Prep Basketball Playoffs: Hickory boys 89, South Rowan 55
By Bret Strelow
HICKORY ó South Rowan senior Hunter Morrison spent Friday evening in an emergency room.
South wasn’t at full strength Monday, and the unenviable chore of slowing a point guard who attracted a visit from Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz would have been tough for even a healthy group of Raiders.
With Lutz watching from high above South’s bench, Hickory guard Trevin Parks scored 32 points to lead the Red Tornadoes to an 89-55 victory in a 3A playoff opener.
“I think sickness kind of took a toll on a couple people on the team,” Morrison said, “but no excuses. We lost.”
Morrison had trouble breathing Friday, went to an area hospital and didn’t practice Saturday. The same problem affected several players Monday and had coaches scrambling to locate an inhaler at halftime.
They found one, but a solution for stopping Parks remained elusive.
He opened the game by draining a 3-pointer against South’s 3-2 zone and went 12-for-17 from the field.
“If we say we have an hour to shoot after practice, he’s going to stay an hour to shoot after practice,” Hickory coach Shawn Johnson said. “He puts in his time, and his teammates trust him to do what he does.”
Parks, a 5-foot-9 senior who has generated some Division I interest, scored 26 points as Hickory beat West Rowan in a sectional final last year. He had 46 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter, of an overtime win against West Caldwell earlier this season.
Parks made five 3-pointers against South Rowan (14-13), and all three of his third-quarter baskets resulted from steals.
“He created some baskets and never forced anything,” South coach John Davis said. “We’ll give him credit; he’s a good basketball player. Some of our guys were a step slow ó we’re fighting something.”
Guard John Davis, the coach’s son, was impacted as much as anyone Monday yet managed to score 10 points. Reid Shaver led the team with 11, and Hickory (25-2) held Morrison to five.
Morrison still completed his final season with 519 points, the second-best total in school history.
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” Morrison said. “I love my teammates and my coach, and we just had a great season.”
SOUTH ROWAN (55) ó Shaver 11, Davis 10, Grant 8, S.Johnson 8, Morrison 5, McDaniel 4, Houston 3, Walker 3, Akers 2, Corriher 1, D.Johnson, Dessasore, Bowles, Goodlet.
HICKORY (89) ó Parks 32, Burgins 15, Schenck 9, Poole 6, Robinson 4, Dillingham 4, Anderson 4, Wilson 3, Wright 3, Younghouse 2, Middleton 2, Hamilton 2, Hilton 2, Bacote, Shuford.
S. Rowan 9 9 17 20 ó 55
Hickory 16 23 21 29 ó 89