Brock and Surratt help East Lincoln win

DENVER – Senior Tyler Brock scored a career-high 26 points and freshman Chazz Surratt added 20 points in East Lincoln High’s 79-64 victory at Bessemer City in a Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference game Jan. 28.

The Mustangs (13-4) improved to 6-2 in conference games, and remained one game behind first-place Lake Norman Charter. East Lincoln built a 45-29 lead by halftime. Charlie Hills and Domonique Smith scored seven points each for the Mustangs, and Christian Tyson-Bryant scored six.

Brad James’ 15 points led Bessemer City (12-4 overall, 5-3 conference).

Lincoln Charter’s Talon Challenge to benefit cancer research

DENVER – The Talon Challenge, a charity event between Lincoln Charter and Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, will culminate with six basketball games (middle school and high school) Feb. 1 in Forest City.

Proceeds from the challenge will go to the V Foundation, a North Carolina-based nonprofit organization that supports cancer research. The schools in their first three years of the challenge have raised about $15,000 and donated hundreds pints of blood.

Both schools hosted blood drives Jan. 29 and a “game ball run” Jan. 30, where students will run a 70-mile course (for pledges) between each school’s campuses. T-shirts also are for sale.

A points system will determine which school wins the Talon Challenge trophy – 10 points for the winner of each of the four basketball games, 10 points to the school that donates the most pints of blood, and one point for each made free throw by a school administrator (they get one attempt for every $100 raised).

The basketball schedule Feb. 1: Middle school girls, 3 p.m., middle school boys, 4 p.m.; junior varsity girls, 5 p.m.; junior varsity boys, 6 p.m.; varsity girls, 7:30 p.m.; varsity boys, 9 p.m.

To make a pledge, email or

River Run Country Club to host PGA’s Chiquita Classic

DAVIDSON – River Run Country Club will host the Chiquita Classic golf tournament Sept. 2-8, one of the four season-ending events on the PGA’s Tour.

The tournament shifts from the Club at Longview, where it debuted in the area last year. River Run signed a three-year deal to host the event.

The Tour finals will determine the 50 players who earn PGA Tour playing privileges for the 2013-14 season and their eligibility positions under the Tour’s enhanced qualifying system.

The Chiquita Classic will have a $1 million purse and will be the second tournament in a four-event finale to the season.

Under new PGA Tour guidelines, the top 25 money winners from the 21-event regular season on the will automatically earn PGA Tour privileges with another 25 advancing to the big tour by virtue of their combined money earnings in the four-event schedule at the end of the season.

“River Run is very honored and excited to be associated with an outstanding sponsor and such a prestigious Tour event,” said Greg Murphy, a River Run Country Club board member. “The Chiquita Classic’s status as a Tour Finals event will guarantee an incredible field of professionals at the highest level of the game. Our membership and our community will rally around this great event and support the charities that will benefit from it. Our championship course provides a fair but stern test of golf, and we are very grateful to Chiquita for partnering with us in this endeavor.”

An important facet of the Chiquita Classic is its charity component. Tournament officials will again activate the “Charity Ticket Program” which enables Charlotte-area 501(c)(3) charities to sell Chiquita Classic tickets and retain 100 percent of the sales for their organizations.

Davidson maintains conference lead

BOONE – The Davidson College men’s basketball team shot better than 50 percent for the second straight game and beat Appalachian State 79-56 in a Southern Conference game Jan. 26 at the Holmes Center.

Jake Cohen led Davidson (13-7 overall, 8-1 Southern Conferce ) with 17 points and two blocked shots, while De’Mon Brooks had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Kalinoski added 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and Chris Czerapowicz had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Davidson was just as strong defensively, holding Appalachian State (8-11, 4-4) to 30.2 percent shooting. Davidson raced out to a 19-7 lead, stretched its advantage to 24, and led 45-23 at halftime.

Kalinoski’s third 3-pointer of the contest gave the Wildcats their largest lead, 69-39, with just over nine minutes left. Davidson finished shooting 51.9 percent and had a 41-29 rebounding advantage.

Davidson has a two-game lead in the conference’s South Division.

Former Davidson coach Merritt moves to Lenoir-Rhyne football program

DAVIDSON – Tripp Merritt’s job search didn’t last long.

Merritt, Davidson’s football coach from 2005-12, joined Lenoir-Rhyne University’s program as its wide receivers coach, the school announced on its website. He was released from Davidson last November.

“This is a great next step for me,” Merritt said. “There are so many good elements to the L-R program and I am especially impressed with the school’s outstanding leadership.”

Lenoir-Rhyne, an NCAA Division II program, captured the past two South Atlantic Conference football championships.

– compiled by Cliff Mehrtens and Aaron Burns