CHARLOTTE â If only the NFL would shorten its games to 45 minutes instead of 60, the Carolina Panthers might just be in playoff contention.
Instead, they're 4-9.
In what has been an all too familiar refrain this season, the Panthers blew yet another fourth quarter lead Sunday in a 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers led by 16 at halftime and by 6 entering the final quarter, but their offense bogged down, and they were outscored 24-0 in the second half at home.
It's the sixth time this season the Panthers have led or been tied in the fourth quarter only to lose.
The early season win streak continues for the Foard boys basketball team, while Bandysâ skid didnât slow.
The Tigersâ Jordan Turner hit a three-pointer with under two minutes remaining, and Foard made crucial free throws down the stretch in a 61-54 home victory.
Foard improves to 6-0, while Bandys falls to 0-6.
Brice Falgout led the Tigers with 16 points, while Turner pitched in 10 points.
Colton Medlin scored 18 points, leading the Trojans.
Bandys 51, Foard 38
Rachel Pritchard scored a game-high 14 points, lifting the Lady Blue Devils to a 62-39 victory against West Lincoln on Friday in Maiden.
Two huge quarters guided Maiden, including 21 points in the second and 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Sabrien Gaither added 12 points in the win for the Blue Devils, while Katie Foster scored nine points.
Rylee Marsh scored eight points to lead West Lincoln.
Maiden 49, West Lincoln 38
A triple-double by post player Kadesha Gibbs helped lift the Newton-Conover girls basketball team to a 83-29 victory against East Lincoln on Friday.
Gibbs scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and recorded 10 steals in the victory. Taylor Petty led the team in scoring with 26 points, while Shynese Whitener added 20 points and six steals.
St. Stephens 41, Bunker Hill 25
Morgan Bibey and Keyona Hicks each scored nine points, leading the Lady Indians basketball team to its second win of the season over the Lady Bears.
Rosette Matthews Horton, 90, of Abernethy Laurels, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, surrounded by her family. The Horton family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation in Conover.
Thomas “Tom” Harold Weikel, 84, of Hickory, died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 at the Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley. The Weikel family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Hickory.
Fourth-grader Andrew Wade says he loves school.
"My favorite things are reading, math, social studies, science," he said. "The only thing I don't like about school is the bullies."
Andrew, 10, and a handful of his classmates at South Newton Elementary School started an anti-bullying club this week, and the children call themselves the "Bully Busters." The students created posters with anti-bullying messages, such as "No Bullies Allowed," and watched videos about how to stop bullying in school.
Downtown Claremont will be wireless friendly in 2012, an Internet upgrade city officials say will benefit residents and help retain and attract business.
City officials are hoping to offer a free, wireless hot-spot in Claremontâs downtown area by late January to early February 2012.
City Manager Doug Barrick said the tech upgrade will cost the city about $3,500 and provide free wireless access to all downtown businesses.
Catawba Valley Community College will close its Lab School child development center next year, school officials announced Friday.
The closing will result in a loss of seven full-time and 11 part-time jobs.
The college launched the Lab School more than 20 years ago as a combination child care center and learning lab. In the center, CVCC students in early childhood education curriculum programs work alongside permanent staff to earn clinical experience required for their degrees.
Holiday events continue this week in Catawba County.
They include concerts, visits with Santa, a Christmas party for cancer survivors and a large distribution of holiday items to help the needy in the Greater Hickory Metro.
The week's events also include the discussion of a new photo book on Conover and surrounding areas.
For more on upcoming events throughout the week, pick up print editions of The Observer News Enterprise at newsstands throughout the county.
In addition to a history of unparalleled love songs from The Lettermen, here is another constant: Tony Butala, original and founding member.
Butala remained with the popular vocal group for its 50-plus year career. As the only founding member in the trio (Butala, Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton), Butala, 73, said as long as there is a Lettermen group, they will be singing good, quality and positive harmony music that the whole family can enjoy.
How has the trio managed to keep the sound, the genre and popularity?
âBecause I am the lead on most of the hit records,â he said candidly.