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Prep hoops: Davie boys 62, North Rowan 50

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

MOCKSVILLE — North Rowan’s boys basketball tradition is exceptional, but the Cavaliers are off to their first 0-5 start since the 1974-75 season.

Loss No. 5 came on Wednesday when North fell 62-50 at Davie County.

All five of North’s setbacks have been to teams with winning records, but that’s no consolation to coach Kelly Everhart, who steered the Cavaliers to a 27-1 mark in 2000-01.

“We’ve faced stiff competition,” Evehart said. “But we also don’t have everyone quite on the same page. We’re gonna give away inches to everyone we play, so we have to make up for it with hustle and playing together.”

The Davie trio of Darius Hall, Drew Absher and Eric Lowery didn’t cut the Cavaliers any slack.

The 6-foot-6 Hall, brother of former Moir tournament MVP Cliff Burns, had 19 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.

Absher had 21 points and six assists. Lowery was unbelievable in the first half when he recorded eight of his 11 assists.

“I thought we played real well at times,” Davie coach Mike Absher said. “We clicked inside and outside, and it was fun to watch.”

North’s Spencer Sheets hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points despite heavy defensive attention. Sheets stroked one 3 from the volleyball line. On another 3, he faded away after securing a loose ball.

“We’d all read about what Sheets did against West Rowan (30 points), and we contested his shots, but he still made five 3s,” Drew Absher said. “I remembered him from last year, but he wasn’t playing much. He’s really improved.”

North’s Daniel Griffith had all 14 of his points in the second half.

Davie (4-3) led 31-21 at halftime, but Davie’s lead melted in the third quarter. A bucket by Derrick Burnett and a layup and 3-pointer by Griffith made it a 34-28 ballgame.

After a Sheets steal, Griffith got an open look at a 3-pointer from the left wing. North nearly got within three points, but his shot spun in and squirted out.

“I was thinking if I could make that one, we could start rolling a little bit, and I’d just made a 3 right before that,” Griffith said. “Didn’t fall, though.”

The scare was a wake-up call for the War Eagles. They ran off six straight points to end the quarter. Absher found Hall for a layup, Zeb Cope banged a jumper and Absher finished a drive.

Davie’s lead swelled to 14 when Alex Williams scored to open the fourth quarter, and North never made another charge.

“That run was the best part of the game for us,” Mike Absher said. “I really like this team and the way we handled things when it almost got tight.”

Drew Absher, a sophomore coach’s son who plays with the poise of a college senior, summed up North’s comeback.

“We got into a funk, rushed some shots, and North was right there,” he said. “But the last part of the game we were picking it up again.”

Davie hit only one 3-pointer, but it shot 47.2 percent from the field because Lowery and Absher made great decisions. Hall’s long arms contributed greatly to North’s dismal shooting percentage.

“They had some tall trees in there, and that made it harder to finish,” Griffith said. “But what we really needed was more heart and intensity.”

Everhart agreed.

“Davie is a head-smart team, but we just didn’t play well at all,” he said. “I thought we’d turned the corner at West Rowan (a 65-64 loss), but we haven’t played with that same kind of intensity our last two games.

“We’ve got to get it together.”

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NOTES: Burns is off to a great start at Brunswick Community College. Mike Absher said Burns has been a great influence on Hall, who has some of Burns’ shot-blocking instincts. “Sometimes it’s not how many he blocks,” Absher said. “It’s how many shots does he change and how fast does he make you shoot it.” … North plays host to West Rowan Friday.

north rowan (50) — Sheets 17, Griffith 14, Gaymon 6, Hargrave 4, Walker 4, Kesler 3, Burnett 2, N. Smith, Still, L. Bell

Davie (62) — Absher 21, Hall 19, Vanhoy 6, Williams 4, Cope 4, Miller 3, Lowery 2, Redmon 2, Holcomb 1, James, Dismuke,

N. Rowan 8 13 7 22 — 50

Davie 17 14 9 22 — 62

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