Prep Basketball: Ledford boys 48, North Rowan 40
By Nick Bowton
WALLBURG — The North Rowan bench erupted in a state of shock when officials awarded Ledford’s boys a timeout early in the fourth quarter Tuesday. A Ledford player was trying to corral a loose ball on the floor but clearly did not have possession. Ledford got the timeout anyway.
That was just one play. The rest of the quarter got worse for the Cavaliers.
With first place in the CCC on the line, North lost 48-40 to end its five-game winning streak. The Cavaliers were whistled for 15 fouls in the second half, almost all of them in the fourth quarter, and Ledford shot 20 free throws in the final 5:25.
“It’s just amazing that one team can shoot that many more free throws and we’re playing a box-and-one so we have everybody back in a zone except for one person,” North coach Kelly Everhart said. “It was just simply amazing.”
Just as amazing was the fact that two teams in a three-way tie for first place looked so out of sync.
Neither North nor Ledford played its best basketball, and the Panthers (9-10, 6-2 CCC) won despite making just four field goals in the second half.
North (5-12, 5-3) led 10-7 after the first quarter, and Ledford led 19-16 at halftime. Neither team pushed the tempo very much, and the game lacked any sort of rhythm.
“We’ve gone through spells like that all year long,” Everhart said. “In most games we tend to hit a streak where we can score points pretty quickly. I kept waiting for us to hit that streak, but it seems like there was no flow to this game and we could never find that rhythm.”
That was fine with Ledford coach Scott Dalton.
“Five field goals or 50, whatever it takes to win,” Dalton said. “Pretty, ugly, it doesn’t matter. We’ll take it any way we can get it. That was a really confident team that came over here tonight.”
It was a team that left dejected.
With 6:36 remaining, North got within 26-25 when Spencer Sheets (team-high 12 points) made three free throws. After that, the Cavaliers didn’t shoot another foul shot. Twenty-two seconds later, Ledford got a break on that debatable timeout, and the Panthers spent the rest of the evening at the line.
“Every time we come here, it’s a hard-fought game, but it’s never been like this,” said North senior Daniel Griffith, who was assessed a technical foul after the game. “This is outrageous. I just feel sorry for my teammates ’cause we fought hard. I think we deserved better.”
NOTES: Ledford is now tied atop the CCC with Salisbury, while North is alone in third place. … North finished 5 of 7 from the line. Ledford was 20 of 26.
north rowan (40) — Sheets 12, Griffith 11, Cherry 10, Kesler 5, Gaymon 2, Walker, Burnett, N.Smith, Still.
Ledford (48) — Fitzgerald 15, Aldridge 14, Walser 7, Worley 6, McDowell 4, Sparrow 2, Hopkins, Dykhoff.
N. Rowan 10 6 6 18 — 40
Ledford 7 12 6 23 — 48