NM Comeback Falls Short Against Warriors
The North Moore boys’ basketball team had a two-minute-and-19-second letdown that put them in 12-point hole right before the half in Tuesday’s game against West Montgomery at Robbins.
The Mustangs spent the rest of the Yadkin Valley Conference game trying to dig out of that hole. Later, trailing by 13 points to the visiting Warriors with 5:12 left in the game, the Mustangs mounted a furious rally, closing the gap to 61-56 with 1:21 left. But the Warriors were able to come up with some key buckets, preserving a 64-58 victory.
The Mustang loss drops them to 2-3 in conference action and 4-6 overall, while the Warriors improve to 4-1 in league play and 4-4 overall.
“We really needed this win that would have put us at 3-2, and tied for third place with West and East Montgomery,” said North Moore coach Grant Smith. “But we didn’t play well enough to win. We put ourselves in too deep of a hole and we lacked intensity to fight back. We didn’t do the things we’re suppose to do and what we work on in practice.
“You can’t let the other team have four or five shots and expect to win. We have to do a better job of rebounding.”
The Warriors finished the game with 54 rebounds, including 26 coming off the offensive glass.
With junior Quashan Davis popping a couple of long-range three-pointers in less than three minutes from the opening tap, the Mustangs went on top 6-4. The first quarter ended with the Warriors on top 12-11.
The game continued to see-saw on the scoreboard, with West holding a 20-19 advantage with 4:13 left in the half. That’s when West went on an 11-0 run over the next 2:13 for a 12-point lead.
Smith called a Mustang timeout, trying to stop the Warriors’ scoring barrage. Freshman Aaron Richardson broke the Mustangs’ scoring drought with a putback bucket with 28 seconds left in the period.
West Montgomery answered with a basket by Dramico Kindle as the clock was winding down. Then Davis hit on a desperation shot from the left side of the midcourt line, stripping the nets for one of his five three-pointers of the game. The shot cut the Warriors’ lead to 33-24 at the break.
The Warriors opened the third quarter with a three-pointer from the corner by senior Cody McKenzie, putting West on top by 12 points. The Mustangs slowly whittled away at the Warriors’ lead, twice cutting to it five points.
The first time the Mustangs cut the lead to five points was when they outscored the Warriors 10-3, with senior Landon Auman getting six of the Mustangs’ point during the run. West pushed its advantage back to nine points with 2:48 left in the quarter.
Davis trimmed the lead to 43-37 with another trey and Mustang junior Malik Chisholm hit one of two foul shots, closing the gap to five points with 1:53 left in the third period.
West Montgomery’s Terell Marshall connected on a three-pointer and Davis hit a driving layup to close out the third period scoring with the Warriors holding a 46-40 lead.
The Warriors once again got off to a fast start to open the fourth period, outscoring North Moore 9-2 over the first three minutes of the quarter for a 13-point lead.
The Mustangs’ full-court pressure defense started producing Warrior turnovers and Auman started a Mustang surge by hitting a layup off an assist from senior Adam Bullard. Bullard hit a pair of foul shots, cutting the lead to nine points.
Davis was then fouled trying to make a trey and hit all three free throws, closing the gap to 61-54 with 1:52 left in the game. Auman followed with another driving layup off a steal and the lead was five points. But the Mustangs could not close the gap before the end of the game.
Davis finished with a season-high 22 points, followed by Auman with 16 points.
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