Sommerville giving Cavs a spark

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

Staff report

SPENCER — North Rowan hit the jackpot with senior Deanna Sommerville, who has returned to the area following a 17-month stay in Las Vegas.

Sommerville, a track standout expected to contribute to North’s girls basketball team before she left for Nevada last year, has moved back to Rowan County. She met with North coach Mike White early last week and scored 10 points a few days later in a narrow loss to second-ranked 2A power East Davidson.

Sommerville started against Central Davidson on Tuesday, when she scored 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting and collected nine rebounds in a 70-21 victory.

“She had to adjust, but it wasn’t really a big adjustment because she played with us the summer before last,” White said. “She’s enjoying it and was looking forward to playing with us. It energized the team when she came back.”

Sommerville, who started her high-school career at Salisbury, scored 31 points for the Hornets during the 2004-05 season.

She surpassed that output in the championship game of this season’s Vegas Invitational, scoring 34 points for Eldorado High School in its victory. She was named MVP of that Christmas tournament.

Sommerville averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds last season for the Class 4A Sundevils, coached by Dorothy Kendrick, and averaged 20.3 points and 12.8 rebounds through 21 games this season.

Eldorado fell to 17-8 with a loss Tuesday, but Sommerville helped North improve to 13-6. The Cavs were impressive even in their loss to East Davidson.

“We had some fire tonight,” North post player Quon Cuthbertson said after that game. “Deanna. She was our fire.”

Sommerville accounted for North’s first two field goals against Central Davidson and converted consistently from the right block.

The Cavs still have talented guard Shemieka Brown in their backcourt, but South Carolina State freshman Sophilia Hipps didn’t get an opportunity to play with Sommerville.

“I was looking forward to her playing with Philia and Mieka at the same time, but circumstances took her out there,” White said. “But she came back, and that just helped us out speed-wise, defensive-wise. It’s making the girls on the inside work.”