North Rowan controls the paint in conference victory over Chatham Central

Posted 2/14/20

BEAR CREEK — For North Rowan’s Brandon White, it was simply a matter of dominate the lane, dominate the game.

With the 6-foot-10 sophomore collecting 14 points and 15 rebounds while asserting …

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North Rowan controls the paint in conference victory over Chatham Central

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Posted

BEAR CREEK — For North Rowan’s Brandon White, it was simply a matter of dominate the lane, dominate the game.

With the 6-foot-10 sophomore collecting 14 points and 15 rebounds while asserting his prowess in the paint at both ends of the court, the Cavaliers overcame a slow start to seize the lead for good two minutes before halftime and sailed to a 51-37 Yadkin Valley 1A Conference triumph over Chatham Central last Tuesday night in Gerald L. Binkley Gymnasium.

Avenging an embarrassing 54-30 setback to the Bears on its home floor eight days prior, North Rowan improved to 11-2 in the league standings and 13-6 for the season, while Chatham Central slipped to 10-2 in the conference and 16-5 overall.

Brandon Jefferson tallied 12 points and Zay Davis contributed 10 off the bench for the Cavaliers, who shot 45 percent (19-of-42) from the field and outrebounded the Bears 31-29 while turning the ball over 17 times.

Michael Moore and Lucas Skertich tossed in 10 points apiece for Chatham Central, which connected on 25 percent (13-of-51) of its attempts from the floor while committing 13 turnovers.

“Playing Chatham Central the first time at our place we didn’t know anything about their personnel and didn’t have an answer for their initial burst out of the gate that put us back on our heels, and we never recovered,” said North Rowan coach Jason Causby. “But after studying the game film I thought we came in here much better prepared tonight. We had a good inside/outside game, hit jump shots and some big three-pointers while finding Brandon (White) on the back side of their zone for easy dunks. He had some foul trouble the first time we met, but this evening he played extremely well with his back to the basket and they had no one who could match up with him around the rim.”

Bears’ coach Robert Burke commented while his team took the Cavaliers by surprise their first meeting and had control after a fast start, the rematch went all North Rowan’s way.

“We didn’t allow them to make interior passes the first time and doubled-down on the big man, but tonight we let them play their game,” said Burke. “They gave us a lot of off-ball pressure this evening and had success pounding the ball down low for dunks. Not to take anything away from North Rowan, but two of our starters (Moore and Phillip Gaines) were not at full strength tonight. Nevertheless, we didn’t get good penetration inside while the big guy stayed in the paint and eliminated our backdoor cuts. In addition, we were only four-of-20 from three-point range, made a lot of bad passes and shot too quickly at times.”

Both teams shot poorly in the initial period, and despite jumping out to a 5-0 advantage at the outset Chatham Central only held a 9-6 lead after one quarter.

Following a Skertich layup and Phillip Gaines’ put-back off the right baseline that allowed the Bears to increase their advantage to seven at the start of the second stanza, the Cavaliers battled back to pull even at 16-all on White’s dunk with 2:39 left in the frame. Jefferson then drained a trey from beyond the top of the key 36 seconds later to put North Rowan ahead to stay, prior to the winners carrying a 23-18 lead into intermission.

Chatham Central threatened to regain the advantage after Moore’s pull-up jumper off the left baseline and Micah Gurley’s tip in drew the Bears within 23-22 with 5:01 to go in the third period, but Jefferson’s three-pointer from the left wing 25 seconds later ignited a 14-3 spurt by the Cavaliers to expand their lead to 37-25 at the end of the quarter.

The closest Chatham Central got down the stretch was 39-31 following a Skertich free throw with 4:40 left in the contest before North Rowan outscored its host 12-6 the rest of the way, forging its biggest advantage of the night at 50-34 on White’s put-back in the lane with 1:18 remaining on the clock.

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