Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls 59, Albemarle 39
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER — North Rowan knew who go after in Friday’s YVC battle with Albemarle.
Bulldog leading scorer Akela Branch was stricken with four fouls in the first half and North pulled away with a 22-point second quarter before winning 59-39.
North junior Taylor Sells hit three 3’s in the second quarter and Demeria Robinson scored a team-high 17 as the Cavaliers moved to 2-1 in the YVC.
Branch, who still ended up with 18 points despite fouling out in the second half, picked up three fouls in the first quarter and earned a fourth in the second.
“That was a big influence,” Albemarle coach Elbert Branch said. “She’s very young and she knows she’s the key scorer for us and she has to stay in the game.”
Sells picked up all 13 of her points in the second quarter. She hit a trey to make it 27-19 and hit one inside the arc to push the lead to double digits one possession later.
“I was setting up and waiting on it,” Sells said. “We didn’t really know much about Albemarle, but we came out ready to play.”
Robinson hit a trey right before the first-quarter buzzer and North led 11-8 after one. The Cavs never trailed after that.
“I thought we played an outstanding game,” North coach Tony Hillian said. “I was pleased with our effort and intensity.”
Hillian was pleased with the improvement at the free throw line. The Cavs were 14 for 23 from the charity stripe.
The Cavs led 33-20 at halftime after baskets from Sabrina Vann and Robinson ended the half. The Cavs saw a scary moment with 3:42 left in the third quarter when Tinka Bush went down with a bruised thigh. Bush did return and Hillian said Bush would be good to go for today’s game against Salisbury.
The teams traded baskets at the end of the third quarter and North maintained a 13-point edge, up 42-29 at the end of the third.
“We made free throws and made layups tonight,” Hillian said. “We pressed really well and made them force the ball.”
Albemarle made it a 42-33 game with consecutive baskets from Branch. The Cavs then embarked on an 8-0 run with Bush going to the foul line on three occasions. By the time Tenesha Dickerson’s jumper fell through, it was 50-33 with under four minutes left.
Teaunna Cuthbertson finished with nine points for the Cavs with Vann contributing eight.
ALBEMARLE (39) — Branch 18, Watkins 8, Barrett 5, Dick 2, Potter 2, Turner 2, Hooker 2, Dutton, Barrino, Bruton, Brown, Stanback, Swink.
NORTH ROWAN (59) — Robinson 17, Sells 13, Cuthbertson 9, Vann 8, Dickerson 4, Bush 3, Lingle 2, Bradley 2, Brown 1, Rincon, Carter.
Albemarle 8 12 9 10 — 39
N. Rowan 11 22 9 17 — 59