High school basketball: West boys fall in OT

Published 4:38 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Staff report

DENVER — Mike Gurley’s 25th season as West Rowan’s boys basketball coach ended with a struggle at East Lincoln.

The Falcons got a heart-stopping 3-pointer from sophomore Will Givens to beat the buzzer and send the game to overtime, but the home team pulled away in the OT period from the foul line.

East Lincoln shot 27-for 36 from the charity stripe and beat the Falcons 65-55.

The 22nd-seeded Falcons (12-12) came to play and challenged 11th-seeded East Lincoln (23-5), the runner-up in high-powered Hickory’s conference.

Athan Gill led West with a career-best 23 points. He scored 14 in the first half, and West headed to the locker room in a 26-all deadlock.

Gill scored to give West a 46-45 lead with three minutes to go in regulation. The teams scrapped the rest of the way.

Down three late, the Falcons found Givens, their best shooter, and he connected from the left wing for 51-all and OT.

Givens and Kayvone Norman scored 11 each. Josh Noble scored six and had a key bucket late in the regulation.

Drew Brown scored 21 for the Mustangs, including 12-for-14 from the foul line.

East Lincoln’s Logan Craig scored 14 and made two 3-pointers at crunch time.

Gurley has coached West in 676 games, with 451 victories. Both figures are records for Rowan County basketball.

West                16   10   8   17     4  — 55

E. Lincoln       16   10  11   14    14 — 65

WEST — Brown 21, Craig 14, Walker 13, Jones 8, Crichton 5.

EAST LINCOLN — Gill 23, Givens 11, Norman 11, Noble 6, Jacobs 4.