Spartans Hoops Updates by Dan O’Neal

GRANITE FALLS, NC (February 2, 2019) — Here’s hoping all of you managed with the polar vortex our neighbors to the north sent our way. Sadly, there were those in those Midwestern states who did not, and our heartfelt prayers go up for their families.

That made for a wise decision on the part of the School Board to cancel all athletic events scheduled for this past Tuesday. The sanctity and well-beings of human matter much more than wins or losses.

South Caldwell had Wednesday and Friday basketball games at home this week. Even on a Wednesday evening, Spartan Gym was pretty much filled to capacity and the Girls and Boys squads went up against County and Conference rival West Caldwell. The girls were looking to sweep the Warriors while the boys were looking to counter the wide margin of victory by West in early January at Gamewell.

After numerous lead exchanges in the girl’s matchup, Taylor Austin made clutch free throws down the stretch and rebounded her own miss at the line to seal the Spartans victory over the Warriors 33-31. Jenna Pittman paced the Spartans with thirteen while Kaitlyn Propst also made crucial baskets in the fourth period and finished the night with nine.

In the finale, the boys began the game with an excellent pace, scoring twenty-four points along with an amazing field goal percentage. The “ESPN” crew on hand certainly expressed their enthusiasm and the Student Section was more psychotic than the Cameron Crazies. Even “even-keeled” Samuel Craig did more than smile.

Then the Warriors started making the treys. The Spartans, on the other hand, became ice cold, as if the polar vortex affected their offense. The would only score an average of eight points the next three and falling to the Warriors, 61-48, leaving them with one victory on the season.

Women’s Game – Hickory 59 South Caldwell 33
Kaitlyn Propst and Kaitlyn Wynn (the Two Kaitlyns) paced the Spartans in the loss to the Red Tornadoes, leaving them with a record of 6-13.

In the nightcap, the boys were looking to improve on the 70-22 loss at Hickory earlier in the season. Though they came up short again, 73-43, in that quest, these young men from both squads played with great tenacity. Justin Eggers led the Spartans with fourteen points and played down low with great confidence while sophomore Steven Reid checked into the game in the last three minutes and made the most of his opportunity, scoring five points on two of three in field goal attempts, which was a delight to the entire crowd. There was a point early in the third quarter where the Red Tornadoes called a timeout due to the Spartans coming after them.

What made both games so special is the way the athletes, coaches, and fans really “had a blast”. There were no long faces on the bench. There was no nasty talk at the officials and yes, I have heard some this season (not outing anyone here). Is losing fun? Of course, it isn’t fun however, it is my belief that if one cannot enjoy doing what they do, why bother even taking such activity on? If I did not enjoy covering Spartan Nation for local media as my schedule permits, I would find some other activity instead of hollering at my desktop screen due to my extremely inept keyboarding skills.

Best wishes to the Spartans’ swimmers in the regional championships tomorrow somewhere in Charlotte. I would also say best wishes to the Saint Stephens grapplers in the NCHSAA 3A State Championship but with their unblemished record this season, the title is a no-brainer.