• 75°

South men rally late, fall at home to North Rowan

South Stanly overcame a 12-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, but visiting North Rowan found a way to earn a last-second four-point YVC men’s basketball win Thursday night.

Jacorian LeGrande led three in double figures for the Bulls (2-3, 1-1 YVC) with 17 points. Jaquez Cooke added 15 and Justin Gaddy had 13.

Dayjuwan Cooke scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the second quarter for the Cavaliers (4-0, 2-0) and hit free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach. Brevin Goodlet added 15 points, including seven in the first quarter, and a 6-for-8 performance at the foul line.

Bench points made a difference in the game for the Cavaliers. North Rowan’s bench outscored South Stanly 16-0, with the Bulls having just nine dressed for the game.

North played the game at a deliberate pace which limited South’s fast break opportunities and chances to score. The Bulls entered the game averaging 67.3 points per game, including 90 in South’s last performance, a home win over West Montgomery.

The two teams battled through a close tactical first half with North Rowan grabbing the momentum in the final four seconds with a Cooke four-point play. The Cavs led at halftime 32-29.

North continued to push the lead in the third quarter, hitting 6-of-13 from the field and leading after three by 10 points.

Dayjuwan Cooke’s bucket with 5:21 left in the game gave North its biggest lead, 56-44, but the Bulls answered with a 12-0 run over the next three minutes. Threes by Gaddy and Addison Tarlton started the rally for the Bulls. LeGrande hit a big three from the corner with 3:22 on the clock to get South within two, then Gaddy tied the game with a bucket at the 2:50 mark.

With the game tied at 56, Denario Robinson used his size advantage in the paint to get a one-handed shot to roll around the rim and fall to put the Cavs up by two.

North shut down South on its next possession but came down and committed a loose ball fall on a shot on the other end. Tori Colson made one free throw to get South within a point.

In the final minutes, Cooke hit 3-of-4 free throws and the Cavaliers defense came up with a steal in between trips to the line to seal the win.

South head coach Sean Whitley said the Cavs’ slower tempo affected the Bulls a little bit early in the game.

“I think we forced it a little bit. Defensively we got out of rotation a few times,” Whitley said.

Regarding the late rally, Whitley said “our guys believe they can score … we don’t think we are ever out of a ball game … our big thing is digging in and getting stops. The 12-0 run doesn’t happen if we don’t gets stops on the other end … when we start playing with the same intensity on the defensive end as well as offense, we will be a really good ball team.”

He added South’s defensive plan “was to pack it in tight. (The Cavs) controlled the boards early, but I think we did a better job rebounding in the second half … (North Rowan) has athletes all over the place and attacks the boards.”

South plays Friday night at Gray Stone.

NR 13 19 17 12 61
SS  13 16 10 18 57

NR – Dayjuwan Cooke 20, Brevin Goodlet 15, Robinson 8, Broadus 6, Goodes 4, Page 3, Stoner 3, Wilson 2.
SS – Jacorian LeGrand 17, Jaquez Cooke 15, Justin Gaddy 13, Tarlton 8, Colson 4.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

email author More by Charles