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Prep Hoops: East Rowan boys 63, West Stanly 46

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s Trey Holmes slipped inside for a third-quarter layup, and some Mustang fans yawned audibly.

They’d gotten used to watching 3-pointers rain down, and those are more exciting than layups.

East (2-0) started horrendously on Friday, but by the time Kenan McKenzie and Kurt Misenheimer combined for six rapid-fire

3-pointers in the third quarter, everything was falling in a

63-46 victory.

“My gosh, they can unleash it, can’t they?” asked West Stanly coach Rudi Heath, who answered his own question. “They’re just so good at what they do. They don’t just make 3-pointers, they do such a great job of setting them up.”

For a while it looked as if East might get shut out. The Mustangs missed their first eight shots and trailed the youthful Colts 7-0. Exasperated East coach Greg McKenzie called a timeout with 3:51 left in the first quarter and his team still sitting on zero.

“We were shooting a lot of 3s, and when we’re not making 3s, we’re not going to score much,” he said. “We were taking shots we want to take, but they just weren’t going in.”

Shawn Eagle broke the ice for the home team 29 seconds after the timeout, bulling to the basket for two points.

East scratched out a 9-8 lead after the quarter despite 2-for-14 shooting and a technical foul assessed against feisty guard Spenser Davis.

East led because West Stanly was struggling to get off any kind of shot against East’s traps. The Colts had nine turnovers in the first quarter while taking five shots.

“That was our youth showing — we’re still trying to find our way,” Heath said. “And it’s not like East isn’t a pretty athletic team.”

East didn’t hit its first 3-pointer until Brian Ingold accidentally banked one from straight-away for a 17-10 lead midway through the second quarter.

That opened the door. Misenheimer finished the quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers, and East led 29-14 at halftime.

“We just couldn’t get started tonight, couldn’t knock our shots down, and it was real frustrating,” Davis said. “Usually, we get going with our defense, but West Stanly was playing us really smart on offense and defense.

“It was a close game, but then Kurt caught fire, and when one of our shooters catches fire, we get it going.”

The third quarter was a Mustang highlight film, just the way they draw it up in practice. Davis, Ingold and Justin Vanderford were driving, drawing defenders and kicking the ball to McKenzie and Misenheimer in the deep corners, and each successful shot looked like instant replay.

East made six of its 11

3-pointers in the quarter. McKenzie hit four of them.

“We were just being really unselfish,” Greg McKenzie said. “We’ve just got to keep playing our game. If we do, the shots will eventually fall.”

East’s 25-point quarter ended with six points in three seconds. Eagle drove for a three-point play. Then McKenzie stole the inbounds pass and swished a turnaround 3-pointer. The horn sounded, and East students — many of them disguised as well-dressed secret service agents protecting “President” Ross Steedley — went temporarily insane.

The Colts kept fighting in the fourth quarter and outscored East reserves 19-9 despite 3-pointers by Jacob Wilhelm and Korie Karl.

Guard Tanner Furr scored 19 for the Colts (0-2). Catawba baseball signees Wil Huneycutt (10 points) and Nathan Furr (six rebounds) also contributed as West Stanly managed 15 more points than East allowed North Rowan in its opener.

“We’ve started slow offensively two straight games,” Greg McKenzie said. “But our defense and rebounding have been great, and that’s a really good thing.”

west stanly (46) — T. Furr 19, Huneycutt 10, Pickler 6, Jackson 5, N Furr 2. Moses 2, Wilson 2, Bratton, Love, Skusko.

east ROWAN (63) — Misenheimer 15, McKenzie 14, Eagle 9, Wilhelm 9, Vanderford 6, Karl 3, Ingold 3, Davis 2, Holmes 2, Baker, Wilson, Ponds.

W. Stanly 8 6 13 19 — 46

E. Rowan 9 20 25 9 — 63


Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.


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