North Rowan boys 63, West Rowan 54
By Bret Strelow
SPENCER ó One streak lasted 10 games, and another covered almost 10 years.North Rowan’s boys put both to bed with a 63-54 victory against West Rowan on Monday night.
The Cavaliers had dropped 10 consecutive meetings in their series with West, which hadn’t lost in North’s gym since 2000.
“As young as we are, we need this confidence,” said North coach Kelly Everhart, whose 5-1 team opened the season with a home win against Salisbury. “I just hope we didn’t use up too much energy tonight.”
Oshon West (freshman) and Daniel Chambers (sophomore) scored 16 points apiece to lead North Rowan, which travels to West Montgomery tonight for a YVC matchup of first-place teams.
West Rowan went 0-3 against North Rowan nine years ago during a 27-1 campaign by the Cavaliers. Their last victory against the Falcons, a 59-54 outcome in Mount Ulla, occurred in 2004. Six of the next 10 meetings were decided by single digits, but West Rowan won all of them.
“This was a great ballgame to be a part of,” Everhart said. “My hat’s off to West Rowan. I realize they’ve just gotten their football players out there, and some are still missing, but those guys play hard.
“That certainly wasn’t a game for the faint of heart. The officials let them play at times.”
North’s Greg Sims broke a 49-all tie by converting a three-point play with 2:51 left, and Chambers tipped in a teammate’s miss 21 seconds later to give the Cavs a five-point lead.
Javon Hargrave fed Chambers for a layup to put the Falcons behind 56-50 with 2:12 remaining, and West Rowan (1-2) came up empty on its next possession.
“We started using teamwork, we were hustling and we were moving the ball more,” Chambers said. “It feels good because we haven’t beaten them in a long time.”
Hargrave totaled only eight points, but he grabbed eight of his 16 rebounds in the fourth quarter and made four free throws in the final two minutes to keep the Cavaliers comfortably ahead.
West Rowan received an inside boost from Isiah Cuthbertson, who had nine points and eight rebounds.
“There was a lot of toughness on North Rowan’s side,” West coach Mike Gurley said. “I thought we played tough, too. At key moments of the game, they made some plays.
“They executed some big plays down the stretch. You gotta give North all the credit in the world.”
North, which led 26-24 at halftime, used 3-pointers from West and Pierre Givens in the first minute of the third quarter to claim an eight-point advantage.
The Falcons scored the next eight points, and the game remained tight until the Cavaliers made their push in the final three minutes.
“Coming out in the third quarter, hitting those couple of 3s right off the bat gave us momentum,” Everhart said. “Of course West stormed right back, but I think us hitting those 3s kind of relaxed us a little bit for the second half.”
NOTES: Givens (11 points) also scored in double figures for North, and Chambers had seven rebounds. … West’s leading scorers were Keshun Sherrill (13 points) and Domonique Noble (12). … K.P. Parks and Chris Smith, stars of the Shrine Bowl on Saturday, were with the team but didn’t dress out.
WEST ROWAN (54) ó K.Sherrill 13, Noble 12, Cuthbertson 9, Crucitti 7, B.Sherrill 6, Warren 5, Phillips 2, Gore, Phifer, Turner, Wood.
NORTH ROWAN (63) ó West 16, Chambers 16, Givens 11, Hargrave 8, Sims 3, Smyre 3, Witherspoon 2, Starks 2, Barker, Bush.
West Rowan 13 11 15 15 ó 54
North Rowan 13 13 12 25 ó 63