Wildcats End Season for Mustang Boys
If the North Moore boys’ basketball team wanted to extend its season, it would have to climb over a hump or maybe more like a mountain.
To achieve this task, the seventh-seeded Mustangs would have to pull off a huge upset by beating second-seed and state 1-A fifth-ranked South Davidson on its home court in the opening round of the Yadkin Valley Conference Tuesday night.
The visiting Mustangs came into the contest with a game plan to spread things out and put pressure on the Wildcats’ point guard. The plan worked for the first five minutes, with the host Wildcats leading by an 8-7 score with 3:32 left in the first quarter.
Then things started to click for South Davidson as it ran off 10 straight points over the next three minutes, boosting them to a 20-10 first-period lead en route to an 85-49 victory. The South Davidson win moved them into the league semifinals against third-seeded Albemarle Thursday night at East Montgomery High School. The winner of that game would play in tonight’s championship contest. Meanwhile, the Mustangs’ season comes to an end with a 3-19 record.
“We had a game plan,” said North Moore coach Grant Smith. “Obviously, we wanted to slow down their shooters, Taylor (Hatfield) and Austin (Hatfield). To do that we wanted to slow down Wil (Collins). That’s something we were not able to do successfully.
“We were never able to get in sync, but not to take anything away from South Davidson. They’re a good bunch of kids and they’re very talented. We wish them luck the rest of the tournament.”
After South Davidson went on its 10-point spurt during the later stage of the first period, sophomore Quashan Davis broke the Mustangs’ drought, connecting on a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the period. The Wildcats scored a bucket just before the buzzer to bring in the 20-10 advantage at the end of one period of action.
North Moore was able to match the Wildcats bucket-for-bucket over the first two-and-half minutes of the second quarter. Then the Wildcats went on an 18-5 tear for a 42-19 lead at the break.
Junior Landon Auman had nine points at the half and Davis added eight points, including a pair of treys. The Hatfield twins combined for 25 points during the first two periods.
Mustang junior Dustin Morrison opened the third period with two quick buckets with one being from way behind the arc. Senior Justin Marley added the first of his three treys just a minute later, but the Wildcats were scoring in bunches. South Davidson tallied 25 points during the frame while the Mustangs posted 15 points, with Marley scoring seven points during the quarter.
North Moore once again added 15 points in the final quarter while the Wildcats padded their score with 18 points.
Davis paced the Mustangs with 15 points while Auman and Marley added 12 points each. Austin Hatfield, a sophomore who scored his 1,000-career point in Friday’s game, was the game-high scorer with 24 points and his brother, Taylor, finished with 18 points and Collins 11 points.
Speaking about the season and the future for the Mustangs, Smith said, “Obviously, we would have like to have won more games, but we played hard. We knew it would be a rebuilding year since we lost 10 players off last year’s team. We had eight to graduate, one to transfer and one didn’t come out for the team.
“We had only one regular back, Marley, and he did a good job for us. We’ll start working for next year, going to camps and getting what practice we can. I was proud of our kids for the effort they gave this year.”
North Moore 10 9 15 15 — 49
S. Davidson 20 22 25 18 — 85
North Moore: Quashan Davis 6 0-0 15; Landon Auman 5 2-7 12; Justin Marley 4 1-2 12; Dustin Morrison 2 0-0 5; Billy Person 1 0-0 3; Malik Chisholm 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 3-9 49.
South Davidson: Austin Hatfield 8 6-8 24; Taylor Hatfield 6 3-3 18; Wil Collins 5 1-1 11; David Whitaker 3 2-2 8; Matthew Bryant 2 0-0 5; Jordan Hughes 2 1-2 5; Andrew Collins 1 1-2 3; Daniel Cook 3 1-2 7; Brett Hedrick 0 0-2 0. Totals 30 17-24 85.
Three-point goals: NM 8 (Marley 3, Davis 3, Person, Morrison); SD 6 (Taylor Hatfield 3, Austin Hatfield 2, Bryant)
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