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Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls 72, East Montgomery 48

By David Shaw
dshaw@salisburypost.com
SPENCER — Three days after suffering its first loss of the season, North Rowan’s girls basketball team was prescribed a perfect tonic for remedy.
The Cavs’ 72-48 rout of YVC bottom-feeder East Montgomery on Tuesday was without doubt their best performance to date.
“It gets us out of a hole, anyway,” power forward Teaunna Cuthbertson said. “The last game didn’t feel right.”
North’s last game was Saturday’s lopsided loss to Salisbury at Goodman Gym. This game — one that moved North into second place in the league standings — must have felt wonderful.
“We were a little sluggish coming off the big weekend,” winning coach Tony Hillian said. “Slow starts, that’s been our weakness. But once we got going tonight there was no stopping us. This is how we need to play.”
It took North (3-2, 3-1) until the second quarter to gain its traction. The Cavs turned a precarious 20-16 lead into a nine-point edge after Cuthbertson converted both ends of a one-and-one late in the first half.
“It was kind of a slow pace,” Taylor Sells noted.
That changed in the third period when Cuthbertson netted eight of her season-high 20 points, mostly on penetrating dribble drives toward the basket. North’s lead ballooned to 48-27 on a crowd-pleasing Tinka Bush 3-pointer from the left corner with 2:29 remaining in the quarter.
“I think we just started working as a team,” she said after finishing with 14 points, also a season-high.
East Montgomery (1-6, 0-3) threw a temporary scare into North when it scored the last six points of the third quarter, then pulled within 58-48 when Kiana Harris buried a 3-ball with 3:15 remaining.
“Unforced turnovers, giving up steals and continuing to shoot jump shots,” Hillian spewed afterward. “We were taking all these shots we didn’t need.”
But North finished the game with an exclamation mark by scoring the last 14 points. Bush hit back-to-back layups sandwiched around a steal in the backcourt, Sells (13 points) made a pretty 12-foot set shot from the left elbow and Demaria Robinson closed the scoring with a last-minute layup. When they rolled the final credits, no one stood out more than Cuthbertson.
“The last couple games I’ve been trying to shoot jumpers,” she said. “That’s not really me.”
EAST MONTGOMERY (48) — Hinson 18, Harris 15, Crisco 7, Watts 4, Quick 4.
NORTH ROWAN (72) — Cuthbertson 20, Bush 14, Sells 13, Robinson 9, Brown 6, Rincon 5, Bradley 4, Dickerson 1, Lingle, Carter, Vann.
E. Mont. 10 13 12 13 — 48
N. Rowan 18 12 19 23 — 72

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