Mustangs Hold Off Rebel Bulls
In its final two tune-up games before opening its Yadkin Valley Conference schedule, the North Moore boys’ basketball team fell behind early and tried to rally, but each rally came up short.
In their league opener Tuesday against visiting South Stanly, the Mustangs were on the other side of the situation, taking a double-digit lead and then holding off a Rebel Bull rally for a 73-68 victory.
The visiting Bulls were down as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but rallied to tie the score at 68 with 2:18 left in the contest and had possession of the ball to take the lead. Then freshman Aaron Richardson came up with a big steal to give the Mustangs possession.
Junior Quashan Davis found senior Landon Auman for a driving layup to put North Moore up for good with 2:01 left in the game. Davis responded again on the defensive end, pulling down a missed South Stanly shot before being fouled with 5.6 seconds left. Davis hit both foul shots, but the second shot was disallowed due to a lane violation.
The Mustangs’ defense got the ball back on five-second count on the inbounds and Mustang sophomore Matthew Spivey was fouled. He hit both free throws for the Mustangs’ five-point victory.
“We were able to make the plays at the end,” said North Moore coach Grant Smith, whose team improves to 2-3 on the season. “I challenged them at the end for the leaders to step up and make the plays. We played our best basketball during the first 12 minutes of the game, and then we struggled. We can’t give up 68 points and expect to win, but give South Stanly credit, they didn’t quit.
“Our freshman Aaron (Richardson) made some good plays and got the steal late. We’re where we want to be, winning our first conference game.”
The Mustangs came out like gangbusters, posting 24 points in the opening quarter for a 12-point lead over the Bulls. Auman, Davis and Malik Chisholm spearheaded the scoring explosion, with Chisholm scoring eight points, Auman seven and Davis six.
South Stanly (0-1 YVC, 0-3 overall) started to chip away at the Mustangs’ lead, outscoring the home team 24-19 on the way to trailing 43-36 at the break. Wes Smith led the Bulls’ comeback, tallying 10 points during the second period. Spivey hit a pair of treys during the second quarter, while senior Daniel Purvis had a three-pointer for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs opened the third quarter, scoring the first seven points, pushing their lead to 14 points, the largest of the game, with 5:28 left in the quarter.
South Stanly outscored the home team 13-9 over the rest of the period, leaving them trailing 59-49 entering the final quarter of the game. A bank shot by Auman on the Mustangs’ first possession gave his team a 61-49 lead.
Fueled by Michael Richardson, the Bulls went on a run themselves, outscoring North Moore 12-1 over the next two minutes and trimming the lead to one point. With 3:08 left in the contest, the Bulls tied the game at 66 on a bucket by Luke Burris.
Senior Adam Bullard’s driving bucket on the Mustangs’ next possession put his team up 68-66. South Stanly came right back to tie the game on a basket by Juwan Johnson. But that would be all the points the Bulls could muster, while the Mustangs put the final five points for the victory.
Auman led the Mustangs with 19 points, followed by Davis with 16 points, Chisholm 13, Bullard eight, Spivey eight, Richardson six and Purvis three. Chisholm pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double.
The Bulls were led by Smith 15 points followed by Burris with 14 points, Johnson 12, Michael Richardson 10, Dylan Starnes nine, Bernardo Granados five and Terence Smith three.
The Mustangs travel to North Rowan tonight for a contest with defending conference champion and stay on the road for another contest at South Davidson Tuesday. Both the girls’ games are scheduled to start at 6 p.m., followed by the boys’ contests.
South Stanly 12 24 13 17 — 68
North Moore 24 19 16 14 — 73
South Stanly: W. Smith 5 4-6 15, Burris 4 6-6 14, Johnson 3 6-10 12, Richardson 4 2-4 10, Starnes 4 0-0 9, Granados 3 0-0 5, T. Smith 1 0-0 3. Totals - 22 19-27 68.
North Moore: Auman 8 2-8 19, Davis 6 3-5 16, Chisholm 4 5-8 13, Bullard 3 2-2 8, Spivey 2 2-2 8, Richardson 2 2-4 6, Purvis 1 0-0 3 Totals - 26 16-31 73.
Three-point goals: SS 3 (Granados, W. Smith, T. Smith), NM 5 (Spivey 2, Auman, Davis, Purvis).
More like this story