Cox Mill too much for South
LANDIS — When your team’s on a losing streak and your two most experienced post players are not available, the last opponent you want to see is South Piedmont Conference leader Cox Mill.
Yet that was the dilemma that faced the South Rowan Raiders Friday night and the outcome was predictable. The Chargers (4-0, 7-1) used their size and quickness to dominate the Raiders, 73-45. It was the third loss of the week and fourth in a row for South as they fell to 2-4, 0-3 in the SPC.
“The people we rely on are not playing up to their potential,” Raider Coach Bryan Withers noted. “Plus more than anything we are just not defending on every possession like we should be.”
For the second game in a row, South was hampered by the absence of post players Lavon Hill (injury) and T’Vadis Graham-Wesley (suspension). Both are expected back next week but in the meantime the Raiders are having to adjust.
“We are definitely overcompensating right now because we have no experience in the middle,” Withers said.
Despite the lopsided finish, the South team came out red hot with four quick three’s to surge ahead 12-7. Two by Shawn Spry, and one each by Tyler Rary and Christian Holbrook led the start then Quan Ryan hit a couple of more buckets to make it 16-16 after one.
But the tables were turning as the Chargers used their pressure defense, the inside presence of 6-4 Chandler Probert and the long range shooting of Matt Morgan to take control.
Both teams hit five three’s in the first half but Cox Mill used their fast break and offensive rebounds to lead 36-23 at the break.
South managed just seven points in the second quarter and when they added just seven more in the third it was too much to overcome. A four-point play by Morgan and a three by TJ Jones put the Chargers up 47-27 midway in the third quarter.
The margin stayed wide but some physical play and hard fouls led to a little dramatic tension late in the third period.
“It did get a little chippy but South Rowan plays really hard,” Cox Mill coach Jody Barbee said. “I thought we did a really good job in the second and third quarters to do what we needed to do to take the lead. We worked hard and stayed under control.”
South put three in double figures led by Spry with 14, Holbrook, 12 and Rhyne, 10. Despite just two points, big man Eric Finger had a strong game inside with eight rebounds, three steals and numerous deflections. “He was physical and did the job tonight,” Withers said.
Morgan topped the Chargers with 22 including five treys while Probert had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Gianni Smith added nine.
COX MILL (73) — Morgan 22, Probert 13, Smith 9, Jones 7, D. Johnson 6, Rhodes 5, Earl 4, M. Johnson 3, Sherrill 2, Baptiste 2, Matson.
S. ROWAN (45) — Spry 14, Holbrook 12, Rhyne 10, Goildston 3, Finger 2, Wilder 2, Rary 2, Stewart, Littlejohn, Childers.
Cox Mill 16 22 19 16 — 73
South Rowan 16 7 7 15 — 45