South boys 85, Mooresville 65
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006
By Mike London
LANDIS — Wesley Honeycutt can rain 3-pointers when he’s on, and everyone in the South Rowan gym needed an umbrella on Monday night.
The Raiders swamped Mooresville 85-65, avenging a nine-point road loss to the Blue Devils on Friday.
Point guard David Wolford had 12 assists, and most set up Honeycutt at the 3-point line. Honeycutt hit seven 3s and added enough acrobatic 2s in the lane to score 32 points.
“I knew if I could penetrate and get them to come to me, Wes would hit the shots,” Wolford said. “Get it to him — that’s my job.”
South coach John Davis checked with his assistants on Honeycutt’s production early in the fourth quarter after he drilled an extra-long 3 to give the Raiders an 81-53 lead.
The single-game scoring record at South is 40 points, a figure Davis has memorized because he coached co-record holders Doug Daugherty (vs. Davie in 2000-01) and Damien Argrett (vs. Northwest Cabarrus in 1999-2000).
“Wesley was having a night where he was making about everything,” Davis said. “He had a chance for one of those special nights, and you don’t want to take a kid out if he has 36 or 38. We knew he had 32, and we gave him a few more shots, but they didn’t drop.”
Honeycutt’s last two 3-point tries rimmed out, and he accepted pats on the head from coaches and teammates when he exited for good with 3:33 remaining. The senior didn’t score on opening night, but he’s averaged 20-plus points since then, including a 33-point outburst against Salisbury.
South (3-4) all but decided things in the first quarter when it shot 9-for-16 from the field, committed only two turnovers and grabbed a 24-7 lead.
The Blue Devils played with one hand tied behind their backs in the first quarter. Neither of the team’s studs — Rod Leach (23 points) and Lamario Johnson (12) — budged from the pine.
“They missed the bus, and that was key,” Mooresville coach Michael Micklow explained. “We were not ready to play when we got here, and South saw those two kids weren’t in there and got a lot of confidence. They jumped on us quick, and we stayed in that hole the whole game.
“Still, young players have to be accountable. If it takes losing a game to make that point, then it takes losing.”
South hit 11 3-pointers — Josh Doby buried three off the bench — and would have beaten a lot of teams. Derek Davis moved inside and gave the Raiders a slick-passing post presence. Wolford and Honeycutt were fantastic. Michael Morgan and Bo Caldwell brought all kinds of defensive energy to the table.
A surprise starter, Caldwell was a big factor for the first time. He scored 12 points despite missing seven free throws and had four of his six steals in the third quarter when the Raiders blew it wide open.
“I was surprised to start, but I let the game come to me,” said Caldwell, whose performance had South’s student section going berserk. “This game was easier for me than the others because it was so up-tempo.”
South led 49-33 at halftime, had 72 points after three quarters and led by as many as 31.
“We felt like we left one on the floor at Mooresville,” John Davis said. “So we really wanted to play well this time.”
The Raiders did.
“They’re a team you can’t give the open 3s to,” Micklow said. “A free look is a layup for them.”
NOTES: Mooresville received two phantom points from the scorebook. The Blue Devils were credited with nine points in the first quarter but managed only seven.
MOORESVILLE (65) — Leach 23, Johnson 12, Maynard 8, Patterson 6, Clark 4, Smith 4, Henley 3, Sutton 2, Mercer 1, Millsapps, Mayes, Black, team 2.
SOUTH ROWAN (85) — Honeycutt 32, Caldwell 12, Wolford 9, Doby 9, Davis 8, Morgan 8, Charles 5, Bettis 2, Shaver, Morrison, Daugherty.
Mooresville 9 24 14 18 — 65
So. Rowan 24 25 23 13 — 85