Prep Hoops: East Rowan boys 61, North Rowan 31

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2006

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

SPENCER — East Rowan’s boys basketball team didn’t exactly hit the ground running in its season-opener Tuesday night.

It did, however, hit enough shots to run North Rowan out of its own gym in a 61-31 victory.

“It’s good that we know we have things to work on,” forward Kurt Misenheimer said after contributing 14 points and five rebounds, “and we still came away in good shape. It wasn’t a perfect game but we won by 30. I guess that’s a good way to open the season.”

East made its share of mistakes, but placed three scorers in double figures and played solid defense.

“Thirty-one points is nice,” said East coach Greg McKenzie. “We forced a lot of turnovers and took them out of their game. At one point in the first half I looked up and we only had 22, but they only had 11. Everything’s not gonna go perfectly every night.”

North was paced by senior Daniel Griffith, who knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points. “It’s frustrating, but it’s a long season,” he said. “We have to get better.”

They will. North made only one field goal in the second quarter and four in the first half. East jumped to 5-0 first-minute lead and was ahead 17-8 following a pair of Shawn Eagle layups late in the opening quarter.

“I just happen to be in the right place at the right time and Spenser (Davis) was getting me the ball,” Eagle said after netting a game-high 15 points in his East debut. “But our main objective as a team is pressure, pressure and more pressure. We were getting deflections and getting turnovers and making baskets. If we can get some offensive rebounds we’ll beat teams by 50.”

North coach Kelly Everhart had complimentary words for East after the Cavs were home-schooled.

“They’re a very steady team,” he said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes.”

East used back-to-back 3-balls by Eagle and guard Justin Vanderford to build a 33-12 halftime lead, then converted three more treys — by Kenan McKenzie, Misenheimer and Vanderford — to open a 45-18 lead midway through the third quarter.

“Our guards did an awesome job of penetrating, kicking it out and finding the open guys,” Misenheimer said. “At the other end we just pressed and forced them into turnovers and gave them nothing in the paint.”

North has only practiced a few times as a full team and would have failed if this had been a chemistry test.

“We’re going to be a much better team than this,” said Everhart. “We had a terrible night shooting the ball and were careless. But we’ll just chalk this one up to opening-night jitters and put our sneakers back on tomorrow.”

So will the Mustangs, who used a 19-1 spurt to bust the game open.

“I don’t think we shot the ball the way we’re capable of shooting,” McKenzie said. “I’ll bet 61 points will be one of lowest totals all season. But we still got the win so we’re happy.”

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NOTES: North plays at A.L. Brown tonight. … Trey Holmes led East with nine rebounds while Davis had seven assists. … ER reserves Travis Wilson and Jacob Wilhelm scored five points apiece in the fourth quarter.

EAST ROWAN (61) — Eagle 15, Misenheimer 14, Vanderford 11, Holmes 5, Wilson 5, Wilhelm 5, Davis 3, McKenzie 3, Baker, Ingold, Karl, Ponds.

NORTH ROWAN (31) — Griffith11, Sheets 6, Gaymon 4, Kesler 3, Hargrave 3, Burnett 2, A.Bell 2, L.Bell, Lewallen, L.Smith, N.Smith, Still, Walker.

E. Rowan 17 16 18 10 — 61

N. Rowan 8 4 14 5 — 31

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Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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