High school boys basketball roundup: Hornets get even with Thomasville

Published 1:33 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

From staff reports

Friday’s games

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s boys basketball team had thoughts of another quick knockout on Friday and flattened Thomasville in the opening minutes.

But the Bulldogs managed to scramble back on their feet and were still hanging in there, exchanging punches, right down to final seconds.

Salisbury needed some serious marksmanship at the foul line to take a critical 61-56 victory.

The Hornets (12-5, 6-1) won their fifth in a row and avenged a 63-61 loss at Thomasville (12-4, 5-1) in early December. The teams shared the Central Carolina Conference title last season and they may share it again.

It was a big day — and night — for Salisbury guard Juke Harris, a junior ranked among the top 50 prospects nationally  in the Class of 2024. Harris trimmed his list of  potential destinations from 12 to six, announcing Kansas, LSU, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Miami as the finalists in his recruiting journey.

Harris scored 34 to lead the victory over Thomasville. It was an unconventional 34 that included 20-for-23 free-throw shooting. Harris made six field goals, including two 3-pointers.

Salisbury scored 29 points from the foul line.

Harris came out of the gate red-hot, as he has done in other CCC games against South Davidson and North Rowan. He had four of his buckets during a 13-point first quarter. The Hornets led 15-1 at the outset and still had a comfortable 23-7 edge by the quarter’s end,

But the Bulldogs settled in during the second quarter, slowed down Harris and chewed away at Salisbury’s lead. The Hornets were up 31-25 at halftime. The home team took a 45-40 lead to the fourth quarter.

Thomasville was down 49-47 when Hank Webb got a critical stick-back for the Hornets, but Thomasville caught up at 51-all with 2:20 left.

With 1:40 left, Harris hit both ends of a one-and one for 53-51. With Salisbury up 53-52, Harris went back to the line and made two more free ones with 1:13 left for a three-point lead.

With Salisbury clinging to a 55-54 lead,  Mike Geter split two free throws with 40 seconds left.

A steal by Dashawn Brown led to another free-throw chance for Geter. Again he made one of two for a 57-54 edge with 20 seconds left.

The Bulldogs made two free throws with 14 seconds left, but Salisbury was able to put the ball in Harris’ hands at the end. He hit two free throws with 10 seconds left for a three-point cushion.

After a Thomasville turnover, Harris made two more free throws for the final margin. Harris was 8-for-8 at the foul line in the final 1 minute, 40 seconds.

Thomasville      7      18      15    16   — 56

Salisbury          23     8       14    16   — 61

Salisbury scoring — Harris 34, Walker 8, Geter 6, Webb 5, Brown 4, Davis 2, Ross 2.


SPENCER — South Davidson’s boys had an NCHSAA RPI ranking higher than North Rowan’s earlier this week, an indication that the system isn’t perfect.

Playing at home, North pounded South Davidson 99-72 on Friday to sweep the season series. North won 79-65 in Denton in December.

RPI is updated nightly. The Cavaliers now have moved ahead of South Davidson. North has moved from No. 33 to No. 31 in 1A West this week, while South Davidson dropped from 30 to 34. Third-two teams will make the playoff bracket.

Everyone who dressed for the Cavaliers (9-9, 4-2) in the Central Carolina Conference game scored. North put five in double figures, with Naejone Whitney and George Maxwell getting 16 apiece. Amir Alexander scored 12. Jeremiah Alford and Jerricho Charleston added 10 each.

North made five 3-pointers, two by Charleston, and eight free throws, so the Cavaliers converted a whopping 38 2-point field goals.

South Davidson (6-10, 3-4) got 27 points from Tanner Delattre and 18 from Tanner Walters. If the Wildcats had three more guys named Tanner, the Cavaliers may have been in trouble.

North stopped a three-game slide, leading 46-32 at halftime and outscoring the Wildcats in every quarter.

Despite the season-high 99 points, North coach Jason Causby stopped short of saying the Cavaliers are back on track.

“We’ll find out if we are on Tuesday,” Causby said.

North plays at Thomasville on Tuesday and will take on the tough Bulldogs twice in a span of eight days.

S. Davidson   15    17    17  23    — 72

N. Rowan      21    25   25  28   — 99

NR scoring — Whitney 16, Maxwell 16, Alexander 12, Alford 10, Charleston 10, Polk 9, O’Kelly 7, Tarver 5, McArthur 4, Carpenter 3, Smith 3, Sullivan 2, Nguyen 2.


GRANITE QUARRY — Concord stayed tied for second in the South Piedmont Conference by pounding East Rowan 87-47.

The Spiders (11-6, 6-2) stayed even with West Rowan and Northwest Cabarrus. The trio is two games behind Central Cabarrus.

East (5-11, 2-6) stayed in the game for a half, using a box-and-one and a triangle-and-two to slow down Concord’s high-scoring duo of James Smith and Brayden Blue.

East trailed 31-23 at the break.

But you can’t stop everyone, and Concord got huge nights from 6-foot-6 center Jeremiah Howard and guard Bralen Crowder.

The Spiders broke the game open in the third quarter. They scored 56 in the second half.

“We couldn’t stop Howard at all and rebounding killed us all night,” East coach Andrew Porter said. “Then we had a bad third quarter. Lots of turnovers and just didn’t execute on offense.”

Tee Harris led the Mustangs with 17 points. Dylan Valley scored 15 to lift his career total to 927.

Concord     12    19   28   28  — 87

E. Rowan   11   12   15     9   — 47

East scoring — Harris 17, Valley 15, Wembolua 7, Lee 6, Ali 2.


CHINA GROVE — West Rowan won 72-60 at Carson to stay tied for second in the South Piedmont Conference.

Carson lost to the Falcons for the third time on Friday, but again it was interesting.

Carson (8-9, 1-7) got a quick start with 3-pointers from Mikey Beasley, Colin Ball and Jonah Drye before West settled in.

“They showed some different things than they did the first two times we played them,” West coach Dadrian Cuthbertson said. “And we got off to a really slow start. One-and-done possessions, standing around, and they jumped on us pretty good.”

But West (10-6, 6-2) took the lead for good in the second quarter once Athan Gill got rolling. Gill didn’t score in the first quarter, but he had 10 in the second. He propelled the Falcons to a 33-26 halftime advantage.

Once we got into the game, we showed good patience and we played good defense,” Cuthbertson said. “This team usually plays good defense.”

West has won 10 out of 11 after an 0-5 start.

Gill finished with 26 points.

Elijah Holmes has been coming on lately and had a career-best 16. He made three 3-pointers. His eight-point first quarter kept West from digging a big hole.

Kayvone Norman’s 10 points, included a some big free throws in the fourth quarter.

Carson concentrated a lot of its defensive effort on Will Givens and limited him to eight points. He’s been in double figures 14 times.

Beasley scored 17 to lead the Cougars. BJ Howard had a season-high 15. Drye made three 3-pointers.

West         12    21    20   19  — 72

Carson      13   13    15    19  — 60

West — Gill 26, Holmes 16, Norman 10, Givens 8, Hairston 7, Graham 3, Martin 2.

Carson — Beasley 17, Howard 15, Drye 9, Guida 6, Ball 6, McGruder 3, Taylor 2, Burleyson 2.


CONCORD — Northwest Cabarrus had no trouble with South Rowan, winning 71-29 to stay tied for second place in the South Piedmont Conference,

“We couldn’t score the ball,”  South coach Daniel Blevins said. “Got great shots, just couldn’t get them to go.”

Northwest (8-7, 6-2) has one of the SPC’s best defensive teams, while South (1-15, 0-8) has the lowest-scoring team, so it wasn’t a great matchup for the Raiders.

Dalton Young scored nine to lead South.

South scoring — Young 9, Jones 5, Jackson 4, Hunt 4, Cromer 3, Blackwell 2, Keene 2.


HUNTERSVILLE — Central Cabarrus stayed unbeaten with an 83-60 South Piedmont Conference win at Lake Norman Charter.

The Vikings (18-0, 8-0) were only leading 38-32 at the half, but took control with a 27-13 third quarter.

It was a good effort by Lake Norman Charter (8-9, 3-5), the SPC’s fifth-place team.