Mustang Boys Lose Cliffhanger
The North Moore boys’ basketball team fell 42-40 Tuesday in a game that literally came down to the last second.
Through three quarters of back-and-forth Yadkin Valley Conference action, the homestanding Mustangs led 33-31 in Robbins.
After maintaining a slim lead through most of the fourth quarter, the Mustangs fell behind 42-40 with 10.5 seconds remaining in the tilt.
On the final play of the game, North Moore’s Adam Bullard was fouled as he drove to the basket. With 0.4 seconds left on the clock and needing to sink both shots to force overtime, Bullard missed his first attempt. He then tried intentionally missing the second shot, but committed a lane violation.
“In the fourth quarter we started off playing our game. We were poised and built a lead doing some of the things we wanted to do offensively,” said Mustang head coach Grant Smith. “Then as the quarter continued we seemed to get caught up with what they (the Eagles) were doing and that got us out of our game.
“Obviously we are not going to win the game shooting 50 percent from the free-throw line. We missed 12 of 24 in the game and did not shoot any better in that last quarter. Still overall, for it being our first game I thought we performed well.”
North Moore went seven for 14 from the charity stripe in the final quarter and did not score a basket from the field.
With the loss, the Mustangs are 0-1 overall and in league play, while the Eagles went to 1-4 with the win and 1-0 in the YVC.
“What I liked most out of my team was their effort and defensive intensity,” said Smith. “Landon Auman was amazing, taking five charges tonight — that is absolutely insane. We also did well on the boards and had an opportunity which is what you want.”
Auman led North Moore with 11 points and collected six rebounds.
Five Mustangs scored in the opening quarter as North Moore came out sharp on its way to building a 17-11 lead. By halftime, the home team trailed by two points, as the Eagles put 17 points on the board in the second period. East Montgomery small forward C.J. Robinson led the charge in the quarter with eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
The third quarter did not feature much offense as the two squads combined to total 14 points. The entire second half was a back-and-forth battle including four ties and five lead changes. The Mustangs’ final lead came with 40.3 seconds to play when a Justin Marley free throws made the score 39-36.
From there the Eagles scored on an offensive rebound by Robinson, who promptly stole the ensuing inbounds pass. After making the steal, Robinson then found a streaking Ahmad Baldwin, who finished the five-point run by making a three-point play the hard way to give the visitors a 41-39 lead with 15.3 seconds to go.
Robinson led all scorers on the night, notching a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Eagles.
North Moore returns to the court Friday at 7:30 p.m., as it takes to the road against league foe South Stanly.
E. Montgomery 11 15 5 11 — 42
North Moore 17 7 9 7 — 40
E. Montgomery: Robinson 8 1-5 17, Baldwin 3 2-3 11, Smith 1 2-4 7, Cagle 1 1-4 3, Pegues 1 0-0 2, Reza 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 6-16 42.
North Moore: Auman 4 3-3 11, Davis 0 0-0 9, Marley 1 3-8 8, Bullard 1 5-10 7, M. Chisholm 1 1-2 3, Lambert 1 0-0 2, Herron 0 0-1 0 Totals 8 12-24 40.
Three-point goals: (EM) 2 (Baldwin, Smith); (NM) 4 (Davis 3, Marley).
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