Prep Basketball: West Rowan boys 79, Carson 35

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

By David Shaw
CHINA GROVE ó West Rowan can still picture the Carson boys basketball team ruining its chance of winning the NPC regular-season title last year.
Don’t expect a repeat performance after the visiting Falcons thrashed CHS 79-35 Friday night.
“I think it helped us focus,” coach Mike Gurley said after West (5-0 overall) improved to 2-0 in league play. “We turned it into a positive. Coach K says you can learn from adversity. I think our guys came in very focused tonight and played good basketball.”
West played like a team on a mission. The Falcons busted the game open in the second quarter, turning an early 13-9 paper cut into a 36-15 hemorrhage by halftime.
“We started out pretty well defensively,” Carson coach Brian Perry said after the Cougars (4-5, 2-4) were outshot, outrebounded and outhustled. “Then it just snowballed. They’re obviously one of the top teams in the conference.”
West was paced by 6-foot-7 senior K.J. Sherrill, who contributed 27 points and 12 rebounds. He had 12 points in a closely matched first quarter and 10 in the third as WR extended its lead to 62-25.
“We played defense. That was the main thing,” Sherrill said. “We’ve got scorers. And as long as we play hard defense like this, no one can beat us.”
West received a solid all-around effort from freshman guard Keshun Sherrill, who contributed 11 points, three steals and played air-tight defense. Most memorable was the highlight-reel play he made that closed the first half ó a steal in the Carson frontcourt followed by a coast-to-coast drive and a jailbreak layup as time expired. His momentum carried him right out of the gymnasium and down the hallway to West’s locker room.
“I got the steal, looked at the clock and saw four seconds,” he reported. “Then I just pushed the ball down the floor and thought about Ty Lawson.”
North Carolina’s quick-footed guard would have approved.
“He did the same thing at Davie the other night,” Gurley said. “We put in our second group and he just kind of lifted us up. He got us going.”
So did guard Myles Moore (11 points), forward B.J. Sherrill (8 rebounds) and ball-hawk defenders Jordan Kimber and Jason Grant (three steals apiece). West’s defense eventually wore down the Cougars.
“I think the biggest part of it was on the glass,” said Perry. “Every now and then, when we did get a good stop, they would get the rebound of their miss. And then they’d get the rebound of that miss. That takes a lot out of you sometimes.”
Carson forward Darius Moose netted a team-high 11 points, but spent much of the game watching West’s post man put on a clinic.
“K.J.’s good,” he said. “He’s strong, he’s tall, he’s smart. And he knows how to use his size.”
Moose and most of his teammates appeared tired late in the game. “We got outplayed physically,” he said. “Our shots were not going down. I guess when the shots stopped going down, we stopped playing basketball.”
K.J. Sherrill offered his own take.
“Our game plan was to move our feet, body out, contest every shot and contain Moose,” he said. “We took care of everything by playing as a team.”
It’s a team that has won all four of its road games this season.
“After last year, we felt like we wanted to win every road game we can,” Gurley said. “You always hope you can hold serve at home. But winning these road games ó and winning here tonight ó are important.”
WEST ROWAN (79) ó K.J. Sherrill 27, Moore 11, Ke. Sherrill 11, K. Kimber 7, J. Kimber 6, Crucitti 5, Phifer 3, Grant 3, Huffman 2, B.J. Sherrill 2, Smith 1, Cuthbertson 1, Noble, Gore.CARSON (35) ó Moose 11, Clanton 7, Houston 6, Doby 3, Ferrare 3, Sewell 3, Jones 2, Heggins, Begic, Britt, Harden, Walser, Ramic. W. Rowan 20 16 26 17 ó 79
Carson 6 9 10 10 ó 35