High school basketball: North girls win in playoffs; Draughn is next

Published 6:03 am Friday, February 24, 2023


Staff report

SPENCER —  North Rowan’s girls won a tough playoff game on Thursday.

Eighth-seeded North and ninth-seeded Highlands were back-to-back in the 1A West RPI rankings, so the second-round playoff game was expected to be a tussle.

It was..

North managed to win despite scoring only 17 points in the second half. The final was 47-38.

The difference may have been mileage and fresher legs. Highlands made a trip of more than 200 miles to Spencer.

North junior guard Bailee Goodlett broke a significant school record, the mark for most points scored in a season.

Stephanie Cross, who went on to play at Maryland, scored 761 points for the Cavaliers in the 1993-94 season, including a 43-point effort against Lexington that still stands as the program single-game record.

Goodlett, who is averaging 28 points per game, came into Thursday’s game with a total of 755 and finished it with 776.

Only two Rowan County girls (since modern rules were adopted) have reached the 800-point plateau in a single season — Salisbury’s Shayla Fields (835 in 2004-05) and South Rowan’s Janiya Downs (839 in 2018-19). Goodlett could join that exclusive club.

It was Goodlett who got the Cavaliers started on Thursday. She scored 12 in the first quarter to carry the Cavaliers to a 17-14 lead.

Goodlett was recognized for breaking the record between quarters.

Highlands was able to contain Goodlett as well as anyone has after that first quarter. She finished with 21 points, but her teammates, including her twin sister, Bloom, came through.

North (20-8) took a 30-24 lead to halftime.

Bloom Goodlett made three big shots and scored seven in the third quarter as as the Cavaliers pulled ahead 41-32.

Both teams struggled to score in the fourth quarter, but North (20-8) did enough to hold on and beat the blue-and-gold Highlanders.

Bloom Goodlett finished with 12 points and blocked two shots. Brittany Ellis made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points. Bailee Goodlett had four assists and three steals. Chloee Stoner had eight rebounds. Krisstyle Stockton had four rebounds.

North had been expected to hit the road in the third round, but that won’t be the case. The Cavaliers will get to play at home again on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.

No. 1 seed Mountain Heritage, which would have been the next foe for the Cavaliers, lost 47-37 on Thursday to 16th-seeded Jimmy Draughn, a school in Valdese that opened in 2008.

The Draughn Wildcats (16-12) are in Mountain Heritage’s conference. They finished third in that league and lost twice  to Mountain Heritage during the regular season. But they pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the playoffs. Their reward will be a trip to face the Cavaliers.

Highlands          14    10   8   6   — 38

North Rowan    17     13   11   6   — 47

North — Bailee Goodlett 21, Bloom Goodlett 12, Ellis 11, Stoner 2, Stockton 1.