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Prep Basketball: Reynolds boys 68, South Rowan 32

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

WINSTON-SALEM — Rarely is the second half a moot point, but South Rowan’s boys basketball team struggled so much in the first half that the final 16 minutes were completely irrelevant on Wednesday.

R.J. Reynolds led 33-9 at halftime at Bryson Gym, and South didn’t manage 33 points all night in a 68-32 CPC drubbing that was not suitable viewing for small children.

It was neither the worst offensive showing in South history nor the worst beating the Raiders have ever absorbed, but it sure seemed like records were being broken. For South coach John Davis, it was a 32-minute disaster movie without popcorn and had to seem like it lasted 32 hours.

South got down 13-1 in a hurry, trailed 19-3 after a quarter and never threatened to make things competitive.

“First possession, we ran off about 42 seconds, took a good shot — maybe got fouled — but we didn’t score,” Davis said. “The problem is that if you’re going to be a patient basketball team, you also have to play a little defense. We started giving them easy looks, wide-open 3-pointers and didn’t box out.”

Bo Caldwell hustled his way to 10 points for South (6-7, 1-1), but he and reserve Elliot Hagerty (eight points) were the only Raiders who had memorable outings.

South’s free-throwing shooting was shaky enough to defy rational explanation. The Raiders were 6-for-22 at the stripe even with two mulligans for RJR lane violations.

South’s top scorer, Wesley Honeycutt, was in blue jeans and is still out with a knee injury. South’s other key scorers, David Wolford and Derek Davis, combined for one field goal — a recipe for a long, long night.

Reynolds (7-7, 3-1) has a pretty good club and was in a nasty mood after getting its clocked cleaned in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic, where it had to take on nationally ranked teams. The Demons were a national-level bunch themselves just a few seasons ago, but they’re human now, no matter what last night’s score suggests.

“We were really down because we lost three games in three days after Christmas, and that’s tough on the kids,” Reynolds coach Bill Martin explained. “We wanted to come out with great intensity, and we had that great intensity on defense, especially early. We just came at them with our quickness and athleticism and stopped the things they wanted to do.”

RJR stopped Davis’ 3-pointers and Wolford’s penetration, and South didn’t make a field goal until Chris Charles drove for a bucket with 1:40 left in the first quarter.

South shot 3-for-23 from the field in the first half — layups by Charles, Caldwell and Brett Bettis — and didn’t make a 3-pointer until Hagerty found the range late in the third quarter.

It could have been worse. Reynolds played 14 guys in the first half, and Martin gave everyone who had a uniform major minutes.

“We knew what they were gonna do,” John Davis said. “When they missed, they were gonna go pound the boards and try to get it back. You can talk about it, but we just stood there and watched them do it. They were very aggressive, and we never made them pay for it.”

Not a pretty night, all things considered.

The good news? There’s only one way to go from here. South also may have Honeycutt back when it plays North Davidson on Friday.

south rowan (32) — Caldwell 10, Hagerty 8, Bettis 4, Doby 3, Wolford 3, Charles 2, D. Davis 2, Morrison, Shaver, Daugherty.

reynolds (68) — Kirby 10, Carpenter 10, Stevenson 9, Wicks 7, Atkinson 5, Hinton 5, W. Davis 4, Samuels 4, Silva 4, Greven 3, Martin 3, Ingram 2, Johnson 2, Hairston.

S. Rowan 3 6 11 12 — 32

Reynolds 19 14 18 17 — 68

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Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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