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Prep Basketball: East Rowan boys 70, South Rowan 49

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

GRANITE QUARRY — The first half ended too quickly for South Rowan’s boys.

The Raiders were in no hurry to start the second one.

CPC frontrunner East Rowan defeated South 70-49 on Friday night, but the Mustangs (15-1, 5-0) actually trailed at halftime.

South (6-10, 1-4) led 29-26 after two quarters, and coach John Davis kept his team huddled in a nearby hallway for almost the entire break leading up to the third quarter.

“For some reason, the last several games, we’ve come out in the third quarter, and it’s been a nightmare,” Davis said. “We’ve tried going back out, jogging up and down the court, shooting layups, shooting jumpers. Today we decided to let them sit in there and just kind of talk a little bit.

“We’ve got to find something that comes out in the second half and gets us back into the flow of the ballgame. I didn’t want to see the half end because we were really playing well there in the second quarter.”

The score remained the same until East forward Kenan McKenzie (21 points, 11 rebounds) hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 6:07 left in the third quarter. He made another one 25 seconds later.

McKenzie’s back-to-back jumpers started a 16-0 run that finally came to an end when South Rowan guard James Daugherty made a 3-pointer with 2:19 remaining in the quarter.

“Sometimes at halftime you go in and you’re mad at your team,” East coach Greg McKenzie said. “Tonight wasn’t one of those nights. I wasn’t upset at all because South played smart. They played well and made their shots.”

South played man-to-man defense but sagged off pass-first point guard Spenser Davis, who finished with 11 assists. East countered with a zone in the first half.

The Mustangs went 1-for-10 on 3-pointers in the second quarter, when the Raiders erased a 16-9 deficit by shooting 8-for-14 from the field.

“That’s a hard pace to keep up the whole game,” Kenan McKenzie said. “We switched to man-to-man and got a lot more rebounds.”

The change created a more up-tempo game, and the Raiders missed all eight of their field-goal attempts during an East run that also included 3-pointers from Justin Vanderford (21 points) and Shawn Eagle (14 points).

Vanderford’s long-range jumper gave East a 40-29 lead, and he bumped chests with Eagle following the signal for a South timeout.

A basket from Davis capped the outburst, and East led by 12 points entering the fourth quarter. It established a 25-point advantage during the next five minutes.

“They weren’t getting as many wide-open shots,” Greg McKenzie said, “and we really wanted to force the tempo more because we thought the more possessions we had, the more opportunities we had to take the lead.”

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NOTES: Six different South Rowan players scored in the second quarter, and Derek Davis had 11 of his 15 points in the first half. … The play of Daugherty impressed coach John Davis. Daugherty didn’t score in South’s first 13 games, and he had a combined four points in the two games leading up to Friday’s contest. He scored five points against the Mustangs. “He’s out there running around and playing with some intensity I haven’t seen him play with before,” Davis said. … Spenser Davis hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter for East Rowan and attempted five shots in the final three quarters. … Kenan McKenzie also had five steals. … East maintained a half-game lead in the CPC over Reynolds, which beat Mount Tabor 77-73 on Friday.

SOUTH ROWAN (49) — D.Davis 15, Caldwell 8, Honeycutt 7, Daugherty 5, Charles 3, Wolford 2, Morrison 2, Shaver 2, Morgan 2, Bettis 2, Hagerty 1.

EAST ROWAN (70) — Vanderford 21, McKenzie 21, Eagle 14, S.Davis 5, Misenheimer 4, Holmes 4, Wilson 1, Wilhelm, Baker, Karl, Ponds.

South 9 20 7 13 — 49

East 16 10 22 22 — 70

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

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