By Mike London
Salisbury PostKANNAPOLIS ó Northwest Cabarrus boys coach Daniel Jenkins scribbled his apprehension on a chalkboard before taking on South Rowan.
He wrote “12-3 vs. 2-13 ó it don’t matter.”
“I read last week (South coach) John Davis said he had the best 2-and-something team in the state,” Jenkins explained. “And I think he might be right.”
It’s possible, but Northwest is 13-3 and South is 2-14 after the Trojans won 72-59 on Friday.
Derek Davis scored 15 points and Hunter Morrison had 14 for the Raiders, but it wasn’t enough to offset the Trojans’ balance as 10th-place South played competitively, kept things interesting until the final minutes, but still lost to second-place Northwest (9-1 NPC)
That’s been a recurring theme in the conference all season. The top five teams still haven’t lost a league game to any of the bottom five. The frustrating part for South (1-9 NPC) is it has been losing tight games to both the strong teams and the weak ones.
“It’s like we play down or up to whatever the level of the team we’re playing is,” South forward Reid Shaver said. “We’ve lost games to teams that aren’t half the team Northwest is. And we could have beaten them tonight except for a couple of dumb plays.”Northwest used two 3-pointers by point guard Jon Hathcock to take a 20-15 lead after a quarter. The Trojans filled it up in the second quarter, but the Raiders, who got a lift from reserve Elliot Hagerty, trailed only 39-32 at halftime.
The turning point came after South cut its deficit to 45-41 with 2:59 left in the third quarter. The Raiders regained possession with a chance to get closer, but they missed two easy shots, and the Trojans got a fastbreak that Brien Garcia finished with an athletic three-point play.
Northwest closed the third quarter with a 3-pointer by 6-foot-6 Ira Hines. It was his only bucket, but he swished it from the left corner to push a seven-point Trojan lead to 10.
“No, no, no ó great shot,” Jenkins said. “That was Ira’s second 3 of the season.”
South had trouble boxing out Hines ó he had four straight offensive boards on one possession ó but the Raiders limited the high-scoring duo of Hathcock and Nick Quigley to a combined 21 points.
“Nobody had an outstanding night for them, but they kind of hurt us across the board,” John Davis said. “There were times we couldn’t have played any better D than we did, but good players will make some contested shots.
“Still, I was proud. They were up on us 30 points in the first half at our place. Tonight, it was close. That shows the progress of this team.”
S. Rowan (59) ó D. Davis 15, Morrison 14, Shaver 9, Hagerty 8, Wilson 6, Grant 4, J. Davis 2, Johnson 1, Caldwell.
NW CABARRUS (72) ó Hathcock 13, Garcia 11, Black 9, G, Wright 8, Quigley 8, Billings 8, A. Wright 4, West 4, Hines 3, Reid 2, Fleming 2, Felton.S. Rowan 15 17 13 14 ó 59
NWC 20 19 16 17 ó 72
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or email@example.com.
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