Prep Basketball: Lake Norman boys 86, West Rowan 65
By Mike London
MOORESVILLE — Standing on the court in front of the West Rowan bench on Wednesday, coach Mike Gurley showed pretty good hands as he picked off a Lake Norman pass in the first quarter.
“You can’t do that!” Lake Norman’s vocal lime green-and-orange rooting section chanted at Gurley, who was grinning sheepishly.
After a short conference, officials concurred that Gurley couldn’t legally do that, and they hit him with an unusual technical.
As it turned out, Gurley’s “steal” was some of the best defense the Falcons played all night.
West, still getting its feet wet this basketball season, was smacked 86-65 by a Lake Norman squad that is big, deep, skilled and smart. On Tuesday, West opened with a loss to Davie County, another strong 4A team.
“I’m not hanging my head because we’re 0-2, and my players aren’t hanging their heads,” Gurley said. “No excuses, but we realize where we are right now. There’s a long, long list of things we need to work on, and we just haven’t had enough time to work on them.”
Devin Parks hit two 3s and knocked down enough floaters to score 16 for the Falcons. Jarvis Morgan debuted with 14. Seth Martin hit three second-half 3s and scored 11.
The surprise was that Lake Norman’s defense held a cold-shooting Keshun Sherrill to 12.
“We mixed things up defensively against him,” Lake Norman coach Brandon Jolly explained. “Played him straight up at times and then we sent double-teams at him at others. The key was we kept him off the foul line because Keshun lives at the foul line.”
Lake Norman (4-0) rotated nine players and got 47 points off the bench, including 18 on 9-for-12 shooting (three dunks) by towering Troy Warren.
“I was very surprised that tall boy could jump the way he did,” Morgan said.
West trailed 40-29 at halftime, and Warren’s destructive, 14-point second half kept the Falcons at arm’s length.
“Blocking shots, rebounding, scoring — he was an animal on both ends,” Jolly said.
The highlight for West was Morgan rejecting a shot by Warren, and then finishing a fastbreak on the other end.
But Lake Norman was smooth and polished, and a very inexperienced West team is just getting started.
“We’ve just got to work on our chemistry some and get our rhythm back,” Morgan said. “We’ll be fine.”
No doubt. West started 0-4 last season and still made it to the 3A Western Regional.
WEST ROWAN (65) — Parks 16, J. Morgan 14, Sherrill 12, Martin 11, Archie 6, Tucker 4, Reddick 2, Cuthbertson, Miller, Gallagher, T. Morgan, Blackwood.
LAKE NORMAN (86) — Warren 18, Gibson 16, Jones 14, Emerson 8, Scott 8, DeZervos 8, Haynes 7, Lee 5, Cranor 2, Parks, Scales, Guffey, Suther.
W. Rowan 13 16 19 17 — 65
L. Norman 18 22 23 23 — 86