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Prep Basketball: West sophomore Mauldin adds to 40-point list

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan coach Mike Gurley knows a thing or two about 40-point games.
Sophomore Caleb Mauldin’s 43-point outing in Friday’s 94-84 overtime win at Central Cabarrus marked the sixth time in program history that a Falcon has scored 40 or more. Gurley has been on the bench for five of those titanic performances.
The most recent was Keshun Sherrill’s 41-point effort against Carson in the 2011-12 season.
Scooter Sherrill put up 40 as a sophomore against North Rowan in the 1997-98 season and topped it with 43 as a McDonald’s All-America senior against Piedmont in the 1999-2000 season.
Donte Minter broke West’s school record with 44 on the opening night of the 2000-01 season at Salisbury. He still holds the mark.
The only pre-Gurley 40-point effort at West was by David Redmond, who tossed in an even 40 against Northwest Cabarrus in the 1988-89 season when Jack Lytton coached the Falcons.
Minter’s 44 provided a precious memory for Gurley.
The 6-foot-8 Minter scored 2,087 career points, ranks as the No. 2 scorer in West history and went on to play for Virginia and Appalachian State. But he played half his career alongside Scooter Sherrill, the No. 1 scorer in West and Rowan County history with 2,469 points. That meant Minter wasn’t the main offensive option until his junior year.
“The Minter game was the first game of the season, it was the first game we’d played in a long time without Scooter, and we didn’t have our football players,” Gurley said. “There was a lot of talk that Salisbury was going to shut us down, but Donte was Donte. He went out and got 44.”
West won 78-67.
Both of Scooter’s huge nights have stuck with Gurley.
“I remember that we’re on the bus heading to North Rowan early in Scooter’s sophomore year, and Tommy Lee walks up to the front of the bus and he asks me what the school record is,” Gurley said. “At first, I was thinking that Tommy (who averaged 6 points per game) was crazy, that he must be thinking about putting up a lot of shots against North. I found out later that Scooter had promised the guys he was going to set the record that night. Tommy was asking for Scooter, not for himself.”
Scooter’s 40 against the Cavaliers, in a 74-62 win, gave him a share of the school record with Redmond.
Two years later, he broke the record with 43 against Piedmont in a 98-44 SPC rout.
“Scooter was really hot early in that game and we knew he could score as many as he wanted to,” Gurley said. “When he got to 43, we were up big, and we took him out with four or five minutes left because we didn’t want to embarrass anybody. After the game, Piedmont’s coach (Milt Flow) wasn’t upset, he was excited. He wanted to know if Scooter had gotten 50. I guess I should’ve left him in.”
Keshun Sherrill’s 41 in a 94-84 OT win against Carson late in the 2011-12 season triggered one of the great comebacks in West history.
“We were down 25-8, 26-8, something like that,” Gurley said. “But we’ve had a lot of RTL players here — that’s Refuse To Lose — and Keshun was one of them. He was going to score however many we needed him to score to win that game. I remember talking to (Carson’s) Tre Williams after that game. I told Tre he’d just watched the best point guard around, but next year it was going to be his turn.”
•••
Mauldin averaged 11.2 points as a varsity freshman, but Friday’s performance startled a lot of people because it followed routine 16-point and 19-point outings in close losses to Carson and Davie. Mauldin, 6-foot-6, has a tremendous arsenal of post moves, but he missed a number of pointblank shots in both of those tough setbacks.
“He only missed one layup at Central,” Gurley said. “That was a breakaway, so he was one breakaway layup from breaking the school record.”
Gurley said Mauldin’s performance reminded him a great deal of Minter’s record-breaking night.
“Like Minter, there was nothing flashy about Caleb,” Gurley said. “There were some dynamite post moves after he got a lot of good feeds (from Paris Hillie and Martavio Rankin). He really ran the floor hard. He also got offensive rebounds. You don’t score 43 unless you’re getting rebounds.”
Gurley said Mauldin has put in plenty of work in the offseason — in the weight room and on the track — and that contributed to his breakout game on Friday and his clutch performance at crunch-time.
With the score tied, Central Cabarrus had the ball with 30 seconds left and was working patiently for one shot.
“I was afraid we were going to re-live the nightmare we had at Carson and lose in the last second,” Gurley said.
But things played out differently. West’s Jayson Delgado fouled out, trying to deny Central star Kyran McClure the ball, and McClure made two free throws to put Central ahead.
West nearly lost the ball when Hillie drove the lane, but after a scramble, the Falcons got the ball out of bounds with 1.5 seconds left. West was out of timeouts, but Central called timeout.
West (2-3, 2-2 SPC) set up an out-of-bounds play. Rankin lobbed the ball to Mauldin to the right of the hoop.
“It was a great pass to his right hand and Caleb made a great catch in the air and banked in the shot before he came down,” Gurley said.
That sent the game to overtime. West took charge quickly in the extra period.
“Central is good and they made a ton of tough shots, so it was a great team win for us,” Gurley said. “Hillie and Jayson Delgado really competed, and Austin Love probably had 20 rebounds. The Cabarrus teams are monsters, but we showed we can be pretty good. It’s never going to be easy. We’re going to have to fight like crazy every night, but we’ve got a chance.”
***
NOTES: West plays at East Rowan on Tuesday. … There have been six 40-point efforts at Salisbury High, including four by Shamari Spears in the 2002-03 season. Spears scored a county-record 55 against East Davidson that season. … North Rowan has had three 40-plus games, including a 50-point outburst by Brian Paige against North Stanly late in the 1988-89 season…. East Rowan has had three 40-point nights, topped by Rick Vanhoy’s school-record 42 against West Iredell in the 1975-76 season. … South Rowan’s two 40-point outings came in back-to-back seasons. Damien Argrett had 40 against Northwest Cabarrus in the 1999-2000 season and Doug Daugherty poured in 40 against Davie in the 2000-01 season. … The school record at Carson is 37 and is shared by Nick Houston and Tre Williams.

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