Western 3A Regionals: Huss boys 73, West Rowan 63
By Mike London
GREENSBORO — West Rowan freshman Seth Martin beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to put a wide grin on coach Mike Gurley’s face, but this one had been over for a little while.
Hunter Huss used a devastating run early in the second half to gain separation from West, and the Huskies, the top-ranked team in 3A, beat the Falcons 73-63 in a regional semifinal played at UNC Greensboro’s Fleming Gym.
“They’re fast, they’re tall and we knew we’d have to play our hardest for 32 minutes,” West senior Domonique Noble said. “We tried to do that. We tried to keep coming back. It wasn’t enough.”
West (18-11) was competitive with the Huskies, but Hunter Huss (27-2) was awfully deep, awfully long and awfully good and was in control most of the way.
“One through eight, they’re the best team we’ve played,” Gurley said. “We knew what we had to do, but we turned it over and we couldn’t make shots.”
West shot 30 percent in the first half to dig a hole. Huss’ free-throw efficiency (23-for-30) made it tough to rally.
Junior Keshun Sherrill scored 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting to lead West, but the Falcons couldn’t put anyone else in double figures. Jarvis Morgan, Domonique Noble and Maurice Warren had trouble finishing inside against long-armed defenders, and the 3s just weren’t falling for B.J. Sherrill.
Jihad Wright had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the Huskies.
With West trailing by 13 with 38 seconds left, Gurley switched roles from coach to master of ceremonies and designated hugger.
“B.J. Sherrill — last game in a West Rowan uniform!” Gurley bellowed at fans seated behind the West bench, and they stood and offered a grateful ovation for a four-year varsity player who was part of 58 football victories and 84 more on the basketball floor.
“It was tough knowing it was over, that this was the last time I would be competing for West,” Sherrill said. “What made it toughest was knowing I couldn’t go out with a win.”
Ten seconds after Sherrill exited, Gurley was embracing Noble, a defensive stopper in two sports, and West fans were applauding again.
With 13 seconds left, fans got a chance to acknowledge the team’s third senior — Kevin Turner.
Huss lost a star, Jontavian Hall, early on to a knee injury, but it had enough depth to roll. The last time the game was tied was at 13-13 late in the first quarter after Keshun Sherill hit one of his four 3s.
Jarvis Anderson buried jumpers for Huss, as did T.J. Wilson. The 6-foot-6 Anderson’s outside accuracy was a mild surprise. Wilson making jumpers was a shock. Their shooting pushed Huss to a 33-25 halftime lead.
“Hall goes down, but then Anderson and Wilson just kick our butts,” Gurley said. “We hadn’t seen Wilson make a jumper on film.”
The other surprise for West was that Anderson guarded 5-9 Keshun Sherrill. While Sherrill scored 26, Anderson was able to slow him during some key stretches.
“His advantage was height, but I had him on speed and tried to use my quickness to score,” Keshun Sherrill said.
West battled evenly on the boards, with Keshun leading the way with eight.
“Keshun’s a very good player — don’t get me wrong,” but I thought Anderson did a great job guarding him,” Huss coach Ron Bray said. “Keshun hit some prayers, but I don’t think he ever really hurt us.”
The last defender Gurley expected to see on his star was the rangy Anderson.
“Just a great move by Coach Bray,” Gurley said. “It was key that they were able to put a 6-6 guy on Keshun and still had enough size to match up with us inside.”
Huss’ 14-4 flurry to open the second half settled the outcome. It was mostly Wright. He made steals, denied West layups with blocks and finished on the other end. He had a monster dunk during the run, in which he came flying down from the roof.
“Wright, Anderson and Wilson were all just super,” Bray said. “Wright had a great stretch of defense to start the half. That created some pace for us and the dunk he had was a huge momentum play.”
WEST ROWAN (63)— K. Sherrill 26, Morgan 9, B. Sherrill 8, Noble 8, Warren 6, Parks 3, Martin 3, Edwards, Avery, Laster, Turner, Phifer, Kraft, Cuthbertson.
HUNTER HUSS (73) — J. Wright 18, Wilson 14, Ja. Anderson 14, Jo. Anderson 12, McDowell 8, Hall 3, Moore 2, Kennedy 2, Smith, Sanford, L. Wright, Floyd, Crosby.
W. Rowan 14 11 13 25 — 63
Huss 20 13 20 20 — 73
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