from high school is Ronald England, a powerfully built 235-pounder who graduated from Rhea County in 2009 and played football there, wrestling only as a freshman.
• Hollie German and Jamorris Gaines from Lee University were the Southern States Athletic Conference basketball players of the week. German, a former Polk County High School star, scored 22 points in a victory at Southern Wesleyan and then had 32 points and 11 of the Lady Flames' final 12 in a 72-69 win over Coastal Georgia. She leads the SSAC with 20.7 points a game. In his third and fourth games of the season, junior transfer Gaines had 28 points and seven rebounds in a win over SWU and 20 points in the Flames' defeat of Coastal Georgia. He was 18-of-26 from the field and 6-of-9 on 3-pointers in the two games. The nationally sixth-ranked Lee teams, each with only one loss, host Emmanuel in an SSAC doubleheader Thursday with free Mayfield ice cream being served, the 350-member Lee University Festival Choir (which will take part in the Presidential Inauguration next week) singing the national anthem before the men's game and the renowned Gym Masters performing at halftime of the SSAC East first-place showdown. Emmanuel's Lions are 13-2 and ranked 18th in NAIA Division I.
• Going cold in the second half Tuesday evening at Morristown, the Cleveland State's men's basketball team lost 62-53 to Walters State. Walters' nationally eighth-ranked Lady Senators (15-1, 8-0) won the first game of the TCCAA doubleheader 81-57 with Donessa Shular scoring 28 points. Jara Gasper led the Lady Cougars (11-6, 4-4) with 14 points and Mercedes Owens hit three 3-point shots. Ralph Eason, Filipe Goncalves and Trey Suttles scored 13, 12 and 11 points to lead the Cougars (10-5, 5-3), who led 52-47 but shot only 19 percent in the second half and were outrebounded 51-34 for the game. Leland Robinson and Elgrin Wilson led Walters (9-9) with 16 points each.
• The Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats rose to 3-0 in TCCAA Region XVII by rallying from a 21-point deficit in the final 13 minutes Tuesday to beat visiting Middle Georgia Tech 82-78 at Rome. Odessa Person had 17 points and 21 rebounds for the Lady Cats (9-8), while Alyssa Nichelson scored 13 points and Alana Jones and Terika Mostella added 10 apiece. Emily Cole hit the tying basket with 1:40 to play and then made the go-ahead 3-pointer from a Kiarra Parks pass. The GNTC men lost 88-73 despite 19 points and 5-of-8 3-point shooting from Fernando Lemus Jr., 16 points from Richard Olsen and 10 points and nine rebounds from Alex Miller. Derrick Austin and Randazerro Chaney scored 20 and 19 points scored 20 and 19 points and Alyja Hennings added 15 for West Georgia Tech.
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