Prep Basketball: North Rowan boys 46, Central Davidson 45
By Steve Huffman
LEXINGTON — North Rowan was 1-for-9 in the free-throw department when Bryson Gaymon stepped to the line against Central Davidson on Friday night.
There were 14 seconds left, and Gaymon was facing a one-and-one with North nursing a 44-43 lead.
Gaymon never hesitated, nailing both free throws, the deciding points in a 46-45 Cavalier victory.
“I knew it was something like that,” Gaymon said of the Cavaliers’ dismal performance at the free-throw line prior to his arrival.
Did that make him nervous?
“It didn’t really bother me,” Gaymon said. “I’ve been in that situation before.”
North (2-11, 2-2 CCC) won its second game of the week after opening with 11 losses.
“Anytime you travel to Davidson County and win, you thank your lucky stars,” North coach Kelly Everhart said.
“That’s especially true this year.”
The Cavaliers trailed 32-30 entering the fourth quarter and took their first lead of the second half when Dequon Hargrave rattled home a 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining for a 38-36 lead.
The teams exchanged baskets down the stretch, neither taking more than a three-point lead in the closing minutes.
The score was 41-41 with 1:30 to play when Spencer Sheets fed Daniel Griffith down low for a basket. Griffith, who led the Cavaliers with 16 points, was fouled and converted the free throw to give North a
North forced a pair of turnovers, but Griffith twice missed the front end of a one-and-one with less than a minute to play. Meanwhile, Central’s Ben Renas nailed a pair of free throws to pull the Spartans (7-6, 0-3) within 44-43.
That’s when Gaymon knocked down his game-winners.
Central inbounded and hustled to the frontcourt. But a try for a 3-point basket was off the mark. Renas rebounded and scored at the buzzer, but his field goal still left the Spartans a point short.
“We just couldn’t shoot the ball,” Central coach Brian Hege said. “And we didn’t play defense well in some situations. Those things will beat you in a one-point game.”
Everhart said the irony of the Cavaliers’ poor showing at the free-throw line was that he stressed the importance of those shots just prior to tipoff.
“Sometimes, it’s like there’s a lid on the rim,” Everhart said.
He said he didn’t say anything to Gaymon when he stepped to the foul line at game’s end. Everhart said that when Griffith went to the line moments earlier for his second try at a one-and-one, he told him he had a chance to redeem himself.
“I figured I’d said too much already,” Everhart said.
north rowan (46) — Griffith 16, Sheets 9, Cherry 6, Gaymon 4, Walker 3, Kesler 3, Hargrave 3, Bennett 2, N.Smith, Still, L.Smith.
Central davidson (45) — Renas 18, Parsons 9, Kepley 6, Lanham 4, Tysinger 4, Rivas 4, Frank, Frazier, Davis.
N. Rowan 14 10 6 16 — 46
C. Davidson 14 13 5 13 — 45
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.