North Rowans boys open season with win at Albemarle
By Charles Curcio
Stanly News & Press
ALBEMARLE — The North Rowan boys’ basketball team opened the season on Tuesday night with a road game against a league opponent the Cavaliers had not met on the court since the finals of the Yadkin Valley Conference tournament five seasons ago — the Albemarle Bulldogs.
A run to open the fourth period gave the Cavaliers enough cushion to withstand a late Bulldogs rally for a 72-68 win for first-year head coach Martin Unger.
Dayjuwon Cooke caught fire in the final quarter, scoring 14 of his game-high 26 points for North Rowan. Starters Brevin Goodlett and Derrick Page each reached double figures for the Cavs, with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Adafe Price, back with the Bulldogs after a season at West Stanly, led Albemarle (1-2) with 21 points.
Neither team led by more than six points throughout the first half. Emotions ran strong in the final minute as double technicals were called on two separate occasions to wrap up the first half.
North Rowan tied the game in the third quarter on two David Broaddus free throws but Albemarle pushed the lead to as much as seven points in the period.
A Quintous Smith three-pointer triggered a 12-0 run over the first 3:36 of the final period.
The Cavaliers led by as much as 14 points on two different occasions, midway through the fourth quarter, before Albemarle rallied with a 12-2 push, pulling to within four points with a minute left in the game.
Albemarle had possession of the ball in the final 30 seconds but Cooke’s steal and breakaway two-handed dunk sealed the win for North Rowan.
The Cavaliers will have their home opener on Friday, a YVC matchup with the South Stanly Rebel Bulls (0-1).
NORTH ROWAN (72) — Cooke 26, Goodlett 14, Page 11, Smith 7, McCombs 6, Ellis 4, Colson 2, Broaddus 2.
ALBEMARLE (68) — Price 21, Horne 14, Washington 9, Williams 8, Baldwin 7, Christian 7, Medley 2.
North Rowan 11 16 18 27 — 72
Albemarle 17 12 17 22 — 68