Prep Basketball: North girls open with strong win

Published 11:53 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

By Mike London

SPENCER — Two newcomers were the story as North Rowan’s girls opened with a 78-49 win against South Rowan on Tuesday.
North junior Aundrae Godfrey, a transfer from California, scored 25 points to lead the Cavaliers. Her father, Andre Godfrey, is a North graduate who starred at Catawba and was a recent inductee into the Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame.
Godfrey made open mid-range jumpers and finished smoothly in transition to pile up points.
“She’s a really good player and a really good person from a great family,” North coach Brian Lytton said. “We’re thrilled we’ll have her for two years.”
South’s newcomer was less of a surprise if you follow Rowan middle school basketball. South freshman Janiyah Downs scored 28 points in her first high school game. Long and deceptively quick, she got to the foul line frequently and knocked down 15 free throws.
“I’d heard about her and I knew she could score,” Lytton said. “The surprise for us was how well she handled the ball. For a freshman, she’s an awfully impressive player.”
Downs scored 10 points in the first quarter, but the balanced Cavaliers still led 19-12.
South played the more experienced Cavaliers on even terms in the second quarter, and North took a 36-27 lead to the break.
North held Downs scoreless in the third quarter and blew the game open with a 16-0 run that featured the blazing transition speed of Aliyah Farmer and Brianna White.
“We came back at them a couple of times,” said John Davis, who was making his debut as South’s girls coach. “But in the third quarter, it was like the hoops suddenly got smaller and we missed a lot of layups. We thought about going out there to check the rim, just to make sure it was regulation.”
North dominated the third quarter, 22-4, to build an insurmountable lead.
Downs came back to score a dozen points in the fourth quarter, but it was too little and too late.
“We learned a lot coming in here and playing a veteran team as good as North on the road,” Davis said. “There are times we’re going to have to slow it down better than we did and we’ve got to rebound a lot better. There were times on the glass that they looked like high jumpers and long jumpers and we looked like distance runners.”
Lytton was very pleased with North’s relentless board work.
“It’s no secret that we’re going to try to create turnovers,” he said. “But this year we should be a better rebounding team than we have been because of our experience.”
Godfrey got plenty of scoring help from Farmer (17 points), White (16) and Special Washington (16). Washington made four 3-pointers despite some foul trouble. Tre Allen was a demon on defense for North.

North Rowan 78, South Rowan 49
SOUTH ROWAN (49) — Downs 28, Hardin 6, Spratt 5, Chabala 5, Samples 2, Stamey 2, Carson Carter 1, Smith, Wagner, Rollins, Camden Carter, Corriher, Williams.
NORTH ROWAN (78) — Godfrey 25, Farmer 17, White 16, Washington 16, Connor 4, Allen, Oglesby, Lytton, Robinson.

South Rowan 12 15 4 18 — 49
North Rowan 19 17 22 20 — 78