Prep Basketball: North boys get big games from Tate, Ellis
SPENCER — North Rowan coach Andrew Mitchell started five of his six seniors Friday on “Senior Night,” straying from his typical starting five - but the result was typical.
The Cavs crushed South Stanly, 94-47, in front of a celebratory green-and-gold clad crowd.
North scored 30 points in the first quarter, and raced out to an inevidently insurmountable 49-10 halftime advantage.
“I started those guys for senior night and they came out really hot,” Mitchell said.
“We feel like we can put any five on the court and they will execute and put points on the board.”
Senior big men Devin Tate and Kihrey Ellis both recorded double/doubles in their memorable regular season home finales.
Tate posted 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Ellis went for 10 and 10.
North Rowan has owned the Yadkin Valley Conference in recent years like Donald Trump owns New York real estate.
Something else the Cavs owned Friday was the glass. North out-rebounded the Rebel Bulls 52-19 for the game.
South Stanly saved its best for last, by scoring 22 points in the final frame, but by then, too much dirt was already thrown in the grave.
Wes Smith led the visitors with 18 points, and was the only player in double-figures for South Stanly.
“We just try and get a lead and keep working and practicing on our game in blowouts like this,” North junior forward Michael Bowman said.
“I don’t think we have been as good yet as we can be. I think this team has a chance to go all the way.”
The Cavs can officially fit that bill of a program that doesn’t rebuild, but rather reloads.
The freshmen that supported Pierre Givens, Jordan Kimber, Javon Hargrave and company are now senior leaders in Spencer.
One of those upperclassmen, Michael Connor, had been battling a knee injury, but showed he is back to stealing highlight reels with a thunderous oe-handed slam in the third quarter.
“We want to set solid examples and show the younger guys the right way to do things, because we have been there,” North guard Michael Connor said.
“I honestly think we can be as good as the state title team my freshman year. We just have to continue to listen to coach Mitchell and play unselfish basketball.”
North will be the favorite in next weekend’s YVC tournament.
The Cavs will play one game at home, then travel to East Montgomery for the semis and finals.
“We talk about championships and set goals every year that are geared toward winning them,” Mitchell said.
“Our goals for this season are still intact and we still have championships that we can win.”
SOUTH STANLY (47) — W. Smith 18, Craig 8, Johnson 8, Richardson 7, T. Smith 6, Burres, Harris, Holt, B. Granados, G. Granados.
NORTH ROWAN (94) —Tate 14, West 11, Bates 10, Bowman 10, Ellis 10, D. Nelson 10, Connor 6, Handy 6, Sanders 6, Walker 5, Archie 4, B. Nelson 2, Billingsley.S. Stanly 07 03 15 22 — 47N. Rowan 30 19 22 23 — 94