Moir Christmas Classic: The Notebook

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2011

From staff reports
The Moir Classic notebook …
As the boys from North Rowan and Davie County were being introduced before the championship game Thursday night, Catawba athletic director Dennis Davidson made an announcement.
“The fire marshall has shut us down.”
Another record crowd had filled the 2,600-seat Goodman Gym to capacity with plenty of fans still standing in the lobby.
“It’s the first time,” Davidson said of the event, in its 40th year.
Is that good or bad?
“It’s not good for somebody wanting to get in now,” Davidson said. “They should’ve been here earlier. I had to break one girl’s heart.”
It may not have been good for the late-arrivals, but a full house is good for the schools, who split the pot seven ways. And at seven bucks a pop, the six county schools and Davie will certainly benefit.

BOYS ALL-TOURNAMENT: Media and Catawba administrators responsible for voting for the boys all-tournament team were faced with a unique situation on Thursday.
Davie’s Nate Jones only played in one game in the tournament. The War Eagles had a first-round bye as the top seed and Jones sat out their Wednesday semifinal win to complete a team-imposed suspension for making a poor decision.
On one hand, Jones shouldn’t be all-tourney because he only played in one game. On the other hand, Jones was arguably the single most impressive player in the tournament, and he gave Davie a chance to win the final by raining five 3s and scoring 30 points.
Jones got the nod from the majority of the voters and has to be the first person ever to make the all-tournament team with just one outing.
Senior Shannon Dillard, who lifted Davie into the final with his monster game against West Rowan, had 42 points and 20 rebounds in two outings and was a much easier choice.
The guy who was toughest to leave off all-tourney from the runner-up team was Cody Martin. He was fantastic in the first half against West, but pretty ordinary, by his standards, after that.
West Rowan finished fourth, which means it won just one tournament game, but senior guard Keshun Sherrill was the tourney’s leading scorer with 67 points (19 on free throws). He had three very solid games, and there wasn’t much doubt he’d be all-tournament.
East deserved an all-tourney player after turning in a third-place finish, and Hakeem Gittens was the strongest choice. Gittens and teammate Jordan Shepherd were almost identical in scoring production, but Gitten’s tournament-high 32 rebounds set him apart.
Gittens isn’t a household name, but he’s had as much to do with East’s resurgence as anyone.
North’s all-tourney picks weren’t difficult.
MVP Pierre Givens scored 60 points in the event on 58-percent shooting. He made a tourney-high nine 3-pointers and also led North in assists.
North’s other all-tourney pick Oshon West hit the pivotal shot of the tournament and scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the title game.

GIRLS ALL-TOURNAMENT: When the P.A. announcer told the crowd who the girls MVP was for this year’s Moir tournament, he yelled, “Who else … Brielle Blaire.
Salisbury’s Blaire and senior teammate Doreen Richardson were named to the all-tournament team, along with Carson’s Kelly Dulkoski and Tyesha Phillips, West Rowan’s Shay Steele and East Rowan’s Karleigh Wike.

A BIG WOW FOR WIKE: When the Post announces its year-end awards, it’s going to be difficult to put anybody but Wike down for Best Performance of the Year.
The 6-foot-3 East Rowan sophomore had 30 points and 27 rebounds in a win over North Rowan on Thursday.
That gives players like Keshun Sherrill and Brielle Blaire something to shoot for.
Wike averaged 18.3 points and 13 rebounds in three games.
NORTH: The Moir boys championship was the seventh for North, which stands third behind Salisbury (14) and West (10) on the all-time list.
North has now won 50 games in the Moir event — against 46 losses.
In this year’s event, North boosted its record against East to 16-7, bumped its record against South to 10-5, and raised its mark against Davie to 5-9.
UNSUNG HEROES: North sophomore Michael Bowman turned in a solid Moir final with seven points and nine rebounds.
Tydler Watlington contributed 16 very solid minutes. He was 2-for-2 from the field, including a huge late stickback, took a charge and yanked down six rebounds. •
WANTED: BABY-SITTERS: Jason Causby stood in front of his bench before the 1:30 p.m. fifth-place boys game and he had to solve a few problems.
Not with his Salisbury kids. Rather, his kids at home.
My wife works and my father-in-law keeps the book,” Causby said. “So we have to juggle it around.”
So it’s no wonder Causby was calling his 1:30 affair against Carson, “The Child Care Bracket.”

DOWN TIME: Hornet dominance of recent years in the men’s bracket has ended with this year’s disappointing sixth place finish after winning the past four.
Causby even referenced owning up to the program’s reputation of past years saying “These guys are young and as with any team, growing is a process, but here at Salisbury we have great tradition and it is a disservice to the great players before the guys now, not to continue what they created.”

DIAPER DANDIES: The most impressive freshman in the Moir was East Rowan’s 6-foot-2 Kelli Fisher, who scored 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a 73-56 win over Davie and added 20 and 16 in a 71-47 rout of North.
East coach Danielle Porter knows Fisher has a high basketball IQ.
“She is very aware of where body is relative to the basket,” Porter said. “She is strong as an ox.”
Fisher rarely misses inside.
“She’s going to catch it,” Porter said. “That’s the first thing that makes her a great player.”
Fisher leads a strong group of Moir freshmen. Carson’s Alex Allen, South’s Avery Locklear and North’s Demeria Robinson have been among the best players.

DOREEN: Salisbury senior Doreen Richardson didn’t want the Hornets’ run of consecutive Moir titles to end at eight Thursday night. Not on her senior year. So the lone senior took the stage in the locker room before the game with a pre-game message to her teammates.
“Let’s just go out there and have fun,” Richardson said. “We’re like family. No matter what happens, we’re still good together.”

WE NEED PRACTICE: The West Rowan boys can claim a work schedule unique to anyone else in the county.
At roughly the midway point in the season, the Falcons have played 12 games and six practices. That lack of practice time was transparent Thursday against a disciplined and fundamentally astute East Rowan squad.
“I think the two times we’ve played them, they’ve exposed the fact that we haven’t had a lot of practice time,” West coach Mike Gurley said. “East Rowan deserved that game. But the bottom line is, we’ve got to get some practice time.”

GROWING UP: East Rowan’s boys took enough baby steps to getting better. Now its stride has increased tenfold after winning eight of its last nine.
“Instead of baby steps, we’re taking big boy steps now,” East coach Trey Ledbetter said.

YOUNG GUNS: Speaking of the future, South Rowan’s Jarrod Smith noticed during the fourth quarter of his team’s opening win over North Rowan that he had two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior on the court.

20-SOMETHING: Just when you thought two 20-rebound games in a week was impressive, Wike and Salisbury’s Tony Nunn brought the number to four on Thursday. Nunn grabbed 20 against Carson.

GET BETTER: It was not a good tournament for the North girls. They lost twice and coach Tony Hillian was ejected in Thursday’s loss to East.
Is there anything to take away from the Moir?
“I think defensive-wise, we’re ready for the conference.” Hillian said. “Offensively, we’ve got to work on hitting free throws, layups and open shots.
“North was just 16-for-72 against East.
Hillian said he’d turn his focus to Tuesday’s big YVC matchup with South Davidson. North is 4-1 in the league, the Wildcats 3-2.

YAY FOR TREY: West Rowan coach Mike Gurley is certainly impressed with the job Trey Ledbetter has done at East, especially after losing to him Thursday for the second time this year. East is 9-5 after a 1-20 campaign in 2011.
“If you picked (Coach of the Year) on Jan.1, it’s hard not to say Trey Ledbetter,” Gurley said.

INJURY UPDATE: Davie sophomore Caleb Martin will be out 5-6 weeks with a fracture in his foot. He’ll be in a boot 3-4 weeks, followed by two weeks of rehab.
• Carson’s missing junior Malachi Parker this week. He had surgery for an ACL injury on Thursday.
He’ll do rehab for six months.

A MOOSE-STAKE: Whoops! A list of male county players who had scored more career points than West Rowan’s Keshun Sherrill in Thursday’s edition failed to include Carson’s Darius Moose, a 2010 grad who scored a school-record 1,768.
Please add Moose to the list of guys Sherrill can surpass in the coming months.

Ronnie Gallagher, Mike London, Ryan Bisesi and Jordan Honeycutt contributed to the notebook.