Prep Hoops: South Rowan boys 79, Carson 58
By Nick Bowton
LANDIS — South Rowan coach John Davis didn’t like the effort he got out of his players in the first half Friday night, so he had them run before the second half began. As Carson’s players finished layup drills, the Raiders ran from baseline to midcourt and back — several times.
Look for that approach to become more common.
South shattered any hopes Carson had of a victory in the third quarter and defeated the Cougars 79-58. South led just 34-31 at halftime.
“We questioned ’em at halftime about basketball IQ,” Davis said. “Sometimes you look at players and say, man, they can play, and then they don’t have any smarts for the game.
“For 16 minutes, our basketball IQ was probably in the negative range.”
That didn’t matter, though, because for five minutes in the third quarter, the Raiders could do no wrong.
South (2-3) opened the quarter with a basket inside by backup big man Brett Bettis. The Raiders turned a turnover into a basket by point guard David Wolford, and Carson coach Brian Perry called a timeout with his team trailing 38-31.
That stopped South’s momentum for about a minute. Then the Raiders got another turnover on the ensuing inbounds play and scored again.
By the time Perry called another timeout, Wolford had hit back-to-back buckets for a 50-33 lead with 4:05 left in the third quarter. South started the quarter on a 20-2 run and led 62-42 going into the fourth.
Davis attributed much of the Raiders’ third-quarter success to Bettis, who gave South an inside presence it usually lacks. Bettis scored six of his eight points in the third. All eight came in the second half.
“We made a commitment to go inside more, and basketball games are won inside-out,” Davis said. “We brought Bettis in. I thought he had a heck of a game inside. He’s a kid that’s been sitting on the sideline, working hard in practice, doesn’t say a peep, and then he gets in the game and he performs well.
“When you start going inside with it and get some good looks and the kids are working hard, it picks up the intensity of the game. That’s the way basketball is played.”
It’s also played for 32 minutes, something Perry didn’t get out of his Cougars (0-3).
Perry said Carson, in its inaugural season, came out overwhelmed by the atmosphere when it played host to South in the first game in school history two weeks ago. South won that game 57-44.
The Cougars then played without much intensity in their second game, a loss to South Stanly, so Perry demanded more of his players.
The plan worked for a while last night — then unraveled.
“I think we got a little emotionally drained,” Perry said. “I thought they laid it out there in the first half. That probably drained us a little bit. I probably should have did a better job of getting some other guys in to relieve some of the legs.
“Out of the 32-minute game, five minutes in that third quarter really cost us the game.”
For the Raiders, it was what preceded those five minutes that made the difference.
“To wake us up, get our heads out of our butts, get ready to get back in the game,” Wolford, who scored 20 points, said of the purpose behind running at halftime. “At halftime Davis straightened us up a little bit. We got energy from the fans, too, the ‘Rowdies.’
“We just came out pumped up, got energy, played as a team on defense and just kept playing good from there.”
NOTES: Wesley Honeycutt led South with 21 points. Derek Davis had 14 points and nine rebounds and scored several times on putbacks. … Brandon Ferguson of Carson had 25 points. Darius Moore had nine points and eight rebounds.
SOUTH ROWAN (79) — Honeycutt 21, Wolford 20, Davis 14, Bettis 8, Morgan 6, Charles 5, Doby 3, Shaver 2, Morrison, Hagerty, Caldwell, Daughtery.
Carson (58) — Ferguson 25, Kraft 10, Moose 9, Kosinski 7, Ferrare 3, Fontenot 2, Freeze 2, Adams, Hutchinson.
S. Rowan 13 21 28 17 — 79
Carson 16 15 11 16 — 58
Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.