East Rowan boys 38, North Iredell 30
By David Shaw
GRANITE QUARRY ó Kindly excuse the East Rowan boys basketball team if it speaks of Friday’s victory over North Iredell in whispers, not screams.
If the Mustangs’ 38-30 NPC win had been a fish, they’d be obliged to throw it back.
“You’re not gonna come out and score 80 points every night,” forward Daniel Plummer said after East (3-3, 2-2 NPC) made only 12 field goals and shot 27 percent from the floor. “Sometimes you have to rely on defense and rebounding. That was the big thing tonight.”
In a game that was so bad it was good, Plummer made the most significant shot ó a 3-pointer from the right corner that gave East a 23-19 lead with 7:10 remaining. A stranger to the rest of East’s offense for three periods, Plummer got reacquainted in the fourth, when he netted all seven of his points.
“Even if you’re not playing your best and you make a big play, that’s great,” East coach Greg McKenzie said. “That’s like Chris (McKenzie) the other night against West Iredell. He didn’t have a good game, but all of a sudden he hit those two 3s and he’s a hero.”
It was hard to find one last night.
Jordan Moore came the closest, pacing the Mustangs with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals. His best play came late in the first half when he corralled a teammate’s airball near the left baseline and hit a layup that provided an 11-7 East lead.
“The whole game was slow,” Moore said. “This was the first time we played against a zone defense, and that gave us some trouble. They kind of slowed us down, but we pulled it out.”
North Iredell (0-4, 0-3) may have drowned itself with poor shooting and careless turnovers, but East helped fill the pool. The Mustangs limited the Raiders to eight baskets ó including just one in the first half.
“That’s hard to believe,” said North Iredell coach Tony Davenport, a former Catawba letterman. “We had a bunch of turnovers and missed a lot of free throws down the stretch ó and that came back to bite us. But still, you’ve got to make baskets to win.”
East made three of them in the final quarter and turned straw into gold. Plummer’s 3-pointer ó the only one either team converted all night ó was pivotal.
“It was an inbounds play and Chris was looking for our first option, but it wasn’t there,” Plummer said. “Then he went to the second option, but that wasn’t open. The third option was me.”
Option three sparked a 13-4 run that pushed the Mustangs to a 33-23 lead with 2:52 to play. North drew as close as six when Kevin Sharp ó the game’s high scorer with 15 points ó made a last-minute layup.
“We could have played better,” Moore said. “We could have made better shots when we were open, but we didn’t. But hey, a win’s a win.”
NOTES: Injured senior Mike Morton hopes to return Wednesday when East visits Carson. He’s got a fractured/infected ring finger. … Former East standout Justin Vanderford will have his jersey retired next Friday when the Mustangs play host to South Rowan.
NORTH IREDELL (30) ó K.Sharp 15, Ward 6, Pierce 4, R.Sharp 2, Jordan 2, Lowery 1.
EAST ROWAN (38) ó Moore 9, Grohman 7, Plummer 7, McKenzie 4, Weber 4, Allen 3, Ajayi 2, Slater 2, Honeycutt, Mancil.
North Iredell 2 7 10 11 ó 30
East Rowan 6 7 7 18 ó 38