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Prep Basketball Notebook: Sherrill proving he's county's best player

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
Keeping up with boys basketball during a slow week …
While West Rowan senior Keshun Sherrill never has been named Rowan County Player of the Year, he’s already had one of the great careers in county history.
Sherrill’s 28 points at Lexington on Monday lifted his career total to 1,680.
“He’s so tough,” Lexington coach Robert Hairston said. “When you play West, you just figure on Keshun getting his and you try to stop everyone else.”
To put his points total in perspective, Sherrill has scored 1,082 more points than the second-highest active career scorer in the county. North’s Pierre Givens ranks second with 598.
Sherrill has topped 20 points 35 times in his four-year varsity career. He’s been as durable as well as consistent, although he did miss two games of his junior season with a hip injury.
Sherrill now ranks third on West’s all-time scoring list, trailing only Donte Minter (2,087) and Scooter Sherrill (2,469). Minter and Scooter are the only Rowan boys ever to reach 2,000.
Keshun surpassed his brother, K.J., the 2009 county player of the year, for third place at West when he scored 21 points at Carson on Jan. 6.
With just five points on Friday against Statesville, the 5-foot-9 Sherrill will become Rowan’s all-time scorer for guys under 6 feet tall. East mighty mite Justin Vanderford scored 1,684 in a career that ended in 2008.
Keshun conceivably could join Scooter and Minter in the 2,000-point club, but that will hinge on how successful West is in the NPC tournament and 3A playoffs.
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TUCKER TIME: Najee Tucker took advantage of greatly expanded playing time to score 30 points in West’s two most recent outings.
He scored 26 in West’s first 15 contests.n
KUDOS: After North beat West 69-62 recently, West coach Mike Gurley had nice things to say about Jordan Kimber, who played for Gurley in Mount Ulla when he was a freshman.
“Great player and a great person,” Gurley said. “I’m thrilled I got to coach Jordan for a year. I’ve always cheered for him 98 percent of the time — all except when he was playing against the big blue — and now that we won’t see North again this year, I can cheer for him 100 percent of the time.”
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AND COUNTING: Every time West (10-7, 5-1 NPC) wins, Gurley adds to his county record. He’s 323-92 at the helm of the Falcons and has 425 victories in his career.
Now in his 15th season in Mount Ulla, he’s in the chase for his 11th regular season conference title.
“We’ve had some disappointing losses to some very good teams like North Rowan, games we really wanted to win,” Gurley said. “But our focus is always going to be the conference race and the playoffs.”n
DRIVER’S SEAT: The only serious challengers for North (13-2, 8-0) in the YVC are Albemarle and South Davidson.
Those teams already have split with each other.
North won its first meeting with both the Bulldogs and the Wildcats, although it should be noted that both of those wins were at home.
North crushed Albemarle 64-35 on Dec. 9, but coach Andrew Mitchell definitely expects a stiffer test when the Cavaliers go to Albemarle on Jan. 24.
“We caught Albemarle just coming off the football field that first time,” Mitchell said. “South Davidson also has an excellent team. It’s not like winning a conference championship is ever going to be easy.”
Since it was classified 1A, North owns a tremendous record of 37-3 in regular season YVC contests. North shared the YVC title with Albemarle in 2011 and won it outright in 2010.
If North does achieve its third straight league title, it’ll be the first time the Cavs have accomplished that feat, and the school has been competing in basketball since the 1958-59 season.
North won back-to-back conference titles under coach Bob Hundley in 1985 and 1986, although it won those banners in two different leagues — the 3A North Piedmont and the 2A Central Carolina. North also won CCC crowns back-to-back under coach Kelly Everhart in 2000 and 2001.
There’s something else this season’s Cavs can shoot for. North’s had just three perfect conference seasons in its history — 1963, 2000 and 2001.
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OFF THE RADAR: East Rowan haven’t been on the court since Jan. 6 and haven’t tasted victory since the Christmas tournament.
East (9-7, 4-2) has beaten West Rowan twice and enjoyed a surprising, seven-game winning streak in December, but the Mustangs’ momentum is long gone.
Can they get it back? Their game at Carson on Friday will be an important one.
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WHO’S NO.2? Obviously, West’s Sherrill leads Rowan County’s boys in scoring by a lot at 22.4 points per game, but who’s No. 2?
Carson sophomore guard Tre Williams probably would not have been your first guess, but he’s the correct answer.
Williams has been up and down — not a shock for a soph — but when he’s on, he’s on. He’s topped 20 points four times, including NPC contests against South, West Iredell and North Iredell. He averages 13.9 per game.
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HORNETS’ WOES: While the Salisbury boys’ start has been anything but pretty — the Hornets (5-8, 1-1 CCC) have their worst record through 13 games since 2005-06 — it’s too early to jump ship.
Coach Jason Causby’s Hornets began 3-6 in 2007-08 but finished with a CCC tournament title and a 19-11 record. Causby’s 2005-06 outfit started out 0-12 but rallied to win nine games, while his 2004-05 team overcame a 3-7 start to finish 16-10.
Since 2000, the Hornets have won seven CCC tournaments and four CCC regular-season titles.
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STINGING: Salisbury’s rivalry with Lexington is a spirited one. It’s 9-8 Hornets in the last seven seasons, including four clashes in CCC tournaments.
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QUA-LITY PLAYER: South’s season (3-13, 2-4 NPC) has been a struggle, but a huge home win against East on Jan. 4 showed what the Raider boys are capable of and they’re still in thick of the playoff picture in a seven-team league that gets four berths.
While Josh Medlin and Shawn Spry have, at times, been spectacular, the most consistent force for the Raiders has been senior Qua Neal, who owns 10 double-figure efforts in the 15 games in which he’s played.
Houston Allen, a first-year senior, has been coming on lately. He has four double-figure efforts in his last five games.
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CAN’T BEAT ’EM: When second-ranked and unbeaten Concord whipped A.L. Brown 70-47 on Friday, it marked the 19th straight time the Wonder boys have lost to the Spiders.
Brown hasn’t won in the series since it beat Concord 80-74 in overtime in the 2004 state playoffs. Garrett Sherrill and Avery Patterson combined for 54 points in that one.
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HARD TO KEEP UP WITH: Davie is off to a 1-2 start in the CPC, but Nate Jones is still north of 25 points per game and still challenging Dwayne Grant’s all-time school record for scoring average in a season.

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