Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls 52, Chatham Central 35
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER — Eight minutes into the 2011-2012 campaign, North Rowan’s girls basketball team had scored three points.
It could only go up from there and it did.
The Cavaliers got their act together for their season debut and outscored Chatham Central 46-23 in the final three quarters for a 52-35 win at home.
“I think we had the first game jitters,” North coach Tony Hillian said. “There’s a lot of pressure on us since we haven’t won our first game a lot.”
The Cavaliers held Chatham to two field goals in the second quarter and eventually caused more than 30 turnovers.
Teaunna Cuthbertson led all scorers with 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Cuthbertson thought it was nice to win an opener after dropping the first game of her first three seasons.
“This was the seniors’ last first game,” Cuthbertson said. “I thought we came out like this is our time and our court. We were ready to play.”
However, it didn’t look good after a first quarter that included just one field goal by the Cavs, who trailed 12-3 after the first. North got some momentum back on a banked 3-pointer from Tiffany Brown to start the second quarter scoring.
North cut its deficit to 17-16 on a 3-point play from Demeria Robinson with 2:55 left in the half. A drive to the hoop from Cuthbertson gave the Cavs the lead shortly thereafter. A basket from Chatham in the final seconds tied it at 22 heading into halftime.
Cuthbertson’s basket 1:25 into the second half gave North (1-0) the lead for keeps. After a free throw from Chatham’s Jordan Culberson, the Cavs went on a 10-0 run to branch its lead to 34-23. Chatham closed to within 34-27 at the end of the third quarter, but Taylor Sells hit the first of two 3s to push it back to a double-digit edge. North led by 10 or more for most of the remainder of the game.
“Our key this year is pressing and going,” Hillian. “We’re going to keep pressing until they call timeout.”
North’s defense made it hard for the Bears to progress up the floor in the second half as Chatham scored just 13 in the last two quarters.
Chatham (1-2) was playing its third contest of the year as opposed to North’s first, but Bears coach Gerald Binkley said it looked like the other way around.
“We had trouble with their quickness,” said Binkley. “They didn’t let us do anything offensively. We were trying to go fast and that’s what they wanted us to do.”
CHATHAM CENTRAL (35) — Strickland 11, Cole 5, Batten 4, Thompson 4, Gaines 3, Maness 3, Moody 2, Hudson 2, Culberson 1, Brown.
NORTH ROWAN (52) — Cuthbertson 15, Bush 10, Robinson 9, Sells 6, Brown 5, Vann 4, Bradley 3, Carter, Rincon, Lingle, Dickerson.
C . Central 12 10 5 8 — 35
N. Rowan 3 19 12 15 — 52
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