Gallagher column: Roaming the county
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight ...
SALISBURY — In basketball circles around here, they say the second season starts as soon as the Moir Christmas Classic concludes.
It was another ultra-successful holiday tournament, which seems to get better every year. That’s because of the fans, who pack the place. That’s because of the players who get a peek at what it will be like when they get on the college stage.
So with that in mind, here’s what we know coming out of the Moir going into tonight’s full slate of action, which includes West at East, North Iredell at South, Carson at Statesville, Chatham Central at North and Salisbury at West Davidson:
Most exciting players: Davie County always travels well and the War Eagle faithful fought Rowan fans for seats in Goodman Gym to see Cody and Caleb Martin, the 6-foot-6 twins who have committed to N.C. State.
We were not disappointed. When Cody flew down the lane during the championship win over North Rowan for a tomahawk slam, every Wolfpack fan in the place — heck, everybody, really — was doing a song and dance in the stands. It was the loudest roar of the tournament.
And just think. I remember watching their dad, Tyrone, back in the early 90’s at Davie. He was one of the best natural athletes I ever saw. As good as 6-foot-2 dad was in hoops, I thought he could’ve been an ACC running back. Believe me, those kids have the good genes.
The best fan: We wrote in Monday’s Post of the Davie fan who asked Salisbury athletic director Joe Pinyan to buy him some popcorn and a drink after the fire marshal shut the doors. For the record, it was Chris Hendrix, who then went back out to his car and listened to the boys title game called by Howard Platt and Dale Snyder on WSTP.
Snyder, the golf coach at Salisbury, was on the air as an analyst for the first time. He may have found a second career.
Premier team of the county: There is only one undefeated team and that’s the West girls at 12-0. Todd McNeely has assembled all the parts.
Most Improved team: South Rowan’s boys, who left the Moir with a 7-6 record.
Bryan Withers has assembled a team that won two games in the Moir and looked good doing it. Tvadis Wesley is a man underneath. Shawn Spry is a leader and scorer. Quan Rhyne and Josh Medlin are slashers. And one of the best players you didn’t know before the Moir that you know now is Dalton Carter, who came through with some important buckets and rebounds. Withers says when he gets more physical and confident, the potential will shine through even more.
It could be tonight, when North Iredell comes to Landis and tries to keep composed as that wacky, wacky Raider Rowdie student section gives it grief.
The Say What? Award: Carson’s 6-6 Colton Laws grabbed 25 rebounds in a game, prompting someone to say, “That’s Karleigh Wike-like.”
Speaking of Wike: The 6-foot-4 East Rowan center usually gets at least 14 points and 14 rebounds and five blocks per game. And she is still sometimes overlooked because three Rowan girls — Salisbury’s Brielle Blaire, Carson’s Kelly Dulkoski and West’s Shay Steele — are averaging over 20 points.
But East is 9-4 going into tonight, where Wike and the 6-2 Steele will take turns blocking shots.
Most Disappointing Moir: To the Carson girls, who came in expecting to win the thing and went 1-2. Coach Brooke Misenheimer will get the Cougars back on track, starting tonight at Statesville.
• Trey Ledbetter was asked what his 4-8 Mustangs took from an 0-2 Moir and he said he hoped bitterness. He’s ready to start some payback for earlier losses.
• West Rowan’s boys lost two straight, even though the Falcons played pretty well with no height and a bunch of young players. The Falcons are still 2-10.
“We don’t like losing,” said West coach Mike Gurley, who will try to turn it around tonight at East.
Speaking of craziness, the Falcons always get a dose of the Mustang Maniacs’ best theatrics. That’s worth the price of admission.
Bouncing back: And how did North’s boys rebound from the loss to Davie in the finals? Oh, just a 101-point night in the Cavaliers’ next game. And with 2-7 Chatham Central coming in tonight, it should be another large margin.
North will be fine. Coach Andrew Mitchell will see to that. There’s a 1A state championship to be won.
Go to a doubleheader tonight, folks. And be nice.
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.