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Prep Basketball: South Rowan boys 79, West Forsyth 51

By Mike London

Salisbury Post

LANDIS — South Rowan’s boys ended their

39-game losing streak to West Forsyth on Friday in a game that was blissfully boring for Raiders coach John Davis.

No crazy calls, no blown leads, no bad breaks, no controversy. Just a routine 79-51 CPC victory over a school that has absolutely owned South. Many of Davis’ players hadn’t been born when South last beat the Titans in 1989.

South’s raucous student cheering section didn’t cut down nets or throw a parade, but it gleefully serenaded the Titans with a “drive home safely” chant with 97 seconds left on the clock.

The students would have gotten crazy long before that, but they feared being premature. The Titans have a way of pulling off miracles against South. Last season, West Forsyth erased a 21-point deficit in Landis.

“It had been forever,” said Davis, who won for the first time in 16 coaching matchups with West Forsyth’s David Laton. “The point of emphasis tonight was rebounding. They had a tap-drill in the game up there.”

West’s Kyle Boardman and Allan Jones may have set school records for offensive boards on South’s visit to Clemmons, but led by Derek Davis, South (8-13, 3-7) held its own on the glass in the rematch.

South senior Wesley Honeycutt also showed what he can do when he’s completely healthy. He showered six 3-pointers on the Titans (8-15, 3-8) and scored 30 points.

“The game up there, I fouled out early, but we wanted this to be a turnaround game,” Honeycutt said. “We’ve worked hard, and we’re just a better team now than the first time we played them. Everyone did something tonight.”

West Forsyth jumped to a 15-5 lead, but consecutive 3s by David Wolford, Davis and Chris Charles gave South a 22-19 lead after a quarter.

Then the Raiders dominated the second quarter with aggressive man-to-man defense. West Forsyth made only two field goals in the quarter, turned it over seven times and fell into a 43-28 hole at halftime.

“We started out in a zone, and they were making 3-pointers from all over, Coach Davis said. “Then we went man-to-man and did a pretty nice job.”

South also did a nice job on the offensive end. The Raiders shot 48.5 percent from the field and hit 10 first-half 3s. That deadly outside shooting and a growing deficit forced West Forsyth out of the zone Laton wanted to play and forced the Titans to match up man-to-man.

“When you hit all those early 3s like South did, it doesn’t win the game for you, but it definitely puts you in a position to win,” Laton said.

South made certain this one wouldn’t slip away by scoring the first eight points of the second half. Wolford scored five in a hurry, then located Honeycutt, who drilled a 3-pointer. Suddenly, South led by 23.

“We weren’t settling for the first look; we were making the extra pass and getting a better look,” John Davis said. “We got the lead and then we wanted the clock to move. It seemed like the quarters were 12 minutes long.”

Wolford missed some free throws, but West didn’t have anyone who could guard him man-to-man. He controlled the second half with his ballhandling and finished with 14 points.

“John Davis’ guys always play hard, and tonight they played hard, played smart and made really good decisions,” Laton said.

West Forsyth lost a deflating and draining overtime affair to East Rowan on Tuesday, but Laton said that setback had no impact on his team’s disappointing showing against South.

“That’s the kind of excuse we’ll never use,” he said. “South Rowan just flat outplayed us tonight, and they deserve all the credit in the world.”

West forsyth (51) — Boardman 13, P. Kostelic 9, Johnson 7, Long 7, Jones 5, Barnes 3, S. Kostelic 2, D. Morgan 2, Bodenheimer 2, Cognatti 1, McGinley.

south rowan (79) –Honeycutt 30, Wolford 14, Davis 8, Bettis 6, Charles 5, Caldwell 4, Hagerty 4, Daugherty 3, M. Morgan 2, Morrison 2, Walker 1, Shaver.

W. Forsyth 19 9 6 17 — 51

S. Rowan 22 21 16 20 — 79

*

Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or mlondon@salisburypost.com.

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