Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls 65, North Moore 58: Cavaliers rally from 18 down
By Mike London
SPENCER — Sometimes you can sum up a game with just one word, and that was the case for North Rowan coach Tony Hillian on Tuesday night.
“I’m elated,” Hillian said. “Elated, elated. Just feeling very elated right now.”
Hillian’s elation was triggered by one of the most stirring comebacks in the Cavaliers’ history. Down 40-22 in their own gym midway through the third quarter — that’s an 18-point deficit if your calculator isn’t working — the Cavaliers rallied to beat North Moore 65-58 in a YVC matchup.
NR’s girls, not known as dazzling shooters, scored 43 points the last 12 minutes.
“I couldn’t ask for more than I got from this team in the second half,” Hillian said. “We just kept digging. We did an excellent job on defense. That defense is what got our offense going.”
To put it as nicely as possible, the Cavaliers (6-7, 6-2) were awful in the first half. They shot 5-for-36 from the field, couldn’t handle North Moore’s star post player Shakorya Brower and appeared to be finished when they trudged to the locker room down 30-16.
“We had talked about this being one of the biggest games of the season, but then we came out looking rusty,” Hillian said. “ We were missing layups and weren’t moving our feet on defense.”
North Rowan played a lot of 1-3-1 zone after halftime. That slowed down Brower (24 points, 18 rebounds) a little bit, and NR’s Sabrina Vann and Ronesha Bradley battled her hard on the glass.
North Rowan’s advantage was an overwhelming edge in quickness, and once North Moore point guard Jessie Sheffield got into foul trouble, things fell apart quickly for the Mustangs (8-7, 6-3).
“We had a guard (Jalisa Davis) who was playing great until she tore her ACL,” North Moore coach Sammy McNeill explained. “Another girl who would have started for us at guard tonight forgot her uniform. We told Jessie she would have to be careful.”
North Moore would finish with 31 turnovers, and suddenly it was a layup drill for the Cavs off those turnovers.
NR’s Tinka Bush, who averages 6 points per game, had an 11-point third quarter.
“Coach said to stop taking jumpers and to start driving for layups,” Bush said. “It was listen or lose, so we drove. We played our best game.”
When NR freshman Demeria Robinson splashed her second straight 3 with 5:32 left, the Cavs caught up at 46-all.
Bradley’s back-to-back stickbacks put them ahead to stay, and Teaunna Cuthbertson’s 10-point fourth quarter carried them home.
NORTH MOORE (58) — Brower 24, Sheffield 13, Horn 12, Lowe 6, McNeill 2, Green 1, Dunmyer.
NORTH ROWAN (65) — Robinson 16, Cuthbertson 14, Bush 13, Bradley 8, Brown 8, Sells 3, Vann 2, Dickerson 1, Lingle, Rincon.
N. Moore 13 17 12 16 — 58
N. Rowan 9 7 24 25 — 65