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2012-13 Prep Basketball: North Rowan girls preview

By Ryan Bisesi
rbisesi@salisburypost.com
      SPENCER — This girls varsity basketball thing is new to North Rowan coach Brian Lytton.
That’s true for a good part of his team as well.
The Cavaliers have three freshman that figure to be integral to the team’s success.
Lytton wants to tap into the youthful squad with an adaptable style that features speed without being chaotic.  
     “We want to play fast,” Lytton said. “We try to work on pushing the ball when we’ve got numbers. We want to go up-tempo but be under control.”
      Last year’s leading scorer Teaunna Cuthbertson has moved on as has Tinka Bush and Sabrina Vann. The Cavs started out 4-2 but finished 9-15 overall and 9-7 in the YVC under Tony Hillian.
This year, there’s nine on a roster that doesn’t contain much height.
     “We’ve really got some shooters, and I’m glad because we’re not big,” Lytton said.
      Lytton coached the jayvee boys the last two seasons so he’s got familiarity with the program. Lytton says he won’t have a concrete starting lineup until after preseason scrimmages, but he’s comfortable enough to know who’ll they’ll lean on.
     Sophomore Demeria Robinson is a point guard that hopes to improve on a surprising freshman year where she averaged 9.6 points a game. Robinson had two 17-point nights against Albemarle and Gray Stone and dropped 20 against East Montgomery.
     “She’s an excellent shooter and sees the floor well,” Lytton said. “She’s great to watch.”
      Aliyah Farmer, Tra Allen and Special Washington are the freshmen expected to get minutes.  
So it all sounds nice, but how does Lytton feel about the uncertainty of inheriting such a young squad?
       “I don’t know,” Lytton said. “I still don’t know what they’re going to do. You try to explain to them that the game is different at the high school level. It’s faster and more physical. They’re going to have to learn quickly to adjust to the speed of the game and the physicalness of the game.”
        For reassurance, Lytton says Washington is the total package with good quickness and size for a guard with good upside.
      “I could see her being one of the better players in the county this year,” Lytton said. “She’s a great athlete and sees the floor well.”
      Farmer is lightning-quick, while Washington brings an assortment of skills with a 5-8 frame. Allen is fast as well and has been coachable.
      Taylor Sells will see a lot of minutes at forward and is a tough-nosed player that can fire from the perimeter. Sells scored 20 points against West Rowan last year.
“She’s hard working,” Lytton said. “She’ll get in there and do the hard work for us.”
      Amber Carter is a senior forward/center combo. Junior Anna Lingle will see time at small forward.
Sophomore Fredejah Royer is 5-10 and can provide depth in the post. Kayla Smith is another one fighting for playing time.
     The Cavs host West Rowan Nov. 30 and start conference play against Albemarle on Dec. 4. South Davidson and Chatham Central should be among the league’s most competitive teams.
“I feel like if we compete in the county, we’ll compete in the conference because the county is strong,” Lytton said.
      Lytton highlights the county games, including the Moir Tournament as benchmarks for the season. North has won just three of its last 28 games against county foes and is 0-for-its-last 29 against Salisbury and West. There’s a home and home with West and two games against Salisbury at Catawba.
      “Physically and from a skill standpoint, our girls are certainly capable of competing,” Lytton said. “They’ve got a lot to offer but they’ve also got a lot to learn. I don’t think that means we can’t be good, but it just depends how quickly they learn.”

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