Feb. 21 Swannanoa Valley Sports Report

Tom Flynn
Special to Black Mountain News
The Warren Wilson College Owls fell to 11-17 on the 2018-19 season on Feb. 14, as they approach the end of the regular season.


On Valentine's Day, the Montreat Cavaliers’ men’s basketball team moved to 21-5 on the year when they defeated Columbia International (S.C.) in Columbia, 75-68. The win avenged an earlier upset loss to the Rams on January 10. The victory also moved the Cavs to 17-4 in the conference and set up last Saturday’s showdown with the Union College (Ky.) Bulldogs, who had an identical conference record.

Following a thrilling 57-56 win over the same CIU Rams last Thursday, the Montreat Cavaliers’ women’s basketball team remained barely on the bubble of the eight-team AAC postseason playoff. With a win Saturday over Union, they would draw even with the Bulldogs in overall conference record, and a series of tiebreakers would determine who would advance to the postseason, with the Allen Yellow Jackets also in the mix for the final spot. Check back next week for details.

The Warren Wilson women’s basketball team moved above .500 on February 11 with a 68-53 victory over Toccoa Falls. The Owls are now 13-12 on the season with two regular season games remaining and one Eastern Metro Athletic Conference (EMAC) tournament game scheduled against Johnson & Wales (N.C.) on Friday, February 22. The EMAC is one of four conferences within the USCAA. Senior Amber Godfrey has quickly moved in as the team’s #2 scorer behind Danasia Dumas with a 9.4 ppg average and the two hope to take the Owls into the USCAA postseason if the squad can stay above the .500 mark.

The Owls’ men’s team had one game scheduled last Saturday to round out their 2018-2019 season. They stood at 11-17 going into the contest after dropping a 115-99 decision to Johnson & Wales on February 13.  

Adjacent to the Warren Wilson gymnasium, the Owls broke the seal on a new era of tennis at the college with a pair of matches against the Lees-McRae Bobcats. The NCAA DII Bobcats men’s side scored a 7-0 victory over the Owls. Isaac Davis and Tristan Perryman took two games off the Bobcats in men’s first doubles, while Perryman later dropped an 8-3 decision at second singles to Lees-McRae.

On the women’s side, the Owls also dropped a 7-0 decision with Ella Jane Nelson taking a pair of games from the Bobcats’ Jaden Acklin at #6 singles. The match was the first women’s tennis match in the history of Warren Wilson athletics.

"I am very proud of the way each of our players competed. Striving for every ball and fighting through each point, they never gave up. Then as each match went on, every player improved throughout their match," said head coach Jim Greene in assessing the effort of the Owls.

The Montreat Cavaliers baseball team dropped a 4-3 road decision to Brevard last Thursday. The Tornados went 7-29 in 2018 but rallied late for the victory. The Cavs came into the game on a three-game winning streak after sweeping a Cincinnati Christian team that was hungry for a win after going 8-32 last year and 2-42 as recently as 2016.

Stellar pitching from workhorses Braeden Daniels and Jared Drayton helped book-end the trio of wins, with Drayton twirling a seven-inning no-hitter with eight strikeouts in the finale. The weekend also saw a welcome return to the hill of senior lefty Mason Stikeleather, who was returning from major arm surgery and last pitched for the Cavs in 2016.

Coach Beck’s Cavs faced their next non-conference test last weekend when they took on a West Virginia Tech squad that won 16 of 49 games last year and had lost five straight coming in. From there they headed to play Johnson University (Tenn.) who went 15-31 in 2018 as members of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Check back for updates from those games.

The Cavs’ softball team stood at a solid 5-5 after ten games heading into last weekend’s games against Middle Georgia State College (NCAA DII). Montreat’s early season opponent lineup was stacked, and included contests against an unbeaten Auburn-Montgomery team (11-0), an unbeaten USCB team (6-0), and four NCAA Division II opponents.