Prep Basketball: North Rowan boys 82, Gray Stone 31
By Ronnie Gallagher
SPENCER ó It was almost as if every time Gray Stone scored, it just made North Rowan’s boys mad.
Example: Peter Nasuti scored to tie the game at two. The Cavaliers ran off 18 straight points.
Another example: Taylor Neal scores the first basket of the third quarter. The Cavaliers ran off 19 straight.
Final example: Gray Stone had a 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter. North finished the game on a 14-2 spurt.
North won the Yadkin Valley Conference game 82-31 and it wasn’t that close.
The Knights got a good dose of Javon Hargrave’s big rear end and quick feet. It was a normal game for the 6-foot-2 hulk. He had 22 points and 14 rebounds. But what coach Kelly Everhart liked the most was his hustle. Hargrave was diving on the floor for loose balls and made four steals.
“I think people are amazed by his quickness,” Everhart said. “He’s quick enough to step out and play on the perimeter. People looks at his size and think he won’t be able to do that. But he’s pretty quick.”
“They do have a very fine post in Javon Hargrave and they have a very good basketball team,” Gray Stone coach Brian Lytton said.
Speaking of quickness, Sam Starks matched Hargrave by scoring 22 points in spurts. In the third quarter, he drove for a 3-point play before hitting consecutive threes, one from the left corner and one from the right. In the fourth quarter, he turned three straight steals into easy layups.
“As a team, we played with a lot of confidence,” Everhart said. “We had that killer instinct, kinda like the feeding of the sharks. We could smell the blood.”
North (4-1, 3-0 YVC) got an early boost from Reggie Smyre, who started in place of Greg Sims, who is out with a bad hip. He immediately swished a 3 and finished as the Cavaliers’ third player in double figures with 12.
“He hit his first shot, and of course when you drain one right off the bat, it gives you a lot of confidence,” Everhart said. “We felt like we’d have a big offensive night.”
Freshman big man Malik Ford had a good night with eight points and seven rebounds. He scored North’s first four points of the third quarter as the Cavs outscored the Knights 29-6.
“A lot of times, the first few minutes of the third quarter are key,” Everhart said. “I was pretty pleased.”
Everhart’s team is the class of the league early, but he knows it has to play with the same intensity every night.
“We have to learn to play that hard when we play a team that is equally as quick as we are,” he stressed. “It’s nice to stay undefeated in the conference and that’s the main thing we need to focus on right now.”
NOTES: Gray Stone fell to 3-7 and 1-3. … Daniel Chambers didn’t play. He was out of town. … All eight Cavs got in the book as Patrick Bush scored the last bucket of the game. … Lytton is 1988 graduate of West Rowan and played for his famous father Jack at West and Lees McRae. … Due to Albemarle’s football run, Tuesday’s game has been postponed until Jan. 20. … North’s game with West Rowan is set for Jan. 23. The game at North Moore has been rescheduled for Feb. 1.
GRAY STONE (31) ó Nasuti 14, Sullivan 10, Wagner 5, Neal 2, D. Mauldin, Strable, Van Etten, Wall.
NORTH ROWAN (82) ó Hargrave 22, Starks 22, Smyre 12, Ford 8, West 7, Givens 7, Witherspoon 2, Bush 2.
Gray Stone 4 10 6 11 ó 31
N. Rowan 20 15 29 18 ó 82