Prep Basketball: South Rowan boys 55, West Iredell 42
By Sean Rinehart
LANDIS — A very close contest for most of the game turned around very quickly for the South Rowan boys, as they pulled away in epic fashion during the fourth quarter to seal a 55-42 win over conference rival West Iredell.
“They finally played the way we have been asking them to play,” said Raider coach John Davis. “They were very patient and deliberate.”
That they were. The Raiders did an extremely effective job at moving the ball while they were on offense. “When you run this offense, sometimes teams get impatient and want to score quickly,” said Davis. “But in high school there is no shot clock, so I told them we needed to be patient and run the offense the right way.”
South Rowan was led by the intense play of Josh Medlin. He opened the game with two big 3-pointers , which really helped his confidence level soar throughout the evening. He scored 20 points and helped lead a defense that only gave up 12 points in the second half. “We were tough defensively,” said Davis. “I thought we did a heck of a job during the second half holding a good West Iredell team to only 12 points.”
Another Raider who helped pave the way for his team’s victory was Qua Neal. While he was limited to only 7 shot attempts the entire game, he made his presence felt from the free throw line. Neal went 10-of-12 from the charity stripe, which included some critical late game attempts where he went 5-of-6.
West put themselves in position to win the game for the first three quarters, but they went cold when they needed baskets most during the fourth quarter.
“We don’t execute,” said a visibly upset West Iredell coach B.J Johnson. With chances late in the game to move the ball around and find good shots in order to keep themselves within reach, some of the West Iredell players were throwing up NBA-type 3-pointers from well behind the three point arc. “I feel they don’t want to execute,” said Johnson.
One of the standouts for the Warriors is Jalen Gray, who managed 14 points while going 4-of-9 from the 3-point line. Gray started the game hot, as he hit 4 big 3-pointers to keep his team within reach. However, he went cold during the second half and only made one basket while going 1-of-9 from the field. Kam Summers also played exceptionally well, scoring 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
The Warriors shot 1-of-5 from the free throw line while the Raiders went 22-of-32 and hit big free throws late in the game when they needed them most to stay in the lead. “We are a good ball team,” said Johnson. “We just aren’t a patient one yet.”
WEST IREDELL (42) — J. Gray 14, Summers 14, Phifer 5, Robinson 4, Gibbs 2, Borders 2, Ellis 1, D.J. Gray, Davidson, Marshall, Boggs, D. Gray.
SOUTH ROWAN (55) — Medlin 20, Neal 12, Allen 8, Lambert 4, Spry 3, Sherrill 2, Parker 2, Garlin 2, Tyler 2, Washington, Buchanan, Glenn, Goodman, Ouellette.
W. Iredell 15 15 8 4 — 42
S. Rowan 18 11 12 14 — 55