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North boys roll against East Davidson

SPENCER — When the first 2A state media poll was released, North Rowan coach Andrew Mitchell was as surprised as anyone that the Cavaliers weren’t ranked, but it’s a million dollars worth of motivation that didn’t cost a dime.
North played its starters half the game on Friday and destroyed CCC opponent East Davidson 80-35. North (9-2, 3-0) had 29 steals and the regulars put up 53 points in the first and third quarters.
“I saw that poll,” East Davidson coach Matt Jacobs said with a head-shake. “North is down there with the others receiving votes, like 13th in the state. But I seriously doubt there are a dozen 2A teams better than they are. I’d sure like to see ‘em.”
It was going to be a long night for scrappy but undersized East Davidson regardless. North getting Michael Connor back earlier than anticipated made it a little longer night for the visitors.
Connor got into an ejection situation at Winston-Salem Prep on Jan. 4 that was originally written up as a fight, and he’d already sat out two wins. His sentence was reduced to time served.
“Fighting is an automatic four-game suspension, but when the state looked at the film, while there may have been baiting or taunting, there was no fight,” Mitchell said. “So it was just a two-game ejection for Mike.”
Connor was outstanding — 18 points in about 15 minutes.
“I’m thankful and blessed,” Connor said. “I’m just happy to back with my teammates and to have a chance to compete.”
Michael Bowman scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter. Kenyon Tatum scored 12. Paris Hillie led an onslaught by North’s reserves with 11 points.
“Every one of our guys gives it up in practice, so I’m never surprised when they do well,” Mitchell said.”
Mitchell said the Cavs enjoyed having the opportunity to practice three straight days. They got back to the basics and it showed against the Golden Eagles (3-13, 0-3), who were overwhelmed early.
It was 26-7 after a quarter.
“We wanted to slow things down, but we missed easy looks early, and it’s just hard to be patient against them,” Jacobs said. “ They’re good one-on-one defenders, long and with active hands.”
Hillie and Joseph Scott had two buckets each in the second quarter, and North led 36-16 at the break.
Dalton Nelson made six free throws in the third quarter, and when Nelson blocked a shot and hit Bowman with a long outlet pass for a layup, North led 57-26.
Hillie, Josh Handy and Shareef Walker did the damage in the fourth quarter as NR’s lead pushed into the 40s.
Mitchell said he had mentioned the Cavalier-less poll to his team, but he wasn’t overly concerned about it.Neither was Connor.
“We’ll have a lot of chances to prove we have a good team,” he said.
Starting tonight. North hosts Winston-Salem Prep.
EAST DAVIDSON (35) — Bowers 11, Miller 6, Jarrett 5, Wood 5, Barrett 2, Campbell 2, Brown 2, Heath 1, Ramos 1, Pena, Garcia, Williams.
NORTH ROWAN (80) — Connor 18, Bowman 15, Tatum 12, Hillie 11, Nelson 6, Handy 6, Scott 4, Walker 4, Sanders 4, Archie, Mungin.
E. Davidson 7 9 12 7 — 35
N. Rowan 26 10 27 17 — 80

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