High school basketball: Two county matchups tonight
By Mike London
Friday’s high school games …
Salisbury (8-5, 6-2 CCC) at South Rowan (1-11, 1-5 CCC)
Salisbury has lost three out of four, but head coach Bryan Withers remains confident that the Hornets will be beasts by the end of the season.
It could happen. He has a deep roster with considerable talent. It’s mostly a matter of figuring out and embracing roles.
This game marks the halfway point for Salisbury’s 18 league games, and assuming the Hornets can handle the Raiders, who have dropped their last 10 games, Salisbury will still be in good shape in the league at 7-2.
This is the first meeting of the teams this season.
Salisbury has beaten South eight times in a row. Actually, the last time South beat Salisbury Withers was coaching the Raiders. That was in the first round of the 2014 Christmas tournament.
South battled hard on Wednesday and led West Rowan at halftime before losing 76-69. That was, by far, South’s best offensive production of the season for fourth-year coach Andre McCain.
East Rowan (8-6, 1-0) at Carson (6-8, 1-0)
West Rowan (2-12, 0-1) at South Iredell (7-6, 0-1)
South Davidson (1-12, 0-5) at North Rowan (11-2, 6-0)
Cox Mill (13-1, 1-0) at A.L. Brown (11-3, 0-1)
Davie County (11-1, 0-0) at R.J. Reynolds (4-8, 0-0)
Salisbury (11-2, 7-1) at South Rowan (7-6, 6-1)
On paper, Salisbury is a lot deeper and better than the Raiders, but this may turn out to be an intriguing game, especially on South’s home floor.
For one thing, South is in second place in the CCC, right behind Salisbury. South has played its best in league games. South beat East Davidson, which handed Salisbury its only CCC loss.
For another thing, South beat Salisbury three times … yes, three times — last season. Of course, that was South with Riley Corriher, Tazah Hardin and Whitley Arnott — not the inexperienced team that Janiya Downs is leading this season.
Downs averaged 25.3 points per game in those wins against the Hornets last season.
She’s averaging a crazy 40 points per game in her last three outings this season, putting up 40, 38 and a career-best 42 on Wednesday in a 73-63 loss to West Rowan.
Salisbury gets a lot of points from four different players. That’s too much firepower for Downs to beat the Hornets by herself, so South has to get solid games from Madison McGuire and Bethan Rymer to have a chance.
South also has to hope the Hornets play average and not like they played in the second and third quarters against North Davidson on Tuesday. Salisbury looked devastating, at times, on Tuesday, and got 41 combined points from freshmen Rachel McCullough and Jaleiah Gibson. Salisbury already knows it’s going to get across the board production from veterans Anayia Fulson and Bryanna Troutman.
Troutman is a different type of superstar from Downs, but she’s at the same level. She’s not going to score like Downs, but she might get a triple-double with rebounds and assists and she might block a half-dozen shots.
Downs had a triple-double recently against Central Davidson, racking up points, rebounds and steals.
East Rowan (11-3, 0-1) at Carson (15-0, 1-0)
West Rowan (13-1, 1-0) at South Iredell (4-8, 0-1)
South Davidson (6-7, 4-2) at North Rowan (6-8, 4-2)
Cox Mill (8-6, 1-0) at A.L. Brown (0-13, 0-1)
Davie County (5-8, 0-0) at R.J. Reynolds (4-8, 0-0)
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