CCC boys basketball: 45 for Harris, 26 for Carpenter as Hornets, Cavs smash opponents

Published 6:34 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

From staff reports

LEXINGTON — Salisbury’s boys basketball team looked like 2A state championship material on Friday, especially during a 41-point first quarter.

The Hornets’ 97-52 road rout of Central Carolina Conference rival Lexington had a lot to do with talent, as Juke Harris scored a career-high 45 points.

But the play that got the ball rolling for the Hornets wasn’t talent, it was simply effort.

Harris missed from long range on the Hornets’ first possession against Lexington 2-3 zone, but Hank Webb got on the floor after a scramble rebound and kept the ball alive. The Hornets were able to re-set and Harris didn’t miss his second-chance 3-pointer. Webb got the ball to him in the left corner, and Harris buried it.

Harris struck again from the same spot for 6-0. He repaid Webb with a crosscourt pass that got Webb the open 3-point shot that made it 9-3.

Harris stole the ball on the press and dunked for 11-3. Harris’ three-point play made it 14-3. Deuce Walker scored off a steal and Mike Geter swished from 3 for 19-3. Geter got a steal and Harris dunked for 21-3.

Lexington (8-14, 3-7) was burning timeouts, but it was over early.

Jonathan Ross made the first of his seven 3-pointers a few moments after he hopped off the bench.

Harris would score 26 … yes, 26 … in that blistering first quarter, and when Webb made a 3-pointer from the right side as that quarter ended, the Hornets (16-5, 10-1) led 41-14.

They went on from there to win their ninth in a row.  It was 59-26 at the half and 88-41 (with a running clock) after three quarters.

“We are playing with a lot of confidence,” Salisbury coach Bryan Withers said. “That confidence comes from the players seeing how much they have improved from the start of this season. Juke definitely is playing like a high-level recruit, but he is playing so well that sometimes our other guys get overlooked. We’ve got a lot of guys playing really good basketball right now.”

Besides that pile of points, Harris had six rebounds and three assists.

Ross had an amazing game, by far, his biggest. He scored 21 with his deadly 7-for-9 3-point shooting. His previous high was 12.

Jalen Chunn provided some solid defense and ball-handling, as he always does for the Hornets, who are eighth in the 2A West RPI rankings.

“We’ve got good players and they’re playing well together,” Withers said. “We’re trying to find that fine line now between enjoying the game and having fun, and still keeping our intensity.”

Withers said he kept the starters in longer than he normally would have because the Hornets don’t have another game until they host North Rowan next Friday.

“We were in a rhythm and I wanted to let the guys keep building on it,” Withers said. “We’ve got four practice days next week and we’ll try to keep building.”

Salisbury   41   18    29    9   — 97

Lexington  14   12    15   11   — 52

Salisbury — Harris 45, Ross 21, Walker 9, Geter 8, Webb 7, Davis 2, Chunn 2, Sheppard 2.


SPENCER — North Rowan’s boys have experienced an odd season.

There have been three three-game losing streaks. There have been some unexpected losses. Sitting 32nd in the 1A West RPI rankings, they aren’t even a sure thing to be in the 1A state playoffs.

But they are still talented, still dangerous and still capable. They have nights where they fill it up. They have scored more than 80 points eight times.

Friday was one of those light-it-up nights. West Davidson was at the wrong place at the wrong time and lost 87-65 to the Cavaliers, who made nine 3-pointers.

Dyzarious Carpenter hadn’t been a big factor in recent Central Carolina Conference games, but he was tremendous. He made six 3-pointers and scored a career-best 26 points.

Carpenter was expected to be a standout this season, but then he suffered a thumb injury right before the season started and was out until late December. He showed on Friday what he’s capable of.

“Definitely his best game,” North coach Jason Causby said. “I feel like he has been pressing, trying to force the issue and make the right play over the past few weeks. We’ve been stressing to him to be quick, but not to hurry, to play within the flow of the game and take what the defense gives. Tonight, he was relaxed and playing at a different gear than everyone else on the floor. His first shot went in, and that’s all he needed to be off and running. He was a terror on the defensive end and that led to offense for him.”

Point guard Jerricho Charleston also had his best game of the season. He almost had a triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

“His best game, as well,” Causby said. “He made layups when layups were there and he set up  his teammates nicely. He hit the glass pretty hard and that allowed him to start some breaks for us.”

No Cavalier has had a more unusual season than talented forward Amir Alexander.

He transferred from North Rowan to Winston-Salem Christian prior to the season. That didn’t work out for him, and he returned to North in January. He can score. He had a 15-point game last week and got 19 on Friday.

“He’s been trying to find where he fits since rejoining the team,” Causby said. “I’ve had the conversation with him about being assertive and not feeling like he has to hold back. He was more aggressive on offense than he’s been and he saw his shots fall early.”

North trailed early, but started to take charge in the second quarter.  The third-place Cavaliers (11-11, 6-4) put up 51 in the second half.

Jake Swicegood scored 24 for the Green Dragons (4-18, 2-8).

West Davidson   18    10   19   18 — 65

North Rowan     14    22   24   27  — 87

North — Carpenter 26, Alexander 19, Charleston 11, Maxwell 9, Alford 5, Nguyen 5, Tarver 4, O’Kelly 2, McArthur 2, Sullivan 2.