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Prep Basketball: North Rowan boys 66, West Davidson 58

Salisbury Post

TYRO — North Rowan coaches sat in amazement during the first half Friday night, when West Davidson was whistled for only two fouls.

Head coach Kelly Everhart and assistant Bill Kesler then saw a double-digit North lead dip to six points in the fourth quarter because West Davidson took and made six free throws in 17 seconds.

When it mattered most, however, the foul situation turned North’s way. The Cavaliers clinched a 66-58 victory last night thanks to 24 free-throw attempts in the final quarter.

“I was beginning to think we weren’t ever gonna shoot a free throw in this game,” Everhart said. “But thank goodness once we finally got there we did knock some down.”

The Cavs (4-11, 4-2 CCC) weren’t perfect from the line, but 16-of-24 in the final quarter was enough to hold off the Green Dragons (3-11, 0-5) and earn North its fourth straight win after starting the season with 11 losses. The victory also put North in a four-way tie for first place in the CCC.

Senior forward Daniel Griffith (15 points) went 6-for-6 from the line in the final 1:24, and teammate Joe Kesler (nine points) made all six free throws he attempted in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs haven’t shot free throws very well this season, but everything seems to be coming around in 2007. North hasn’t lost in the calendar year.

“Coach has had us working on free throws a lot in practice,” Griffith said. “We just transferred it to the game this time. Everything’s starting to come together. We’re still working hard. We’re still hungry.

“Everything’s coming together just like coach said it would.”

In the first half last night, nothing came together very well for either team.

Spencer Sheets (15 points) scored all seven of North’s points in the first quarter, and the Cavaliers led 21-17 at halftime. The third quarter brought a renewed intensity for both teams, and that carried over to the fourth, when both teams spent plenty of time at the line.

West Davidson made 12 of 13 free throws in the final quarter, with John Jarvis making six in 17 seconds during a personal 8-0 run at one point. Jarvis scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth.

“The officials started blowing the whistle a whole lot,” Everhart said. “I think that helped create a lot of intensity because the crowd began to get into it, and whenever the crowd gets into it, the players get motivated.

“It’s kind of a chain reaction. Whether you agree with the calls they made or not, the blowing of the whistle may have stirred up some of that intensity.”

North rode that intensity and its free-throw shooting to a victory. The Green Dragons saw their rally come up short.

“We did a good job at the end to get some steals and do what we had to do to stay in the game,” coach Ross Snyder said. “But you shouldn’t have to wait till the fourth quarter with two minutes left to make a run or mount your defensive pressure. You’ve gotta do that at the beginning of the game.”

north rowan (66) — Griffith 15, Sheets 15, Cherry 14, Kesler 9, Gaymon 5, Still 3, Burnett 3, L.Smith 2, Walker, Lewallen, N.Smith, Hargrave.

west davidson (58) — Jarvis 24, Wilder 10, King 8, Hudson 6, Meadley 5, Hoag 2, Steph 2, Michael 1, Salem.

N. Rowan 7 14 23 22 — 66

W. Davidson 5 12 13 28 — 58

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Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or nbowton@salisburypost.com.

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