Prep hoops: West boys 86, NW Cabarrus 53
By Bret Strelow
MOUNT ULLA ó Jordan Kimber, who had missed three consecutive games because of a lower leg injury, came off the bench with two minutes remaining in the first quarter of West Rowan’s 86-53 win over third-place Northwest Cabarrus.West’s seniors already had set a defensive tone, and Kimber gave his team a lift at the other end.
Kimber scored 17 points ó one shy of his career high ó as the Falcons maintained their share of first place in the NPC with one game remaining.
“I wanted to come back so bad because of my love for the game,” Kimber said. “Once I got on the court, the momentum took over and it didn’t hurt as bad. I think I can manage the rest of the year.”
West hit 11 shots from 3-point range, and Kimber accounted for three of them.
K.J. Sherrill had another dominant performance in the paint with 15 points and 14 rebounds. All six of his blocks came in the first half, which ended with the Trojans trailing 44-16.
The Falcons (20-2, 16-1) led 65-22 late in the third quarter.
“We just ran into a buzzsaw,” said Northwest coach Daniel Jenkins, whose team has dropped three of its last five games. “They made a bunch of 3s. The one battle I think we did win was balls getting stuck on the rim. We won that 1-0, so we did something.
“I think the effort was there for us. If the scoreboard had shut down and somebody walked in with two minutes left, they wouldn’t have thought we were down by 35 or whatever.”
Sherrill, Kaleb Kimber (13 points), Brett Huffman, Myles Moore and Jason Grant started on senior night. Sherrill scored seven of West’s first 10 points, and the Falcons were ahead 13-0 midway through the quarter.
Northwest (16-6, 12-5) pulled within 17-10 early in the second period, but West closed the half with a 27-6 run.
“I think our defense most of the game is exactly how we like to play defense,” West coach Mike Gurley said. “We were facing a really good offensive team.
“It’s so hard to be able to have the first half that we had against them, and you have to feel really good about that.”
West’s second-quarter run started with a 3-pointer, and Maxx Gore hit back-to-back 3s later in the period. Jordan Kimber made two more in the final minute of the half.
Gurley said Kimber played with a sense of purpose in his return to the lineup. He shot 7-for-9 from the field.
“We may be dealing with something as simple as a lot of growing pains ó he’s 14 years old,” Gurley said. “Probably shin splints is the dominant thing going on down there, and basically rest is the only way to get over it.
“He took all of last week off, and he probably needs a month or a month and a half. He wanted to play, and he was ready tonight.”
NW CABARRUS (53) ó Reid 13, West 11, Felton 8, Kiser 6, Hines 4, Seager 3, Wright 3, Billings 3, Honeycutt 2.
WEST ROWAN (86) ó J.Kimber 17, K.J. Sherrill 15, K.Kimber 13, Moore 9, Grant 7, Ke.Sherrill 7, Gore 6, B.J. Sherrill 4, Crucitti 4, Huffman 2, Parks 2, Smith, Noble, Phifer.
NW Cabarrus 6 10 16 21 ó 53
West Rowan 15 29 21 21 ó 86
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