Mustang Girls Bounce Back Big
Piloted by an electrifying triple-double performance from senior captain Shakorya Brower, the North Moore girls’ basketball team topped league foe South Stanly 64-42 Monday in Robbins.
The victory snapped a two-game league losing skid for the defending regular-season conference champion Mustangs as they improved to 6-2 in the 1-A Yadkin Valley Conference standings and 8-6 overall.
Brower finished the game with 32 points, 18 rebounds, 11 steals, seven assists and four blocks for the home team.
“This win means a lot to us as a team,” said Brower, who earned all-state honors last season for North Moore. “After Christmas we really felt like losing (junior) Jalisa (Davis) for the season had hurt us badly and it did, but tonight’s win shows us we can still win without her.”
A starting shooting guard and the second highest scorer on the team behind Brower, Davis had scored 20 or more points in three of her last four outings before suffering a season-ending knee injury (ACL).
Since that time North Moore had gone 2-5 prior to Monday’s tilt, including two losses last week in league play.
“At the beginning of the season we promised each other and Sammy we would repeat as conference champs,” Brower said, “and that is why this win was so big. Coming off the two losses, tonight’s game was a critical point of the season, and as a team I think we gave it our all and responded well to that challenge.
“Now we have some momentum as we look ahead to face North Rowan. I am ready to again answer the call for tomorrow’s challenge, and I also know my team is ready.”
The Mustangs were scheduled to face the North Rowan Cavaliers (5-5, 5-2) Tuesday in Spencer.
Prior to Tuesday’s action, North Moore was locked in a three-way tie for second place in the YVC standings, along with North Rowan (5-5, 5-2) and West Montgomery (5-3, 5-2), while Chatham Central (6-5, 5-1) clung to a half-game lead at the front of the pack.
After trailing the visiting Rebel Bulls by seven points late in the second period of Monday’s matchup, North Moore closed the half on a five-point run to gain a needed lift. The run began when Brower stole a pass near midcourt and found an open Jessie Sheffield behind the arc on the left side. The point guard splashed in the shot, and soon made a steal of her own before dishing the rock down low to Brower, who beat the buzzer with a lay in as North Moore trailed 25-23 at intermission.
Sheffield felt the way the Mustangs closed the first half helped spark their play in the final two periods of the game.
“We were down (emotionally) a little in the first half because we had lost the lead,” Sheffield said, “but our coaches told us we had to stay up because we needed this game and we needed to finish out the second-quarter strong.
“Those instructions gave us the confidence to push it, starting with that spurt late before the half and on into the final half of play, and we just dominated from then.”
The junior captain finished with 14 points in the tilt, including three treys, along with seven assists, seven rebounds and five steals. She turned in a nine-point third quarter as North Moore outscored the Rebel Bulls 24-8.
Overall, Sheffield tallied three assists and two steals in the period. She also banged home two bombs from downtown, the second of which gave the Mustangs a 15-point lead at the 1:52 mark of the frame.
“Coach (McNeill) kept telling us guards if we were open we had to step up and take shots,” said Sheffield. “I knew we wanted to put South (Stanly) away and needed points, so what kept going through my head was, ‘I’ve got to hit some shots.’ That was all I kept thinking.”
By the end of the quarter, North Moore was up 47-33. From there Brower took over, scoring 10 points in the final period, including a three-pointer on a pass from Sheffield to put North Moore in front by 20 points with 2:10 to go in the game.
North Moore returns to action on the road against league foe East Montgomery (1-9, 1-6) Friday at 6 p.m. in Biscoe.
South Stanly 7 18 8 9 — 42
North Moore 8 15 24 17 — 64
South Stanly: Culp 8 0-4 17, Shankle 5 1-7 11, Poplin 2 1-3 7, Gallagher 1 2-2 4, Allen 1 1-2 3. Totals 17 5-18 42.
North Moore: S. Brower 13 5-8 32, Sheffield 5 1-2 14, McNeill 2 2-2 6, Turner 2 0-0 4, Dunmyer 1 0-0 2, Lowe 1 0-0 2, Williams 1 0-0 2, A. Brower 0 1-2 1 Green 0 1-4 1. Totals 25 10-18 64.
Three-point goals: (SS) 3 (Poplin 2, Culp) ; (NM) 4 (Sheffield 3, Brower).
More like this story