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Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls 51, Lexington 45

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

LEXINGTON — A trip to the track could help North Rowan’s girls get back on track.

The Cavaliers struggled with winless Lexington before prevailing 51-45 in a CCC opener Tuesday.

North, which shot 22 percent in the first three quarters, trailed 34-31 heading into the fourth and took the lead for good with five minutes remaining.

“The only thing we’re going to do is go back (Wednesday) and work hard, and they’re going to feel it all day,” North head coach Mike White said. “They’ve already got 2 miles of defensive slides around the track because they don’t want to move their feet, and we’ll go from there.”

White has handed out that punishment before, and the workout is no fun.

“It’s hard, and it’s something you never forget,” guard Shemieka Brown said.

Brown led North (6-1, 1-0 CCC) with 20 points, and fellow senior Sierra Ingram contributed 13 points, 13 rebounds and six steals.

The Cavaliers competed without injured post player Shavonna Casey but received a spectacular outing from Daquondra Cuthbertson, who finished with 10 points, 22 rebounds and six steals.

Cuthbertson grabbed 14 first-half rebounds and had 11 of North’s 25 offensive boards.

“She’s getting better each game, and as a team we have to get better together,” White said. “I’m proud of the way she’s coming on. She was our spark tonight.”

The Cavs needed one. Lexington grabbed three offensive rebounds on its first possession, but its first nine trips ended with a turnover. The Yellow Jackets, who won two games last season and are now directed by first-year coach Robert Vinson, still tied the game before the end of the quarter.

North led 19-16 at halftime, but Lexington (0-6, 0-1) opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run. Brown and Ingram entered the game at that point and combined for 11 points in a 12-4 run. The Yellow Jackets scored the last six points of the quarter to claim a three-point advantage.

“I’m real disappointed with the way we played,” Brown said. “We played around and didn’t give it our all.”

The trio of Brown, Ingram and Cuthbertson accounted for all of North Rowan’s points through the first three quarters, but JaQuanta Wilks scored eight in the fourth. Her basket with five minutes left broke a 35-all tie. Brown capped an 11-2 run by blocking a 3-pointer and converting a fastbreak layup at the other end.

“I think our defense picked it up,” White said. “Our rebounding was in spurts, but that defense was the most important thing.”

Lexington went 3-for-11 in the final quarter, but it entered the fourth with three more field goals than North even though the Cavs had attempted 24 more shots.

The Yellow Jackets’ relatively good field-goal percentage upset White. Consider the change in practice plans as proof.

North faces Ledford on Friday, but the first priority is completing eight laps of defensive slides.

“It’s hard — very hard,” Cuthbertson said. “But we have to push each other.”

NORTH ROWAN (51) — Brown 20, Ingram 13, Cuthbertson 10, Wilkes 8, Holshouser, Parker, Turner, Parsons, Bethea, Rice, Propst.

LEXINGTON (45) — Garrett 16, Hargrave 14, Fowler 8, Jackson 4, Roberts 3, So, Smith, Thomson.

North Rowan 6 13 12 20 — 51

Lexington 6 10 18 11 — 45

n

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

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