High school basketball: West boys smacked by unbeaten Vikings

Published 9:59 am Saturday, February 5, 2022

Staff report

MOUNT ULLA — Central Cabarrus’ boys basketball team is so good this season that the unbeaten Vikings have attracted fans from Rowan County.

Most are friends or colleagues of Central head coach Jim Baker, who played at North Rowan and Catawba and was a five-time South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year during a long and mostly successful tenure (1994-2014) as Catawba’s men’s coach.

Salisbury boys head coach Bryan Withers has gone to watch Central play three times this season. Bryan McCullough, who starred at North Rowan and UNC Asheville, has become a regular at Central games.

That’s because Baker has put together what every basketball coach strives for — awesome teamwork, flawless chemistry, unselfish scoring and relentless defensive pressure and effort. The result has been a series of romps, even against good competition.

Concord is the No. 2 team in the South Piedmont Conference. The Vikings have beaten the Spiders 80-50 and 90-65.

West Rowan is not bad at all.

The Falcons (8-7, 6-4) haven’t allowed anyone to score 70 against them this year — except Central. The Vikings demolished West 95-58 at home and the Vikings steamrolled the Falcons 81-38 in the rematch on Friday in Mount Ulla. That 38 was a season-low total for the Falcons, who were down 56-23 at halftime.

Central (20-0, 10-0) held Will Givens to eight and Levon Jacobs to four. Those two guys have shown they can score consistently against normal teams.

Bryson Cowan led West with 11 points.

Central got double-figure scoring from Chase Daniel (19), Jaiden Thompson (17), Gavin Bullock (14) and Elijah Ford (11).

Daniel is 5-foot-11.Thompson is 6 feet tall. Bullock is 6-foot-2, while Ford is 6-foot-1.

The Vikings don’t have much size, but they have everything else.

Central   28   28   11   14   — 81

West      8      15     11  14   — 38

CENTRAL — Chase Daniel 19, Thompson 17, Bullock 14, Ford 11, Miller 9, Carson Daniel 8, Murray 2, Baker 1.

WEST — Cowan 11, Givens 8, Holmes 6, Noble 5, Jacobs 4, Norman 2, Williams-Simpson 2.