Prep Basketball: East Davidson girls 50, North Rowan 44

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 26, 2007

By Nick Bowton

Salisbury Post

THOMASVILLE — This is more like it.

Sure, North Rowan lost 50-44 at No. 3 East Davidson on Friday, but the Cavaliers played with heart and showed improvement. Just three days earlier in a loss at Ledford, North coach Mike White had complained that his Cavs were getting stagnant as other teams got better.

“The way we fought back and got the lead late, we didn’t come up here for a moral victory, but we’re going in the right direction,” White said. “We’re getting better. I’m excited because I see what we can do when we got out there and play.”

Now, White just wants the Cavaliers to go out there and play four quarters.

As was the case three weeks ago in a 40-24 loss to the Golden Eagles (20-1, 8-1 CCC), North (12-6, 5-4) fell in a big hole early Friday. The Cavs trailed 16-2 after the first quarter in the first meeting. They trailed 15-4 last night.

This time, however, North steadily improved until it finally took the lead with 3:57 remaining.

“We did grow up,” said sophomore Quon Cuthbertson, who scored six points and led the Cavs with 11 rebounds. “We had faith in the second quarter, which we should have had in the first quarter.

“We wanted it this time. We didn’t play scared.”

Not after the first eight minutes, at least.

White said the Cavs expected to see a zone in the first quarter but instead saw man-to-man and didn’t have any movement in their offense. They played slightly better in the second quarter and trailed

27-17 at halftime.

In the third quarter, senior Shemieka Brown scored seven of her team-high 17 points as North closed to within 37-30.

Sparked by the return of Deanna Sommerville, who just moved back from Nevada, the Cavaliers climbed all the way back midway through the final quarter. After Brown finished a three-point play, Sommerville made a layup, forced a turnover and made another basket to get the Cavs within 37-38.

A baseline jumper by Brown gave North a 40-39 lead with 3:57 left, and a Cuthbertson rebound led to a Cree Turner jumper at the other end to make it 42-39 less than a minute later.

North had all the momentum, but East Davidson still had all-everything post player Anna Freeman.

A sophomore, Freeman made the only 3-pointer she took with 3:04 remaining. After a North turnover, Freeman converted a three-point play to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good, 45-42.

“We may look back at the end of the season and realize how big that 3 was,” East Davidson coach Terry Allmon. “She can do that. She can step out, she can play outside, she can play inside.”

She did both in scoring 22 points, but North still felt OK after the loss.

“I told ’em, ‘Just think, if we don’t score but four points in the first quarter, we win,’ ” White said. “It’s about heart and determination.”

north rowan (44) — Brown 17, Sommerville 10, Cuthbertson 6, Parker 6, Turner 4, Casey 1, INgram, Wilks, Rice, Parsons.

east davidson (50) — Freeman 22, Dellapenta 8, Merritt 6, Holt 6, Hicks 4, Luck 3, Cutshaw 1, Byerly.

N. Rowan 4 13 13 14 — 44

E. Davidson 15 12 10 13 — 50