• 46°

Mauldin leads West Rowan boys past South, 52-43

West boys present Gurley his 499th win

James Sipes/for the Salisbury Post …
West Rowan’s Caleb Mauldin (44) and South Rowan’s Zach Powers (22) battle for a rebound during last night’s game in Mount Ulla. Mauldin scored 24 points, leading the Falcons to a 52-43 victory.

By David Shaw

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan’s boys basketball team isn’t exactly charging into the North Piedmont Conference season on Friday.

But the Falcons are heading there with a two-game winning streak following Wednesday’s 52-43 non-league victory against visiting South Rowan.

“I don’t mean to go into my Bob Huggins repertoire,” winning coach Mike Gurley said, “but if we’re not ready, we’ve still got to play them. I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

At least West’s defense is. The Falcons are 6-7 overall, largely because they limited South (4-9) to 17 points and five baskets in the second half.

“Well, our offense didn’t come up big in the second half,” South coach Andre McCain said, after the Raiders lost their fifth straight game. “Our shots didn’t fall and we didn’t stay aggressive. Once they got up on us, we had to come out of our zone, and that hurt our game plan.”

So did Caleb Mauldin, West’s 6-foot-8 forward. The senior was a presence at both ends of the floor — snagging rebounds, swatting away shots and scoring a game-high 24 points. He was front-and-center during a 15-2 scoring spree, when the Falcons turned a 31-26 third-quarter deficit into a 41-33 lead. Mauldin netted 15 second-half points, nine during the decisive spurt, and drained a 3-pointer from the beyond the top of the key with 3:11 remaining in the third period.

“That’s part of his arsenal,” Gurley said. “He hit five against Cox Mill two years ago. I don’t mind him shooting it — but if you’re gonna shoot a second or third one, one of the first two better go in. But that whole streak got started when Payne (Stolsworth) took two or three good misses — and those shots were rebounded by Caleb for easy baskets.”

Part of West’s strategy was to limit South senior Bailey Graham’s productivity and defensive impact. Graham had a quiet game, finishing with three 3-pointers for nine points.

“We respect Bailey Graham so much that we wanted to give him attention,” Gurley said. “And we really took that guy out of any of the team man-to-man defense. Bailey went off on us last year in China Grove, so we tried to neutralize him. It was mainly Josiah Dixon and Jay Joseph who did that.”

South’s only fourth-quarter field goals were recorded by ex-West product Zach Powers and Graham — who rifled in a 3-ball with 1:20 to play.

“We’ve got to play for 32 minutes, not 16,” McCain lamented afterward. “You can’t win any ballgame playing half the game.”

South remains 4-3 in Central Carolina Conference play and visits Salisbury on Friday. “This wasn’t the middle (portion) of the season we were hoping for, but we’re still fine in our conference,” McCain said. “We’re still OK.”

West opens its conference season Friday at North Iredell.


NOTES: Gurley is closing in on a couple of milestones. The win was his 499th as a varsity head coach and his 397th at West Rowan.

SOUTH ROWAN (43) — Powers 12, Graham 9, Shaver 7, Jones 5, Kluttz 5, Childers 2, Hines 2, Finger 1, Oglesby.

WEST ROWAN (52) — Mauldin 24, Rankin 10, Joseph 4, Warren 4, Stolsworth 4, Brawley 2, Myers 2, Dixon 2, Sproul, Tadlock.

South Rowan    11   15    9    8 — 43

West Rowan      9   17   15   11 — 52




Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment


Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century


Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing


North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges


Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads


GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election


‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement


Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep


Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many


Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106


Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel


From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort


Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion


Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints


Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal


Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it


UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility


In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump


5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody


Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota


Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87


Blotter: Sept. 19


Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives