West boys win
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 18, 2013
CONCORD — Seth Martin hobbled out of the West Rowan locker room with a banged-up knee, Najee Tucker held a tissue to a bloody lip, and a deathly ill Celexus Long looked like he needed a flu shot as soon as possible.
And these were the guys that won.
West prevailed 67-58 at Central Cabarrus on Tuesday to stay unbeaten in the SPC, although it was a game that will receive votes as the ugliest in the history of mankind.
“We wanted to make it ugly,” Central coach Brian King said. “That was our best chance to win. We’re very young and we struggle a lot of times offensively, but we will compete hard defensively.”
The Falcons survived 29 points by Central junior Lavon Hightower, as Seth Martin scored 14, Devin Parks 13 and Daisean Reddick 11. The biggest difference-makers were Parks, banger Chris Hassard (eight points) and freshman Kortez Weeks.
“Our guys were sick and they were exhausted,” West coach Mike Gurley said. “This was the most uptempo we’ve played so far and we played it on a college-size floor. Central really came at us. The guys who people always read about gave us all that they had, but we don’t win without Weeks, Dearius Phillips and Greg Joseph. They gave us some great minutes.”
In other words, West got a little deeper. Gurley, who notched his 450th career win (348 of them at West), found some more guys to rely on in a tough scrap.
“We were really fatigued,” Parks said. “The young guys picked us up.”
Two 3-pointers by Martin gave West a 17-9 lead after a quarter. Reddick exploded for 10 in the second quarter, and West (6-2, 4-0) led 38-30 at the break. Six Falcons scored in a 20-point third quarter, but Central (1-7, 0-4) was far from done.
Both teams got stops early in the fourth quarter, but Parks broke a long drought with a floater at the 3:58 mark for a 12-point lead, and he willed in a layup with 2:32 left for a 14-point lead.
Then he clinched the victory with two free throws.
“I knew if I could make those two, it was out of reach,” Parks said.
WEST (67) — Martin14, Parks 13, Reddick 11, Weeks 9, Hassard 8, Long 6, Tucker 4, Joseph 2, Phillips.
C. CABARRUS (58) — Hightower 29, McClure 10, Hartsell 8, Meadows 5, Thompson 4, Johnson 2, Dorton.
W. Rowan 17 21 20 9 — 67
C. Cabarrus 9 21 16 12 — 58