• 81°

Salisbury, North in sectional finals today

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Two rounds into the state basketball playoffs, North Rowan’s boys and Salisbury’s girls are the only county teams still standing.
Both are defending state champs.
Both are ranked fourth in the latest NCPreps.com media poll, which means there’s a mixture of believers and doubters out there.
Both teams are one win away from next week’s Western Regional in Greensboro and both face tough rematches tonight in 7 p.m. sectional finals.
The North boys enjoy the luxury of playing at home against Monroe. Salisbury’s girls must travel to Mount Airy to play North Surry.
It’s not like Salisbury’s third-seeded girls can’t win tonight — they’re not 25-3 by accident — but there are reasons why second-seeded North Surry (27-2) is favored.
For one thing, it’s a long ride for the Hornets, who eked out a 47-43 decision at North Surry in 2011 when SHS was blessed with a lineup of all-star seniors.
For another thing, North Surry is 14-0 on its home floor this season.
It also should be noted that North Surry buried West Stokes three times, and Salisbury struggled past West Stokes in Wednesday’s second round.
Finally, North Surry owns a win against 4A Hopewell, one of the teams that beat Salisbury.
Junior forward Kristina Rumplasch (17 pgg), point guard Morgan Midkiff and center Malaya Johnson average double figures for Shane Slate’s Greyhounds.
Rumplasch scored 41 — seriously, 41 — when North Surry, ranked seventh in the media poll, outscored Forest Hills on Wednesday.
Sophomore Brielle Blaire (22.2 ppg) and senior Doreen Richardson (13.3) lead Chris McNeil’s Hornets.
Win or lose, the Hornets have enjoyed the greatest sustained run of postseason success in county hoops history — nine straight regional appearances (under four different coaches) and three straight 2A state championships.
North Rowan vs. Monroe is quite a matchup. The Cavaliers survived 44-40 in Monroe in this round last season.
Monroe was crowned 1A state champion in 2010, so the Cavaliers dethroned them. Monroe would like to return the favor tonight.
North floorleader Pierre Givens, big man Malik Ford and super-quick Michael Connor played key roles in last year’s win at Monroe.
Coach Andrew Mitchell also will rely on sophomore Michael Bowman and junior Oshon West, a potential scoring machine.
North has had to play without junior defensive whiz T.J. Bates all season and without senior guard Jordan Kimber in recent weeks, but it has still put up a 25-3 record.
Second-seeded North is just the fourth boys team in school history to reach the 25-win plateau and the 19th in county history,
Monroe coach Johnny Sowell is a former Appalachian State fullback and is a hard-working guy who coaches the Redhawks year-round in football, basketball and track.
A great athlete at Monroe in the 1970s, Sowell piloted his third-seeded team (18-10) to a 55-52 win against East Surry on Wednesday.
n
As a No. 5 seed, Davie (21-6) didn’t really expect to have a home game in a sectional final, but the War Eagle boys are in Mocksville tonight for a 4A playoff matchup against No. 9 seed Richmond County.
Davie has an extremely potent offensive machine now that Caleb Martin has returned from injury, although coach Mike Absher is certain the long, rangy Martin boosts the team’s defense and rebounding even more than the offense.
Points are rarely a problem for Davie. Shannon Dillard poured in 39 in Wednesday’s rout of Northwest Guilford, and Nate Jones is capable of getting 39 any time he steps on the floor.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Salisbury man charged with 79-year-old woman’s murder says cellphone location resulted in charges

Health

Salisbury City Council will return to virtual meetings, require face masks in city buildings

Landis

Landis goes big with two helicopters for National Night Out

Local

Spencer and East Spencer join forces for National Night Out

Local

City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road

Education

In lighter-than-usual year, RSS nutrition staff serve more than 100,000 summer meals

Nation/World

CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3

Nation/World

Pushback challenges vaccination requirements at US colleges

News

More North Carolinians getting COVID shot amid Delta variant

Crime

Appeals court tosses China Grove man’s murder conviction, citing lack of evidence

Crime

Two men charged with robbing, killing Gold Hill woman

David Freeze

Day 8 for Freeze brings trooper, tunnel and more climbing

Education

Back to School: A message from RSS Superintendent Tony Watlington

Education

Salisbury’s colleges take different approaches to COVID-19 vaccinations

Coronavirus

Back to school: COVID-19 in RSS, K-12 schools

Local

Rowan County commissioners approve agreement for millions in opioid settlement funding

High School

Fall sports: Official practice begins

News

Nancy Stanback remembered for compassion, philanthropy

News

David Freeze: Finally a day that met expectations

Education

Back to School: Getting to know RSS schools

Education

Back to school: From public to charter, Faith Elementary won’t miss a beat

News

Threat of rising evictions looms in North Carolina

Nation/World

US hits 70% vaccination rate — a month late, amid a surge

Education

Turbyfill remembered for years working to help students