Prep Basketball: Lexignton 58, North rowan 46

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

LEXINGTON — North Rowan’s boys dropped another game but held on to hope.

A 58-46 loss to Lexington in a CCC opener Tuesday night pushed the Cavaliers’ overall record to 0-7.

“We’re close, but we’re still searching for that first win,” North coach Kelly Everhart said. “I think once we get that win, taste what victory tastes like, I think we will get on a little roll.”

Such a run isn’t unprecedented.

Salisbury suffered two CCC losses during an 0-12 start last season, but the Hornets finished in a tie for second place in the league.

The five teams North has faced in the first seven games have a combined record of 22-12. The Cavs were tied with Lexington (3-3, 1-0) in the final minute of the third quarter and trailed 47-44 with 2:30 left.

“We’re not playing at the end the same as what kept us in the game at the beginning,” North senior Daniel Griffith said. “It’s just not playing smart down the stretch.”

Griffith scored a team-high 13 points and helped limit Lexington standout Devin McCall to four.

A turnaround jumper by Griffith pulled North within three with 2:45 remaining, but Lexington’s Micah Mabe (14 points) hit a 3-pointer on the Yellow Jackets’ next possession.

Lexington guard Justin Wall added a layup following a North turnover.

“I’m happy with the win, but I feel we can play better,” Lexington coach Rosco Turner said. “We have played better. I think we’ve got too much experience for us to lose our concentration like we did, and that’s one of the things we talked about afterward. We have to focus and play through some things when things aren’t going right.”

The offensive weapons from both teams struggled.

Lexington held North guards Spencer Sheets and Bryson Gaymon scoreless for one half, and Sheets hit three 3-pointers in the second half. Gaymon managed only three free throws.

McCall scored Lexington’s first two points but didn’t scratch again until he made an inside shot with five minutes left in the game.

“I knew that the only way I could hold him was to play with a little bit of heart and desire,” Griffith said. “That’s what defense is all about — playing with a little bit of heart.”

An undersized Griffith fronted McCall at every opportunity. McCall fought foul trouble and attempted two shots in the second half.

“I thought our defense was really good in the first half, and our post defense was really good all night long,” Everhart said. “Devin McCall is their big-time post player, and we knew we had to do a good job on him.

“Daniel just worked his tail off. Those other kids that came in and spelled him for a little bit all did a good job. If you had told me before the game that, if we held him to four points, what would our chances have been, then I would have said very good.”

NORTH ROWAN (46) — Griffith 13, Sheets 9, Cherry 9, Burnett 6, Gaymon 3, Kesler 2, A.Bell 2, L.Bell 2, Hargrave, N.Smith.

LEXINGTON (58) — Mabe 14, Leak 13, Glenn 12, Wall 8, McCall 4, Craven 3, Bates 2, Roman 2, Kelly, De.Davis.

North Rowan 9 11 14 12 — 46

Lexington 10 11 16 21 — 58

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Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or bstrelow@salisburypost.com.

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