Prep Hoops: North Rowan 58, A.L. Brown 40
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS — North Rowan senior Shemieka Brown surpassed 1,000 career points, but she’ll have to wait for the party.
North won 58-40 at A.L. Brown’s Bullock Gym on Wednesday and faces three more away games before it finally returns home to entertain West Rowan on December 8. That’s when Brown’s feat will be recognized by the Cavaliers.
North (2-0) is competing in girls basketball for the 49th season, and the lefty is only the seventh to score 1,000 points. She reached the milestone on a technical free throw with 1:36 left in the third quarter and finished with 23 points, six rebounds and six steals.
A four-year varsity player, Brown reached double figures for the 57th time and scored in the 20s for the eighth time in her career.
“Shemieka’s quiet, but she can drive, shoot and pass,” North coach Mike White said. “She’s always done a great job for us.
“She played a little bit in the shadow of a 2,000-point scorer (North’s all-time leader Sophilia Hipps, who graduated last spring), but Shemieka getting 1,000 this early in her senior year says a lot about Sophilia and Shemieka.”
Wingate-bound senior guard Marla Powell swished eight 3-pointers and scored 27 points, but she was the only offensive option for Brown (1-2). Wonders not named Powell shot 4-for-33.
“Powell can shoot,” Brown said. “Sometimes we didn’t get out there on her, just didn’t get around the picks a few times.”
Much larger North took control in the second quarter when it held Brown to nine shots and one field goal.
“Early, they out-hustled us and we allowed them to feel like they could play with us,” White said. “But we were able to punch it inside more in the second half and our press got the lead out there where it was more comfortable.”
Leading 28-17 at the half, North blew the game open by dominating the boards 17-5 during the third quarter. The damage was done by post people. Cierra Ingram (12 points, 11 rebounds), Shavonna Casey (nine points, 13 rebounds) and Daquondra Cuthbertson (eight points, five rebounds) all were significantly bigger than any of the Wonders.
“Our big girls got more confidence and gave it their all tonight,” Brown said. “I thought they all played great.”
Leave it to the upbeat Brown to heap praise on teammates on a night when she reached a major milestone.
“Oh, Shemieka’s an unselfish girl,” White said. “She’s been a blessing and a joy to coach, and it’s only going to get better.”
NOTES: North ruled the glass 28-12 in the second half. … Powell also scored 27 on Tuesday when Brown beat Mount Pleasant to give coach Tosha Robinson her first win at the helm of the Wonders. Powell has 75 points in three games, almost all on 3-pointers. … Brown is playing without Brandie Ross (ACL), its best post player, and starter Tori Jordan (broken finger) was out last night … North finished with 20 turnovers, but eight came in the fourth quarter after the game was in hand.
North ROWAN (58) — Brown 23, Ingram 12, Casey 9, Cuthbertson 8, Parker 4, Turner 2, Parsons, Wilks, Rice, Bethea.
A.L. Brown (40) — Powell 27, McCauley 5, Lowery 3, Bennett 2, Harvey 2, Cunningham 1, Brawley.
N. Rowan 19 9 17 13 — 58
A.L. Brown 15 2 6 17 — 40
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or email@example.com.