Gallagher Column: It's time for hoops

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
LAKE NORMAN — West Rowan boys basketball coach Mike Gurley didn’t appreciate a comment about his gym floor the other night from an opposing assistant coach, so he made sure the young guy knew where he was — the West Rowan gym, where state championship banners hang.
And we’re off. It’s basketball season.
It doesn’t take Gurley long to get into midseason form. Unfortunately, his Falcons are not there yet. West (0-2) will head into tonight’s game at Davie County with two whole practices under its belt.
Which means another state championship football appearance by 10 of his players has concluded and it’s time to focus on the roundball. It’s been that way for the past four years. And while the Falcons are always rusty early, they seem to find a way to make noise at the end.
Don’t forget. These football players who don’t win early have been molded into basketball players who have made the Western Regionals the past two seasons.

Andrew Mitchell knows that. He was seen at Lake Norman Wednesday night scouting the Falcons. He’s probably glad he’s playing them early, although he has the distinction of being the best team in the county.
The Cavaliers are scary good. Really good. And entertaining.

The feel-good story so far this year is East Rowan’s boys basketball team. Trey Ledbetter has realized he doesn’t have the athletes of a North or West, so his team has bought into the “get-down-and-dirty-defense-wins” mentality. The Mustangs led from start to finish on Wednesday while holding North Stanly to a measly 40 points.
East (2-4) has already exceeded last year’s win total. Expect a few more in the win column. It’s exciting to watch the Mustangs improve each game.

The Salisbury boys have a Division I prospect in Tony Nunn, who is living up to his billing. But the Hornet guards are struggling a bit getting him the ball.
They got it to him the one time he really needed it on Wednesday — in the last second against Robinson. He won the game with a layup at the buzzer.

Two big big basketball events will be held in Catawba’s Goodman Gym Saturday and Dec. 17. That’s when the flashy Cavs take on Salisbury on that big floor. Expect large crowds.

Who’s the best girls team in the county? Until someone in Rowan knocks them off, it’s the Salisbury girls, who own the Moir Christmas Classic.
But there’s another teamthat’s off to a roaring start — Carson, which stands 6-0 heading into tonight.
When handed a Salisbury Post preseason basketball edition on Wednesday, Robinson coach Lynn Smithson deadpanned, “I wish I had this before I played Carson.”
Carson dropped 77 on her team.
The Cougars are 3-point gunners but they made coach Brooke Misenheimer happy by holding Hickory Ridge to 29 points on Wednesday.
They’re the biggest challengers to Salisbury’s Christmas Classic throne.

The preseason hoopla concerning the Moir Classic was all about the college recruits who’ll be playing in front of packed houses on Dec. 27-30.
So far, no one has disappointed. It has the makings of being one of the best Moirs ever.

But first things first.
Tonight is the first big slate of Friday prep games, led by Albemarle at North.
West travels to talented Davie to take on the War Eagles for the second time in a week. Salisbury goes to Concord, A.L. Brown visits South Rowan and Northwest Cabarrus plays at East. Carson goes to Cox Mill.

On the air tonight …
• Bob Parker is back!
Hall of Famer Howard Platt will join our favorite coaching analyst tonight on WSTP 1490 AM for the Albemarle at North Rowan boys game. These two teams always fight for the YVC title.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or