Prep Basketball: A.L. Brown boys 80, South Rowan 77
By Marny Hendrick
LANDIS ó South Rowan seemed to be enjoying their first home game of the season Friday night until it all fell apart in the fourth period again rival A.L. Brown.
The Raiders had given up all of their 12 point second half lead but did have the ball with a tie score and 1:20 left to play. Their attempt to work the clock for a good shot turned disastrous however, as Wonder junior guard Michael Carr stole the ball at midcourt and drove for the go ahead lay-up.
Relentless pressure defense and strong rebounding were the keys for Kannapolis in their comeback 80-77 win as they improved to 4-1, including an earlier one point win over South.
ěIt was a very physical game and a very tough game,î stated Wonder head Coach Selwyn Klutz as he notched his 195th career win. ěI am really proud of our team because we had to overcome some adversity.î
Much of the adversity was created by the Wonders themselves as double technical fouls in the final minute of the first half allowed South to lead 43-41 at the break.
The Raiders then roared out of the gate in the second half with a pair of long threes by sophomore Shawn Spry and an old fashioned three by Qua Neal. South suddenly led 52-41 and seemed in control.
ěThis is probably one of our best games weíve played,î Raider coach John Davis said. ěBut we gave up too many rebounds and didnít handle the pressure down the stretch. It was pretty typical for a young team.î
The Raiders (3-4) were coming off a big win the night before at Mt. Pleasant and were glad to finally get a home game after 6 on the road. The momentum carried them for a while Friday night until Kannapolis put their pressing and trapping defense into high gear.Carrís steal gave the Wonders the lead for good in the final minute and they made it stand up by going six for six from the line at crunch time.
South did get a stellar inside performance from forward Josh Medlin who racked up 26 points. Neal and Spry added 14 each while Nathan Lambert chipped in 9 plus a number of key rebounds. The Wonders placed 5 players in double figures led by Derrick Copeland with 22 and 14 from Carr. Big man Keeon Johnson had 11 and earned the praise of his coach for an outstanding inside game with his rebounding and defense.
Davis feels his team is showing improvement and is ready to get their North Piedmont conference season underway next week.
Not surprisingly, both Raider games next week are on the road.
SOUTH ROWAN (77) ó Medlin 26, Neal 14, Spry 14, Lambert 9, Allen 6, , Buchanan 4, Tyler 4, Parker, Sherrill.
A.L. BROWN (80) ó Copeland 22, Carr 14, Waddell 12, Johnson 11, Shepherd 10, Medley 7, Howie 2, Morrison 2, Rice, Parker, Lott.
A.L. Brown 18 23 12 27 ó 80
S. Rowan 23 20 17 17 ó 17