University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s basketball coach Will Wade has hired former University of Memphis guard Trey Draper as a graduate assistant. Draper, who grew up in Memphis but rarely played for the Tigers, graduated from college last August with a degree in sport and leisure management. Wade’s official staff for next season — those with full benefits from the university — will include Wes Long, Turner Battle, Casey Long and Brooks Savage. Wade and student assistant Johnny Taylor both said they want to work together at UTC for the foreseeable future. “Johnny wants to come back,” Wade said. “We are working through details that we have to go through in the university process. We’re working to keep him, because we want him and he wants to be here.”
• Georgia Northwestern Technical College is moving its women’s basketball base of operations to the school’s Walker County campus and the Rossville Athletic Complex with the rest of the Bobcats sports teams, and Jim Williams and his Lady Bobcats assistant coaches are not making the move from Rome, men’s basketball coach and athletic director David Stephenson acknowledged. Williams has been the women’s coach all four years of the program’s existence. “We’re excited about starting fresh with the programs all together. The women have no returning players,” said Stephenson, who has been recruiting some for the Lady Cats. Anyone interested in coaching for the two-year school should see www.gntc.edu. GNTC will be starting a hall of fame as part of its sports banquet next Thursday.
• Manker Patten teaching pro Wesley Cash of Chattanooga is 2-0 in doubles in representing the United States in the Austria Cup — the men’s 55 division of the International Tennis Federation Seniors World Championships going on in Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, Fla. Cash and Mike Tammen of Portland, Ore. — a different partner from Tuesday — won 6-1, 6-1 over a Swiss duo in Wednesday’s win for the Americans. Girls Preparatory School coach Sue Bartlett is playing for Great Britain in the Maureen Connolly Cup for women’s 55s and won 7-6 (6), 7-5 in doubles Tuesday in a defeat of Argentina.
• Top-seeded Reinhardt, ranked 12th in the NAIA, edged fourth seed Bryan 2-0 with Katie Rietkovich’s two-run ninth-inning home run in the Appalachian Athletic Conference softball tournament Wednesday at Kingsport, Tenn. Bryan pitcher Kaitie Sims from Baylor School dueled Madison Luck (29-2) magnificently. Kirstie Jennings was 2-for-3 and Olivia Gore was 2-for-4 for the Lady Lions (26-21), who play 3 seed Virginia Intermont in the losers bracket this morning. Intermont (27-19) eliminated Tennessee Wesleyan (13-27), 6-1.
• Shaliyah Geathers from East Hamilton batted leadoff and went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored as nationally eighth-ranked Tennessee beat Furman 8-0 in softball Tuesday night in Knoxville. The Lady Vols (37-8), who had a six-run sixth inning, visit ninth-ranked Kentucky in a three-game SEC series this weekend.
• Zacary Hawkins was 3-for-5 with four RBIs as the Lee University baseball team beat visiting Trevecca Nazarene 11-4 on Wednesday at Olympic Field in Cleveland. Nathan Wierzgac was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Andres Nelo and Cameron Brewster each was 2-for-3 and scored twice for Lee (27-17).
• Chattanooga State will host first-round baseball and softball series this weekend in the new TCCAA tournament format, before the five weekend winners in each sport convene the following weekend at Volunteer State. The opening-round series are best-of-three with softball doubleheaders Friday and if-necessary third games Saturday and nine-inning single baseball games Friday, Saturday and, if needed, Sunday. Chattanooga State’s fourth-place baseball Tigers face seventh seed Volunteer State at 2 p.m. Friday, the same time the top-seeded and nationally sixth-ranked Lady Tigers begin against Southwest Tennessee. Cleveland State’s baseball team plays at fifth seed Motlow; the Lady Cougars visit Vol State.
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