High school basketball: Cavs can’t get over the hump against T-ville

Published 5:10 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Staff report

LEXINGTON — North Rowan’s boys basketball team is 17-5, but 0-5 against Salisbury and Thomasville.

That means that if the Cavaliers are going to get a really huge victory this season, it’s going to have to come in the 1A state playoffs.

North made a tremendous rally in the third quarter on Thursday to put major pressure on the Bulldogs, but Thomasville responded and took its third victory against the Cavaliers.

The final was 86-76 in a 1A/2A Central Conference Tournament semifinal. Thomasville beat the Cavaliers 72-57 and 76-62 in the regular season.

That “86” in the scorebook was a season high for points allowed by third-seeded North, but second-seeded Thomasville comes at you in a lot of different ways.

Point guard Janhri Luckey is a quick, clever floor general who can finish in traffic. He effortlessly lofts lefty runners over taller defenders.

The Bulldogs make some 3-pointers, and they’ve got thick, powerful bodies in 6-foot-3 Jaylen Henry and 6-foot-2 Jabrii Carolina. Those two made the difference in the fourth quarter with their rebounding.

Quashawn Carpenter (22 points) and Amir Alexander (16) shouldered most of the scoring responsiblity for the Cavaliers.

Henry logged 22 points for the Bulldogs, 15 in the second half. Luckey scored 21, while Carolina had 17.

Alexander opened the game with a 3-pointer for North, but Thomasville quickly took control. Myles Washington was key. He made three 3-pointers.

Thomasville’s lead peaked at 36-19 with 4:40 left in the second quarter. A blowout seemed just around the corner, but Carpenter got five quick points to stabilize the reeling Cavaliers and Naejone Whitney scored off a rebound to cut the deficit to 10.

North was down 45-35 at the break.

North turned things around in the third quarter by trading size for more quickness. North head coach Jason Causby turned to a three-guard lineup that included Carpenter, Jericho Charleston and Jae’mias Morrow. Morrow had the fresh wheels, the lateral quickness and the necessary energy to slow down Luckey, who had scored 13 in the first half.

The Cavaliers turned momentum quickly in the third quarter and began chewing away at Thomasville’s lead.

Carpenter made a 3-pointer to trim the Bulldogs’ lead to a single point, 51-50, with 4:09 left the third quarter.

Henry got a big stick-back of a Luckey miss for 53-50.

Alexander pulled North within one again. North had some  good shots for the lead, but didn’t connect.

Carolina made a slick pass to Henry for a layup to push the lead back to three. Luckey got loose down the lane to make it 57-52. Then he got a runout for 59-52 with 1:38 left in the third quarter.

North whittled its deficit back down to five points several times in the fourth quarter, but that was as tight as it got. Henry did a lot damage in the fourth quarter in the paint. North had a tough time keeping him off the glass, even on missed Thomasville free throws.

CJ Dickerson produced a dagger-ish three-point play for the Bulldogs after a nice dish at the 2:14 mark, and Thomasville was able to run clock and make free throws to finish a hard-fought win.

Thomasville plays Salisbury for the tourney championship tonight at Lexington at 7:30 p.m.

The Hornets, who handled Lexington 80-60 in a Wednesday semifinal, will have a significant rest advantage.

Salisbury and Thomasville split their regular-season meetings, both winning on their home floor. They were CCC co-champions. Salisbury was seeded No. 1 for the tournament by draw.

Representing a split 1A/2A league, Salisbury and Thomasville will both be seeded as 1’s in the state playoffs.


North                  9      26   21    20   — 76

Thomasville     21     24    17     24 — 86

NORTH — Q. Carpenter 22, Alexander 16, Hanson 9, Whitney 8, D. Carpenter 6, Maxwell 6, Charleston 5, Morrow 2, Hailey 2.

THOMASVILLE — Henry 22, Luckey 21, Carolina 17, Gladden 10, Washington 9, Dickerson 5, McCoy 2.