Prep Basketball: South Rowan boys 58, North Rowan 56
By Bret Strelow
SPENCER — Derek Davis again redeemed himself after a rough night at North Rowan.
His relief coincided with more misery for the Cavaliers.
Davis made two free throws with six seconds left to lift South Rowan to a 58-56 victory against North, which fell to 0-9 overall.
Davis was 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-1 from the line before his heroics. A simple thought entered his mind as he stepped to the stripe for the front end of a one-and-one.
“Knock it down; it’s just a free throw,” he said.
Davis scored only four points in a trip to Spencer last season, but he made a layup with two seconds left to give the Raiders a 61-59 win.
“It seemed like the same story as last year,” said coach John Davis, who is Derek’s father. “Last year he struggled from the field and hit a layup to win it for us. This year he hits two free throws. I’ll take it.”
North guard Spencer Sheets dribbled the length of the floor after the final free throws Monday but was unable to get off a clean shot over the outstretched arms of Wesley Honeycutt at the top of the key.
The Cavaliers, who fell behind 15-2 and trailed by 16 early in the second quarter, tied the game at 56-all when Daniel Griffith rebounded his own missed 3-pointer and scored on a putback with 1:59 left. South (5-4) committed a turnover 29 seconds later, and the Cavs passed the ball around the perimeter before calling timeout with 20 seconds remaining.
North point guard Bryson Gaymon penetrated from the right wing toward the free-throw line with 10 seconds left but lost control of the ball as two South defenders converged. Derek Davis came up with the steal and drew a foul three seconds later.
“I feel like we’re snake-bit,” North coach Kelly Everhart said. “We keep doing it to ourselves. As far as we dug the hole to start the game and then to battle and get back in the game and have the ball there with the timeout, I would have thought our chances were very good.”
The inside play of Griffith (13 points, 11 rebounds) and freshman Winslow Cherry (16 points, nine boards) led North, which also received five points and three rebounds from reserve forward Dequon Hargrave in the third quarter.
Honeycutt scored 20 of his 29 points in the first half and barely missed out on his third 30-point outing of the season. Bo Caldwell contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.
South jumped ahead 26-10 thanks to 12 steals during the first 10 minutes. North had only attempted 16 shots at that point, and it trailed 38-24 at halftime and 50-42 after three quarters.
“We got out in transition, spotted ourselves up and knocked down some shots early,” John Davis said. “We have a bad tendency of getting out early on people and then kind of letting them claw back in it. It’s the same chapters, and I keep reading the same book over and over.
“I’m kind of tired of reading them, but I’ll take a win over a sad ending any time.”
A 3-pointer from Griffith and runner from Gaymon pulled North within 50-47 early in the fourth quarter, and Cherry’s three-point play with 4:54 remaining tied the game for the first time.
South led 56-52 before Gaymon and Cherry made one free throw apiece, and Griffith’s putback tied the game for the second time.
“I thought Winslow and Daniel did a great job on the boards, and I thought Dequon came in and gave us a spark,” Everhart said. “We were able to claw back into it, but just a little too late evidently.”
SOUTH ROWAN (58) — Honeycutt 29, Caldwell 11, Morgan 7, Wolford 7, Davis 2, Bettis 2, Daugherty, Charles, Morrison, Hagerty, Doby.
NORTH ROWAN (56) — Cherry 16, Griffith 13, Gaymon 7, Sheets 5, Hargrave 5, Walker 4, Burnett 3, Kesler 2, L.Smith 1, N.Smith, A.Bell, Still.
South 20 18 12 8 — 58
North 8 16 18 14 — 56
Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.