NORWOOD — North Rowan walked into a crimson gym at South Stanly.
But the Cavaliers left Norwood Tuesday night feeling like the Crimson Tide in a 103-51 YVC victory. A big green wave washed over the Rebel Bulls in the opening minutes and the Cavs remained unbeaten in conference play.
“We told the guys Alabama distinguished themselves as the national champions,” said North coach Andrew Mitchell referring to the BCS National Championship football game. “If you’re going to do that, you can’t lay down against anybody. I liked that we came out and played hard.”
Seniors Oshon West (25 points) and Malik Ford (24 points) led the way offensively and Shareef Walker’s late free throw put North (11-3, 7-0) in triple digits for the second time in three games. Walker hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Cavs just short of a school-record 105.
“They’re a very physical team,” South coach Mike Crump said. “They’re looking to create contact instead of a avoid it.”
The Cavs may have come out a little too hard, earning a technical foul after a dunk in warm ups. South didn’t hit either free throw and North embarked on a 17-2 run to start the game. West, who eclipsed 1,000 points last week, scored 25 points for the second time this year.
“Every game we play we’ve got a bullseye on our back,” said West. “We got to go out there and show what we’ve got.”
West got a steal and a layup for the first points and drilled a 3 on the next possession. Michael Bowman’s transition layup and Timothy Bates’ three-pointer added to the fun. Ford added a three-point play to make it 15-2 with the game not even three minutes old.
Ford graced the game with its first dunk to make it 27-5 late in the first quarter. North led 29-5 after one. South played with North in the second quarter, as it was only outscored 24-22. It was 53-27 at the half. West came out hot in the second half as well, hitting a jumper while being fouled and canning a layup to push the lead to 30.
“A lot of games like this, our guys don’t get their numbers,” Mitchell said. “I told them to go hard, play great defense, but try to get your numbers up. That’s not to embarrass anybody or to do anything to the other team. I’m worried about these guys getting recognized.”
Walker added 11 points while Bowman scored nine points as did freshman Josh Handy. South’s Michard Richardson led his team with 13 points.
NOTES: Mitchell said starter Michael Connor should be back soon, potentially for the Albemarle game next week. Connor hurt his knee against Davie County in the Moir Championship game and has sat out since.
NORTH ROWAN (103) — West 25, Ford 24, Walker 11, Handy 9, Bowman 9, Sanders 8, D. Nelson 7, Bates 6, Ellis 4, Tate, B. Nelson, Billingsley.
SOUTH STANLY (51) — Richardson 13, Grandos 9, T. Smith 8, W. Smith 7, Johnson 6, Burris 5, Harris 2, Craig 1, Holt.
N. Rowan 29 24 21 29 — 103
S. Stanly 5 22 14 10 — 51