By Nick Bowton
SPENCER ? North Rowan coach Mike White called a timeout 35 seconds into the game Tuesday night.
He didn?t like what he?d seen so far. He liked what he saw thereafter even less.
White?s Cavaliers fell behind early and lost 40-24 to East Davidson. They trailed 16-2 after the first quarter and couldn?t get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
?We played terrible,? White said. ?We were lackadaisical. We came out flat. Even when I was 1-23, we never came out that flat. Play with some heart and some dignity, a sense of urgency about the game.
?We played good in spurts, but we can?t start off like that against anybody.?
Especially against a team like East Davidson.
The Golden Eagles (13-0, 3-0) are ranked No. 1 in 2A and have already beaten Salisbury. Against North, they consistently blocked shots, stripped Cavs of the ball, and ran backdoor cuts to perfection.
East Davidson didn?t shoot the ball particularly well, but it definitely played well enough to impress White.
?They played great,? he said. ?They?re not undefeated for nothing.?
One big reason they are is post player Anna Freeman.
A sophomore, Freeman finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds, eight blocks and six steals. She scored the Golden Eagles? final seven points of the first quarter, including a three-point play with one second remaining.
As well as Freeman played, however, she didn?t completely dominate inside. East Davidson did most of its damage with movement off the ball.
?It wasn?t her,? North forward Sierra Ingram said. ?It was the cutting that they were doing that was killing us. I think it?s our help defense. That?s what it is.?
Sure, that was one problem. An even bigger one was North?s offense.
When the Cavs got the ball inside, as Ingram put it, ?they swatted everything.? When the North settled for jump shots, it didn?t get very many open looks.
Yet despite its rough start, North played fairly evenly with East Davidson in the second and third quarters. The Cavaliers opened the final quarter with a Jasmine Rice jumper and trailed 27-19 with 6:18 left.
Anna Dellapenta (game-high 14 points) quickly answered with a basket at the other end, and the Golden Eagles then got a boost from a couple of role players.
As East Davidson began to patiently spread the ball around the court, Boomie Luck sandwiched a pair of long jumpers around a baseline jumper from teammate Kristyn Holt.
Shortly before Luck?s first basket, the Golden Eagles appeared tense for the first time all game. When her shot fell through, they seemed fine again.
?We needed that,? East Davidson coach Terry Allmon said. ?We had not scored in a while. Then Kristyn Holt hit that one from the corner.
?That kind of got the gap back.?
Back to a more comfortable margin, but after the first quarter, the gap never was really threatened at all.
NOTES: Freeman hurt her left hand when she fell to the ground with 28 seconds left, but she appeared to be fine after the game.
E. Davidson (40) ? Dellapenta 14, Freeman 10, Merritt 6, Luck 4, Lanier 2, Grimsley 2, Holt 2, Nelson, Fox, Carroll, Byerly, Nicks.
north rowan (24) ? Brown 11, Wilks 6, Cuthbertson 3, Ingram 2, Rice 2, Parker, Casey, Turner, Parsons, Bethea.
E. Davidson 16 6 5 13 ? 40
N. Rowan 2 7 8 7 ? 24
Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or email@example.com.