Mustang Boys Fall to Thomasville Bulldogs
Thomasville jumped all over North Moore on Senior Night at Robbins with a 26-point first quarter on the way to a 62-34 win Tuesday night. The loss sends the Mustangs into the first round of the Yadkin Valley Conference Tournament with a 4-8 record in conference play and an overall record of 6-14.
North Moore will probably face either East Montgomery or West Montgomery in the first round of the YVC Tournament on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs, still smarting from their first conference loss in years, did their best to put this one out of reach in a hurry. E. J. Abrams-Ward scored 14 of his game-high 27 points to lead Thomasville to a 26-0 shutout in the first period.
North Moore, starting a smaller than usual lineup for Senior Night, had trouble beating relentless full court and half court pressure that led to several easy layups. Cold shooting did not help the cause when the Mustangs were able to get a good look at the basket. The insertion of regular starters Rashad Brower and Dwayne Simmons, both juniors also did nothing to change the first quarter route.
Things finally started to click for the Mustangs when senior guard Markus Brower buried a three-pointer to kick off an 8-1 second quarter run that forced Thomasville to reinsert their starting lineup. Rashad Brower hit a pair of baskets and Simmons a free throw during the run. Then senior guard Rakeem Chesney added a late basket to lock up a 10-10 draw in the quarter.
Cold shooting continued to plague North Moore until late in the game. The Bulldogs were leading 49-15 when the Mustangs, already in deep foul trouble for the game, lost senior post player Ri'Shane Hobbs with nearly three minutes left in the period. Hobbs had been a terror defensively and on the boards until forced to exit with his fifth foul.
Harold Chandler's second trey of the period and a couple of charity tosses by Simmons closed the gap to 49-20 at the end of the third.
The Thomasville lead climbed back to 34 points when a couple of free throws from senior Eric Powell was all North Moore could manage until the 4:12 mark of the final period. Then Rashad Brower scored on a follow shot, senior Rakeem Chesney nailed a three-pointer, and Markus Brower drove the court for a layup that made it 56-29 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Thomasville quickly pushed their lead back to 31 points. It looked as if North Moore was destined to lose by 30 when head coach Chris Coble began to pull his seniors for a final Senior Night round of applause.
Junior Adam McNeil had other ideas about the matter. He worked open for an easy deuce that made it 60-31. Then, after the Bulldogs final bucket, McNeil got open again and hit nothing but net from three-point range to end the scoring for the night.
"I told them they're not done yet," Coble said. "We've got the tournament next week and if we can hold one of the best teams in the state to 62 points twice, we should be able to do well."
Thomasville 26 10 13 13 -- 62
North Moore 0 10 10 14 -- 34
Thomasville -- Abrams-Ward 12 3-5 27, Sims 0 0-0 0, Davis 4 0-1 8, Campbell 2 5-7 9, Puckett 2 4-5 8, Brown 1 0-0 3, Lindsey 1 1-2 4, McLendon 0 1-2 1, Jackson 0 0-2 0, B. Wilkes 0 0-0 0, Billie 0 0-0 0, Jones 1 0-0 2, D. Wilkes 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 23 14-24 62.
North Moore -- M. Brower 2 0-0 5, Chesney 1 0-0 3, Powell 0 2-4 2, Hobbs 0 0-2 0, Barrett 1 0-0 2, R. Brower 4 0-0 8, Simmons 0 3-10 3, Chandler 2 0-0 6, Person 0 0-0 0, McNeil 2 0-0 5. Totals -- 12 5-16 34.
Three-point goals: Thomasville 2 (Lindsey, Brown); North Moore 5 (Chandler 2, M. Brower, Chesney, McNeil).
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