First-year Northwestern basketball boys coach Larry Davis has experienced rivalries.
Having played college basketball at both South and North Carolina, he knows what playing for bragging rights is all about. Friday night, he got his first taste of the rivalry between his Trojans and the Rock Hill Bearcats, and he liked what he saw from his squad as they used 17 points from Tracus Chisholm to win round one of this rivalry 65-42 at Rock Hill.
The visitors put three other players in double figures and took advantage of foul trouble for the Bearcats backcourt to get the win. Rock Hills starting backcourt had 45 points Monday night against York but only accounted for 20 in this matchup, with 15 of those coming from Jamil Simpson, who was the Bearcats leading scorer.
Jordan McCraw, coming off a 17-point effort against the Cougars, picked up two first-quarter fouls and Warren Vinson got his third and fourth within the first two minutes of the second half. When he left the game with his fourth, his squad trailed only 33-30 but the Trojans eventually pulled away.
We knew their backcourt was the head of the snake, Davis said. And if we could cut the head off we stood a good chance of getting the victory. We wanted to take the ball out of Warrens hands.
Chisholm hit back-to-back 3-pointers to finish a 15-3 run and put Northwestern up 43-32 with 3:25 left in the third period and the Bearcats would never recover. Vinson would eventually foul out.
Tracus has great potential, Davis said. He wanted to play JV but I made him play varsity. Hes one of those kids who has a high IQ. He does a good job of taking coaching and criticism and not a lot of kids at this age can take criticism.
Rock Hill led 29-28 at the half after a Thailand Adams put-back just before the buzzer. However, the Trojans quickly seized control after the half with a bucket by Quadarious Fair and a three by Will Chitwood, followed by the two whistles on Vinson.
Northwestern 65 Rock Hill 42
ROCK HILL Lance Crayton 3, Warren Vinson 5, Japree Perry 9, Thailand Adams 2, Jamil Simpson 15, Stephon Whitlock 8. NORTHWESTERN Malcolm Anthony 10, Dwayne Hemphill 4, JaReg Feely 11, Clenzo Ross 12, Quadarious Fair 5, Will Chitwood 3, Tracus Chisholm 17, Johnathan Baxter 1.
TEAM FOULS RH 17; NW 12. TECHNICALS RH - Simpson, bench. NW - Hemphill. Fouled out- Vinson (RH)
Northwestern 59, Rock Hill 49: The Trojans used a 16-1 run to take the lead and held on from there to defeat the Bearcats. Rock Hill led 25-24 late in the first half before the Trojans scored the final five points of the second period to lead 29-25 at halftime.
Northwestern continued its momentum into the third quarter by scoring 11 of the halfs first 12 points. All told, Courtney Cunningham-Heath had eight of the 16 points in the Trojans run. She had 15 for the game and Aubriana Thompson led Northwestern with 23. Asia Potts led the Bearcats with 18.
Northwestern 59, Rock Hill 49
ROCK HILL Trenea Cypress 1, Kia Walls 3, Monique Stevenson 7, Anita Jones 2, Asia Potts 18, Tylandra Staton 13, Monet Mackey 5. NORTHWESTERN Ieshia love 10, Aubriana Thomson 23, Brianna Lewis 3, NaKenya Graham 2, Paige Samuelson 4, Courtney Cunningham-Heath 15, Alexis Looney 2.
TEAM FOULS RH 18; NW 21