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Prep Basketball: Lexington boys 74, North Rowan 66

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.comSPENCER ó “Who can stop Quandarious Crump?” was the question. North Rowan didn’t have an answer.
Crump, a sometimes emotional, immensely talented freshman, played with the poise of a senior. He scored 22 points to lead Lexington to a 74-66 CCC victory that spoiled senior festivities in Spencer.
The 6-foot-4 Crump, who is challenging records with seven technical fouls this season, began Friday’s game 1-for-8, but he drilled his last eight field-goal attempts.
“Quandarious has great feet, has a chance to be real special, but he is still growing up and maturing,” said Lexington coach Robert Hairston, who assisted Mike Gurley at West Rowan during many playoff runs. “I appreciated the way he played tonight.”
North didn’t appreciate Crump nearly as much, but it will see him again on Monday when the sixth-seeded Cavaliers (7-16, 4-10) travel for a rematch against the No. 3 Yellow Jackets (14-9, 9-5) in the first round of the CCC tournament.
Lamonte Bell had a career-high 18 points for the Cavs. Greg Sims had 14 hard-driving points, while D.J. Hipps added 11.
Codie Boger (15 points) and Nick Parsons (13) helped out Crump. Hairston sat down shooter Warren Holmes during the game to make a point about composure. Holmes and Hipps yapped a bit but nothing physical happened.
“This is not necessarily a negative if Warren learns from it,” Hairston said. “It’s a grow-up opportunity.”
North had a huge emotional edge early, putting an all-senior lineup of Hipps, Bell, Andre Blakeney, Bradley Vogel and Ryan Rhames on the floor and bolting to a 9-0 lead on two 3s by Hipps and another by Blakeney.
“In warmups I found my stroke,” said Hipps, who bounced back from Tuesday’s miserable shooting night at Salisbury. “And we were all hyped for this game. Most of the boys were over at my house before the game and we were ready to go.”
Hairston warned his team the Cavaliers were capable of an inspired effort, but the Yellow Jackets had won the January meeting 74-48 and probably yawned while he was handing out advice.
“Look, I coached in Rowan County eight years and I know when you go to their house they’re gonna play ya,” Hairston said. “In warmups, same thing, we weren’t ready. Game starts, same thing.”
Lexington shot 3-for-19 in the first quarter and missed a half-dozen point-blank shots. North led 17-9 after a quarter and 33-28 at halftime.
Lexington scrapped harder during an intense third quarter. A few either-way whistles went against the Cavaliers, and the Jackets caught up mostly at the foul line where they shot 10-for-11 in the quarter.
“Another key thing was our big guys were challenged tonight on every shot,” North coach Kelly Everhart said. Lexington just wouldn’t give us anything easy.”
Sims gave the Cavs their last lead at 49-48 with an acrobatic attack on the rim with 17 seconds left in the third quarter. But Boger hit two free throws and Crump hit a 3-pointer that beat the buzzer to put Lexington up 53-49 heading to the fourth.
When Hipps missed a 3-pointer to open the final quarter, a long rebound triggered a sprinting dunk by Boger.
Next, Crump soared high above the rim for a LeBron-ish tipin. The Cavs were suddenly down eight points, reeling and tiring.
“That stretch there is where we finally matched North’s emotion,” Hairston said. “It’s like our guys said, ‘OK, we’re ready to play.’ ”
North stayed within striking distance the rest of the way, but it couldn’t put a serious run together.
“I thought we were just a hair from making that run,” Everhart said. “But after we got down at the start of the fourth, it seemed like we missed a layup every time we had a chance to get closer.”
lexington (74) ó Crump 22, Boger 15, Parsons 12, Holmes 9, McCown 6, Todd 4, Curry 3, Vinson 2, Stevenson 1.
North rowan (66) ó Bell 18, Sims 14, Hipps 11, Hicks 8, Hargrave 7, Blakeney 6, Starks 2, Rhames, Feezor, Vogel, Jackson.
Lexington 9 19 25 21 ó 74
N. Rowan 17 16 16 17 ó 66

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