Friday, January 20, 2017
Thomasville High School
North Rowan High School
North Rowan swept at home by Thomasville
âWe needed this loss.â
Thatâs North Rowan senior Joe Scott, shedding light on Fridayâs 58-55 CCC loss to visiting Thomasville â a slop-fest that dropped the Cavaliers below .500 for the fourth time this season.
âWe always came out in past years, got ourselves together and beat Thomasville,â Scott added. âTonight, we were laid back, didnât play to the best of our ability. Hopefully this will wake us up and push us to play harder.â
North (7-8, 2-1) suffered its first loss to Thomasville in 28 years â though the teams were in different conferences and didnât play for many of those. The Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0) ascended into first place by building a nine-point halftime lead and holding off Northâs frantic, late-game charge.
âWe just havenât practiced these type of situations enough to be able to handle them,â said North coach Andrew Mitchell. âWe donât have a true point guard and thatâs what it came down to. We needed someone to quarterback our offense.â
Instead, the Cavaliers turned the ball over three times in the hard-to-watch final minute and left with more than just their egos bruised.
âItâs something to learn from,â senior Henderson Lentz said after scoring a team-high 21 points. âEvery time weâve lost, weâve learned something.â
North has learned so much from its mistakes it decided to make a few more in the fourth quarter. It inched as close as 49-48 when sophomore Bravin Goodlett twisted down the lane for a spinning layup with 5:15 remaining. Thatâs when Thomasvilleâs Jahare Taylor-Thomas â a 5-foot-10 point guard extraordinaire â grabbed hold of the game, squeezed tight and never let go.
âWe practice situations like that,â the senior chirped after topping all scorers with 26 points. âWe practice coming from four points behind, staying under control when it gets out of hand.â
Taylor-Thomas may not have been the best player on the court, but he arguably made the gameâs biggest basket with 2:31 to play. He converted Thomasvilleâs last field goal on a fast-break layup following a North turnover, providing a 57-51 lead.
âHeâs definitely our team leader in every phase,â said winning coach James Atkinson. âHe finds ways to help us be successful and not just by scoring points. He does so many other things. Itâs nice to have him on the floor anytime.â
Taylor-Thomas was particularly helpful in the waning seconds, when the teams exchanged giveaways at a frenzied pace. It was still a two-point game when Scott swiped a ball deep in the Thomasville end and immediately requested a timeout with 12.5 seconds to go. The Cavs emerged from their huddle, brought the ball down court and promptly turned it over when Scottâs bounce pass to teammate Alonzo Sirleaf was mishandled near the North baseline.
âJust a miscommunication,â Scott explained. âWe rushed it too much. We got Thomasville to make that turnover and then gave it right back.â
The Bulldogs secured the win when Shaiquawn Wise hit the second of two free throws â his only point of the game â with one-tenth of a second on the clock.
âTruth be told, weâre at our best when the game is sloppy,â Atkinson said afterward. âWe kind of thrive off that kind of play.â
They did, leaving Mitchell and his staff scratching their heads.
âWe told the guys, thatâs what they want to do,â he said. âThey want to play football. They want to intimidate and get in your head. For the most part we did a good job staying focused and not buying into that. We know weâll see them again.â