Gallagher column: Roaming the county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
SALISBURY — The first night of the sectional playoffs usually doesn’t produce many surprises.
Unless you’re from Rowan County.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” said Concord girls coach Angela Morton on Monday night. “Brooke is one of the best young coaches in the state. I know she’s disappointed but they had a great year.”
Morton was referring to Carson girls coach Brooke Misenheimer, whose 23-win Cougars went down in the first round at home, 68-59.
Misenheimer tried not to be too shellshocked afterward. But the rest of the fans were. This was one of the supposed “gimmes” for Rowan County on the first sectional evening.
It was not a good night for the locals. Ten teams played with the boys going 3-for-5 and the girls 1-for-5.
The only teams left tonight in the second round are the North boys (at home at 7 against Lake Norman Charter), West boys (at Concord), Salisbury boys (at West Stokes) and Salisbury girls (at home against West Stokes).

North was expected to win Monday and did so in its usual fashion: by 55.
Salisbury’s girls were expected to win big and did so by 46.

Weddington was probably favored at home against West Rowan but the Falcons’ OT win was par for the course for coach Mike Gurley. The man just doesn’t lose first-round sectional games.
The Falcons beat the Warriors 69-66.
One fan came back marveling about shiny, impressive Weddington, but added, “In the end, the country boys beat the country club.”
You have to go back to 2005 to find a loss by the country boys in the first round of a sectional. That came against Concord — ironically, tonight’s foe. West has made the sectional finals six straight seasons.

When West’s Keshun Sherrill scores three points tonight, he’ll hit 1,900 for his career. He’s third all-time in the county on a scoring list dominated by Falcons. We all know who’s ahead of him: Scooter Sherrill and Donte Minter.
Keshun had 27 points against Weddington.

The “real” Salisbury boys showed up Monday when they ripped North Lincoln. The enigmatic Hornets, who had more “did-not-play-coaches decision” going into the CCC tournament,than wins, have suddenly rediscovered themselves, especially Tyler Petty.
Coach Jason Causby received congratulations Monday and happily reminded a few people that he told them earlier in the season not to throw dirt on his team just yet.
Going to West Stokes tonight will bring back memories. The Wildcats used to be in the Central Carolina Conference and the Hornets made many trips to King to face Dan Spainhour sharpshooting, fundamentally sound teams.

A shout-out to two coaches: Causby and East Rowan boys Trey Ledbetter.
Causby isn’t through after some early hard times. Most felt this team was destined to have a losing record. It goes into tonight 14-13.
And what a story Ledbetter is. After winning just one conference game over the last two years and going 1-20 last season, the Mustangs won seven NPC contests this year and finished over .500. He’ll definitely get Coach of the Year consideration.

On the air tonight …
Hall of Famer Howard Platt and the best hoops analyst around, The Coach, Bob Parker, will call the North Rowan-Lake Norman Charter game on WSTP 1490 AM.
If the Cavaliers win tonight, the dynamic duo will call the sectional final on Friday.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or