Moir Christmas Classic Notebook
From staff reports
The Moir notebook …
So, Carson’s girls marched into Catawba’s Goodman Gym on Monday and came away with a 49-36 win against North.
What did it get them?
Just a matchup with undefeated ó and downright scary ó Salisbury.
Those two meet tonight at 6 p.m. in one of the semifinal games of the Sam Moir Christmas Classic.
“We certainly can’t look at what they’ve done to other teams and be intimidated by that,” coach Brooke Misenheimer said.
Top-seeded Salisbury (9-0) is going for its seventh straight Moir championship. The Hornets have destroyed all of their Rowan opponents so far.
“We’re going to have to take care of the ball,” Misenheimer said. “We have to take it as a challenge.”
Regardless of how Carson fares against Salisbury, North Rowan coach Tony Hillian was impressed with this year’s version of Carson, now in its fourth year as a school.
“They’ve improved a lot,” Hillian said. “They continue to work hard, and Brooke is doing a good job.”
STAR GAZING: When you’re 6-foot-8, it’s hard to be inconspicuous, especially at the Moir.
Former West Rowan star and 2002 Moir MVP Donte Minter was among the familiar faces watching Monday’s first-round action.
Minter has been playing overseas since getting out of Appalachian State, making stops in Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. His next stop comes soon, he said, in either Uruguay or Argentina for a season that will last through April.
“I talk to a couple of agents and get them to figure out the best situation for me,” Minter said. “It’s different wherever you go, but all in all, they love you. It’s great. You get to see so many different things.”
And then, there’s the food.
“You get lucky,” Minter said with a smile. “I had a Burger King and a McDonald’s in Spain.”
One thing that isn’t different is the Moir.
Minter said it was his first appearance at the event since 2003. And he has never forgotten why he loved playing in it.
“Oh, man, the crowd,” he said. “The atmosphere was great. You couldn’t wait to get in there.”
JERSEY SHORE: West Rowan’s boys entered the Moir Classic with a 2-2 record. Their fifth practice of the season took place Saturday.
The totals for games and practices evened up again Monday, an indicator of what coach Mike Gurley has dealt with since the late arrival of West’s football players. The Falcons fell 70-62 to a talented Salisbury squad that was also impacted by a postseason football run.
“We played incredibly hard,” Gurley said. “I’m very proud of our effort. One of our goals every night is to make sure we represent the front of the jersey to the best of our ability. Anybody who watched the game today from the West Rowan community might be disappointed we lost, just like we are, but I think we represented the front of the jersey at a high level.
“We found a lot inside that jersey, and that’s Falcon heart.”
Keshun Sherrill and KaJuan Phillips had 14 points apiece to join leading scorer Domonique Noble in double figures. Phillips had eight fourth-quarter points and finished with two 3-pointers.
B.J. Sherrill grabbed 10 rebounds.
GURLEY AGREES: Carson boys coach Brian Perry has said several times the NPC title goes through West Rowan.
Even though the Falcons lost in the first round of the Moir, Gurley was quite upbeat with his team’s play, especially when reminded of Perry’s quote.
“He’s absolutely right,” said Gurley, still waiting on football stars K.P. Parks and Chris Smith. “We are still the favorite. It’s got to go through Mount Ulla.”
TALL ORDER: Salisbury’s boys got a boost off the bench from 6-foot-7 freshman Tyler Petty, who grabbed seven rebounds, blocked three shots and took two charges in 18 minutes.
“He’s going to be great before it’s over with,” Salisbury coach Jason Causby said. “He’s got a lot of work to do; he’s still young.”
Gurley praised the work of Petty and starter Alex Weant, who is also 6-7.
“If they were not blocking the shot, they were deflecting our angles to the rim,” Gurley said.
WAKE-UP CALL: South Rowan’s boys advanced to the Moir semifinals with a 68-50 win against Davie County, and the Raiders are scheduled to play again today at 4:30 p.m.
South coach John Davis mentioned the popular “Call of Duty” video game series when stressing the need for his players to get a good night’s rest.
“No ‘Call of Duty 4,’ no ‘Call of Duty’ whatever,” Davis said with a laugh. “Their call of duty is to be in bed at a decent hour.”
MOTIVATION: The only loss for the Davie girls this season came at the hands of West Rowan right before Christmas, and the War Eagles get a second shot at West today in a 3 p.m. semifinal.
“Our goal coming here was to make the championship game, and to do that we’ve got to beat West,” Davie coach Debbie Evans said. “That’s a double motivation for us.”
West coach Erich Epps has watched his team win four in a row to get to 5-2, but his team took a step back in ann ugly 45-30 win against South Rowan on Monday.
West turned it over 32 times and was outscrapped on the boards at times by the Raiders.
“We can’t play anything like we did in the first round and have a chance against Davie,” Epps said.
EXPERIENCE: West’s girls led South by 20 points in the fourth quarter, but the Raiders cut the final margin down to 15 against West reserves.
“There’s no need to try to win by a bunch when you’ve got a chance to get some girls some experience that they need,” Epps said.
HE COULD DO IT: West girls assistant coach Snip Keaton scored 1,251 points in his career and ranks No. 6 all-time for the West boys.
SO COULD SHE: North girls assistant coach Lola Jones ranks sixth all-time at North with 1,142 points and was a college All-American at Bluefield.
OUT: East girls coach Karen Garmon said promising sophomore guard Ashley Goins will miss the rest of the season with a torn quad muscle, and Garmon believes East may have lost post reserve Lindsay Dunlap for the season.
Dunlap hurt a knee in practice.
IN: Davie fans got a scare when freshman post player Tia Clement (11 points, six rebounds, two blocks on Monday) went down and stayed down with about five minutes left in the win against East Rowan and needed attention from the tournament trainer.
Clement banged knees with another player. She didn’t return to the game but she said she’s fine for today’s semifinal. Evans believes the injury is only a bruise.
SOUTH-EAST GIRLS: Someone’s got to win today’s noon consolation game between South and East, and both teams desperately need a victory.
The teams haven’t met this season. Both have four-game losing streaks.
Evans praised East’s shooting ability (post players Madalyn File and Olivia Sabo stepped out to make 3s), and Epps praised South’s defensive effort after Monday’s first-round games
NOT YET: Davie’s boys had hoped to have 6-3 junior Raheem Martin back from a leg injury for the Moir tournament, but he’s still a week away.
ON THE RADIO: WSTP 1490-AM will be bringing Rowan County fans tonight’s Carson-Salisbury boys semifinal game at 7:30 p.m.
Howard Platt and The Coach, Bob Parker, will also broadcast both championship games on Wednesday night, starting at approximately 6 p.m.
Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London and Bret Strelow contributed to the notebook.