Balance, coaching move sparked North boys
From staff reports
The prep hoops notebook …
North Rowan finally snapped its season-long losing streak Tuesday, defeating East Davidson 60-51.
During their 0-11 start — the worst in school history — the Cavaliers looked like a decent team at times. They finally won for a variety of reasons.
For one, the Cavs finally had a balanced scoring attack. Freshman Winslow Cherry scored a game-high 22 points. Spencer Sheets scored all 11 of his in the first half. Senior Daniel Griffith had eight, and Bryson Gaymon and Derrick Burnett scored seven apiece.
“We do need to spread the scoring out a little bit because we don’t have that one great big stud to lean on,” North coach Kelly Everhart said. “I just think the guys were really relaxed coming into the game. In pregame, I didn’t mention ‘win’ one time. All I said was let’s go out and put four quarters together. We started off a little slow, but we got it going and nobody pressed tonight. That was the difference.
“Nobody was trying to put more pressure on themselves than we could handle, and we just played as a team.”
Another reason for North’s breakthrough, Griffith said, was coaching.
“Coach made an adjustment in practice,” Griffith said. “He told us the post men have to touch the ball before anybody can shoot. Therefore that can get the defense moving. That was just a great call by coach.”
SINKING: North girls coach Mike White didn’t have much positive to say about his Cavaliers following a 40-24 loss to East Davidson. His assessment of the game?
“It was like we were just stuck in mud,” White said. “They were running on cement, and we were stuck in mud. They’re a great team. You can’t take anything away from ’em.”
PICK YOUR POISON: White figured the Golden Eagles might try to take away his big girls — Sierra Ingram, Shavonna Casey and Daquondra Cuthbertson — before they tried to shut down senior guard and leading scorer Shemieka Brown.
Brown finished with a team-high 11 points, seven below her average, while Ingram had just two, 10 below her average.
“I thought they would try to take away the big girls first — that’s what’s really been carrying us,” White said. “Then when they didn’t do that and they started taking away Mieka, she didn’t really attack as much as I wanted her to. But she can’t do it by herself.
“They did a good job of neutralizing our whole team.”
TOUGH MATCHUP: Ingram had to play against East Davidson star Anna Freeman much of the night.
So what did Ingram think of Freeman, who had 10 points, 11 rebounds, eight blocks and six steals?
“Well,” she said, “I have a busted lip, so …”
East Rowan’s Kurt Misenheimer and North Davidson’s Howard Hurt have been friends forever and started constructing a treehouse as third graders.
There’s talk of finishing up the delayed project before the seniors graduate.
“The first thing we’ve got to do is get healthy,” Misenheimer said. “Howard’s back is hurting him, and I’ve been sick.”
Hurt took a fall in the Lexington State Bank Christmas Classic and re-aggravated his back in a collision with Spenser Davis late in a 55-52 loss to East.
Misenheimer was ailing throughout the Christmas tournament, but he hit big 3-pointers in East’s recent wins over North Davidson and Salisbury.
TOP TEN: Junior guard Justin Vanderford has scored 843 points in his career and is now one of the Mustangs’ all-time top 10 scorers.
Vanderford surpassed William Ross (818) and David Trexler (827) in Tuesday’s victory over North Davidson to take over 10th place.
Vanderford needs 13 more points to pass former teammate Eric Taylor for ninth.
OUCH: Black T-shirts with “Feel the Hurt and Payne” on the back are popular items inside North Davidson’s Pete Jones Gymnasium, and dozens of them greeted East Rowan’s teams on Tuesday.
North Davidson’s varsity coaches are Fredrick Hurt and Kim Payne.
WE’LL TAKE IT: East’s boys didn’t play their ‘A’ game at North Davidson, but they were glad to escape with a narrow win.
They lost to the Black Knights 53-51 in Welcome last season.
COMPENSATING: East’s Kenan McKenzie didn’t shoot well at North Davidson, but good players find a way to help their teams even when shots aren’t falling.
McKenzie had seven rebounds and five assists.
South boys coach John Davis offered a one-word description of Wednesday’s 68-32 CPC loss at R.J. Reynolds.
“Horrendous,” he said.
South has lost 21 of its last 22 outings against the Demons, so it has struggled before against RJR, especially in Winston-Salem.
Davis wasn’t pleased with most aspects of the cold-shooting Raiders’ play, but he did like the efforts of Bo Caldwell and Elliot Hagerty, who combined for 18 points.
“Elliot’s been trying to get more playing time, and he went out there tonight and earned some,” Davis said.
TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: North Davidson’s boys will attempt to dig out of a big hole tonight when they travel to South Rowan.
Despite winning the Lexington State Bank Christmas Classic and carving out a fine 11-4 overall record, the Black Knights are in trouble at 1-3 in the CPC.
“That’s just a humongous hole to be in this early in the season,” Fredrick Hurt said. “Now every game we play has playoff implications.”
TRIPLE TOWERS: South’s girls got double-double performances from Katherine Van Wieren, Katie Wise and Taylor May to win at Reynolds.
The tall trio combined for 49 of South’s 52 points and combined for 32 rebounds.
BROWN’S IN TOWN: South has won six games, one fewer than all last season, but it would have a difficult time beating anyone without guard Kristen Brown.
Brown rarely scores, but she does most of the ball-handling and is South’s quickest player.
The senior was cut in tryouts prior to last season, but she put that disappointment behind her and came back out to play with volleyball teammates Van Wieren, Wise, May, Kim Wilson and Krista Haywood.
“I’m glad I did come back because it’s been fun and I would have really missed playing with all those girls,” said Brown, who has made all-county teams in volleyball and softball.
On the last day of the RoMedical Care Sam Moir Christmas Classic, the Absher family had gifts to exchange with friends, so coach Mike Absher and son Drew Absher left the tournament following Davie’s loss to West Rowan in the third-place game.
“But I told Drew later there was at least a chance he’d make the all-tournament team if he wanted to go back to Catawba and hang around,” Mike said.
The Abshers arrived at halftime of the East-Salisbury title game.
“We still got to see one heck of a ballgame,” Mike said. “Then it was great that Drew made all-tournament, and it was a lot more special that he was there in person.”
Drew, a sophomore guard, shot 12-for-26 on 3-pointers during the event and scored 59 points as Davie beat South and lost to East and West.
“That’s something he couldn’t have done last year — play very well three days in a row,” Mike said. “But he’s gotten stronger.”
Senior guard Marla Powell is approaching 1,000 career points.
Post records credit her with 941 points entering Friday’s game against Concord.