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Dragons come up just short to Randleman


Randleman’s Corwin Boyd (20) blocks a shot by West Davidson’s David Monk during their game on Thursday in Tyro. (Photo by Mike Duprez/The Dispatch)


TYRO | West Davidson’s boys are getting there.

But they could certainly use a win.

The Dragons fought through a tough night in which their leading scorer spent most of the evening on the bench in foul trouble, but couldn’t get a key basket down the stretch in a tough 46-40 nonconference loss to Randleman Thursday on Crim Court.

Tyler Grooms, averaging 18 points a game, had to head to the bench almost as soon as he checked in most of the night, picking up his third foul early in the second quarter and his fourth shortly after he checked in the second half. Even so, West kept things close with a swarming defense and only trailed by two with five minutes left to play.

“They’ve been put in a bad situation,” first-year West coach Derrick Stokes, who was hired over the summer, said. “When you put in a system, you get a spring, you get a summer, sometimes you get a year, you know? And we’re trying to do it in a month.

“But tonight’s the first time I saw our defensive system.”

And that was impressive, without question. West baffled Randleman with a rotating, shifting man/zone hybrid defense. Down 26-18 at the half, West opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run to get within 28-27 midway through the third. Zach Queen opened the half with a 3-pointer from the wing, Grayson Taylor — who provided a huge spark off the bench with 10 points — followed David Monk’s fast-break bucket with a pair of baskets to get West within one. Taylor found Monk in the paint moments later, then Queen scored in transition on a pass from Austin Teague, enabling the Dragons to their first lead of the game at 32-31.

It was short-lived, however, as Chris Davis buried a 3 at the other end to push Randleman back in front 34-32 after three quarters.

Queen opened the fourth quarter with a 3 from the wing, and Teague found Grooms on the baseline for his only bucket of the night to get West within 38-37. The Dragons got within a point one more time, on Teague’s three-point play with 3:29 left, but West never scored again — despite the fact that Randleman went 1-for-6 from the free throw line in the last minute, including missing the front end of consecutive one-and-ones.

“I’m so proud of them,” Stokes emphasized. “We played Ledford without Teague, who was hurt. Played most of tonight without Grooms, who got in (foul) trouble. And both of those games, we had a chance to win.”

The Dragons dipped to 0-5 with the loss. Monk added 10 points for West, while Allen Goslen led the way for Randleman with 10 points.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.