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East Rowan boys fall to Davie County in consolation bracket

by Marny Hendrick

sports@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — It took Davie County a while to get un-tracked in Thursday morning’s  consolation game of the Dale Sporting Goods/Sam Moir Christmas Classic. Yet once they did, it was smooth sailing to a 66-47 win over East Rowan.

The Mustangs came out on fire in the contest at Goodman Gym, building a 17-8 lead late in the first quarter behind power forward Elton Hooper and point guard Lucas Morton.

But Davie County finally found their rhythm as sophomore guard Coleman Sell came off the bench to drain a pair of long 3-point field goals. Then the defense went into shutdown mode.

Sell’s bombs cut the East lead to 17-14 and then the War Eagles proceeded to go on a 14-1 run in the second quarter, building a 30-22 margin. The second half was all Davie as they outscored the Mustangs, 31-20.

Davie coach Mike Absher praised his team’s defensive intensity, as East was held without a field goal in the second quarter, plus he appreciated the boost Sell gave the team off the bench.

“We have guys that can do that for us,” Absher said. “In a game like today, when we got off to the bad start, he (Sell) was kind of a wild card that gave us a boost when it counted.” Absher also noted the solid effort by forward Corey Heiner, who like Sell, scored eight points off the bench to go with nine rebounds and four assists.

The War Eagles (6-4) got their big point production from 6-3 wing Michael Walton with 21 points (a trio of 3s) and junior guard Cooper Wall with 17 including a pair of impressive 360-degree spin moves for buckets. Wall scored 12 in the first half while Walton popped in 13 in the second half as Davie pulled steadily away.

Despite the setback, East coach Kurt Misenheimer felt his team played so much better than in their first-round, lopsided loss to Carson on Wednesday. “I really liked our effort,” he said, “It was a 180-degree turn from yesterday when we played like we didn’t know each other or even like each other. The positive thing is that we have so much room for improvement and we will get better.”

Davie used its big second quarter to build a 35-27 lead, then kept it in double figures for most of the second half. Walton hit a couple of 3-pointers and a driving layup that enabled the War Eagles to expand their lead to 17 in the final period.

East was topped in scoring by the 6-6 sophomore Hooper with 14 points off the bench and six rebounds. Morton and 6-4 freshman power forward Brandon Jefferson added eight points each.

East (1-11) will take on winless South Rowan at 10:30 this morning in the seventh-place game. Davie advances to the fifth-place game at 1:30 today against North Rowan.

EAST ROWAN (47) — Hooper 14, Morton 8, Jefferson 8, Hinceman 7, Bennett 5, Sprinkle 3, Taylor 2, Broaddus, Scruggs, Spry, Eagle

DAVIE CO. (66) — Walton 21, Wall 18, Sell 8, Heiner 8, Slabach 7, McCormack 4, Peebles, Shepherd, Horton, Barnette, Shoffner, Hendrix.

East Rowan        17    10    13    7  — 47

Davie Co.            14    21    15    16 — 66

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