Tag Archives: South Atlantic Conference

Women’s basketball GA Grisillo earns promotion to assistant coach

By Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

What do you do when the thing you love the most is suddenly out of your reach? Do you give up? Or do you find another way to channel that love in a different way?

Most athletes who tear their ACL probably wouldn’t go the route that Katelyn Grisillo, Wingate’s new women’s assistant basketball coach, decided to go.


Grisillo, a graduate assistant coach here for the past two years, recently earned a promotion to the full-time staff after assistant coach Celeste Stewart left to take a new job at East Carolina University.

As she comes in to tell me about the career she had before coming to Wingate, Grisillo beams with level-headed energy with a positive, headstrong attitude pressing on the front of her words. She apologizes for being late, as she’s been out all day preparing for the camp her team is about to endure, and apparently, I’m lucky I caught her before it started.

Grisillo quickly goes through a decade and a half worth of athletic history with me; starting to play when she was a young in Charleston, S.C., her transfer to USC-Aiken, and her eventual ACL tear during her junior year that changed things for her.

“You know, two years on the bench…it kind of gave me a different perspective. I wanted to know the ins and outs of what we were doing. And honestly what brings me back is the relationships…those coaches and the relationships, they formed with me, they still valued me as a person,” Grisillo says, speaking passionately of her experiences that led her to pursue coaching as a potential career path.

In addition to loving the game of basketball, Grisillo loves to play racquetball, has a dog named Jessie (a retriever/husky mix), and clearly has a strong connection with her players, as one walks in to get a room key from her while she continues to explain her love for the game.

Grisillo was a graduate assistant coach and a student in Wingate’s Master’s in Sports Management program before getting hired. She’s worked with the team and Coach Ann Hancock as they won two South Atlantic Conference championships.

“We’ve done pretty well…we would all like to see us get a step further. We made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row…we need to get across that hump and get that Elite Eight appearance. That would be a nice place to get to,” she says. 

The topic of winning and getting further as a team brings a new side out of her as she speaks, looking annoyed by having to even mention that a school like Carson-Newman made it further than they did in the NCAA tournament.

“They made it this year and they’re out of our conference. It would be nice if we could be the one to make it out of the SAC.”

But, she reiterates that winning isn’t just about games.

“I think that enhancing our winning culture that we want to create is important. Not just winning games, not just having a fantastic record, but, doing things that winners do…going the extra mile on the court, in the classroom, as people. Coach Hancock teaches a lot of life lessons. [She says]‘Be a giver, not a taker.’”

From turning an injury into a new perspective, and then into a new career, Grisillo has come a long way from playing as a kid in Charleston, and she plans to continue driving those messages of perseverance into her team.

“Whatever we can do to instill those principles in the girls, that matters more than making it past the second round,” Grisillo finishes, before speaking more on the chemistry she and Coach Hancock have and the enjoyment she gets working with her.

Grisillo leaves quickly, seemingly preparing for the camp she’s about to go through with her girls. It’s clear her energy is welcome on the court, and her love for the game is still thriving through the “winning culture” she and Hancock are making sure the team is prescribed to.

Surging Bulldogs host men’s lacrosse SAC semifinal vs. LMU this afternoon

Ryan Mackintosh, Staff Writer 

The Wingate Bulldogs men’s lacrosse team is hoping to take advantage of some home field advantage throughout the South Atlantic Conference tournament here at Graham Gill Field this weekend.

The Bulldogs, 9-5 overall and 7-1 in the SAC,  are hosting the Final Four of the  Tournament this weekend. Wingate had a bye round in the quarterfinals by earning the No. 2 seed in the conference.

The team has caught fire at the right moment, winning five straight heading into the tournament, the most recent win coming in a close battle on Saturday, a 10-9 home victory over Queens, which is the tournament’s top seed.

Wingate plays No. 3 seed Lincoln Memorial University (14-3)  today at 1:30 p.m., a rematch which had the Bulldogs winning 11-10 on March 31.

“Everybody is ready and excited to play LMU again and I think we have a pretty good chance of going to the championship,” said senior Marc James.

Junior Christian Hall added, “We just don’t want the year to end.”

The Wingate-LMU winner will play the winner of the semifinal game between Queens and  No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne for the championship on Sunday.

WU overtakes Catawba in overtime to win SAC quarterfinal thriller


Brandon Bowles, Staff Writer 

It is safe to say that Wednesday’s South Atlantic Conference men’s basketball tournament quarterfinals matchup between the third-seeded Bulldogs of Wingate University and the sixth-seeded Indians of Catawba College was not for the faint of heart.

The Bulldogs were able to come away with a hard-fought victory over the Indians in a 91-85 overtime thriller. This win brought the Bulldogs record to 20-9 overall (16-6 SAC). With this win the Bulldogs will face the second-seeded Royals of Queens University in the tournament semifinal matchup at 8 p.m. Saturday in Greenville, S.C.

With the loss Catawba finishes their season at 18-11 overall (12-10 SAC).

Wingate had four key contributors in Wednesday’s game. Josh Dominguez led the team with 22 points going 4-of-12 from the field (3-of-8 from three point range) and shot a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. Isiah Cureton scored 21 and was a big asset on the defensive side of the ball collecting eight rebounds along with two blocked shots. Keith Griffin scored 15 points and was a key factor around the rim blocking six shots. Anthanee Doyle scored 17 points and was deadly from behind the three point line going 4-of-6

Catawba’s Jameel Taylor led the Indians with 23 points going 8-of-19 from the field, including  6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Both teams began the game trading baskets with one another. Cureton would hit a three-point basket giving the Bulldogs a 16-13 lead at the 13-minute mark. Catawba would then push out to a 13 point lead with the aid of a 15-4 run in the late stages of the first half. Wingate would answer back with a few baskets of their own. By the end of the first half the Bulldogs trailed 41-30.

Knowing that their season was on the line the team went into the locker room and made some much needed adjustments. “There is no 11 point shot out there we just need to take one play at a time,”  said Wingate head coach Brian Good.      

Dominguez was able to cut the deficit to eight early in the second half. Catawba would maintain a comfortable digit lead for the first four minutes of the second half. Then the Bulldogs made numerous attempts to cut into the lead led by Dominguez, Griffin, Cureton and Doyle. Cureton would cut the deficit to three with a layup making the score 55-52 at the 9:50 mark.

Shortly after Catawba would gain a nine-point advantage with six minutes to go in the game. With a minute to go in the game Cureton was able to secure an offensive rebound off a missed free throw from Griffin kicking it out to Doyle for a three point basket that tied the game at 73 at the end of regulation.

“The team’s mindset changed going into overtime. It gave us that extra breath of life.” Cureton said after the game.

Key free-throws were made down the stretch by Dominguez and Cureton to assure a victory for the Bulldogs. With the help of Dominguez, Cureton, Griffin and Doyle the Bulldogs were able to make one final run to defeat the Indians and move on in the SAC tournament to face Queens.

“I knew our guys needed a blow, but I felt like we could not afford not having our best players on the floor.” Said coach Good after the game.

Look for Saturday’s game with Queens to be  very competitive, as the Royals look to avenge the two losses handed to them by the Bulldogs in the regular season. It’s the second straight year the two teams have met in the tournament semifinals, with the Bulldogs winning in Greenville last season.



Bulldogs top L-R to open SAC women’s basketball tournament


Maggie Smith, Staff Writer 

The Wingate Bulldogs beat the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears 56-46 at Cuddy Arena on Wednesday night to advance to the South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball semifinals.

Wingate has a 23-5 overall record, while Lenoir Rhyne ended their season with a 17-12 overall record.

Junior center Marta Miscenko had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Caroline Averette followed close behind,  adding 15 points for the Bulldogs. Senior guard Shelby Tricoli also contributed six points, and senior guard Amber Neely added added five points with a game-high of five assists as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s sophomore forward Madi Suddreth had 18 points, and senior forward Alecia Bell contributed 12 points.

A key player for the Bulldogs, Danasia Witherspoon,  was out with a knee injury.

The Bulldogs led the Bears 24-20 at the half. They were able to maintain a slight lead the whole game. L-R got as close as three points in the fourth quarter.

No. 3 seed Wingate will travel to Greenville, S.C. on Saturday to compete in the SAC Semifinals at 2 p.m. against seventh seed Catawba at Furman University. The Bulldogs are seeking a second consecutive SAC tournament championship.