Thomasville thumps North a second time

North Davidson’s Boyce Wooten (right) gets a shot away against Thomasville’s Trequan Ray during their game Friday night at Thomasville. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

THOMASVILLE | North Davidson’s boys carried out their game plan to perfection Friday night.

Everything but the end result.

The Knights got plenty of open looks and couldn’t knock them down, and North made Thomasville shoot from the outside. But the Bulldogs buried six 3-pointers, most of which came at crucial moments, and pulled away for a 77-56 nonconference win over the Knights in Thomasville.

Thomasville coach Tony Clark was very pleased with the way his team played, and with good reason. It seemed no matter who he put on the floor, the Bulldogs attacked the basket aggressively. When drives to the rim weren’t available, guards would kick out to the wings for open jumpers.

“We played very unselfish tonight, and I was very happy with that,” he said. “We’ve worked on our shooting a lot this summer.

“And I tell you, it’s really refreshing to know that some of the things we’re doing in practice are paying off in the games.”

North coach Sammy Staten was on the opposite end of the spectrum, after watching his team suffer through another difficult night trying to score.

“It just didn’t go in,” Staten said. “We’ve got to make shots; that’s the name of the game. That’s why they call it basket ball.

“Believe it or not, we practice shooting. We spend an hour and a half doing all offensive stuff. We’ll just keep practicing, that’s all I know.”

Thomasville suffered some of the same scoring woes in the early going, and only led North 9-8 late in the first quarter. But Malik Johnson nailed a 3 from the corner to kick off a 10-0 spurt to end the quarter. Latrele Skeen finished the spurt with a fast-break bucket, a 3 of his own and another steal and layin.

The Bulldogs kept North at arm’s length the rest of the half, and took advantage of Demoris Payne being fouled at the buzzer shooting a 3-pointer. Payne made all three free throws to put the Bulldogs ahead 34-22.

Staten hoped his team had weathered the storm and could come out of the locker room and get back in. Incidentally, the Knights were locked in the locker room and had to find an alternate route out, delaying the start of the second half.

That served as somewhat of an omen, as the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 49-31 with another lightning-quick 9-0 run. Brian McCleeven hit a floater in the lane, and followed that with a 3 from the wing. North simply had no answer from there.

“I felt like we won the second quarter, so at halftime I felt pretty good about it,” Staten said. “We talked about winning the first four minutes of the third quarter, just to get it within double digits, but it went the other way.”

Thomasville (3-4) was led by Skeen with 21 points, and Payne added 14. Chase Mitchell paced the Knights (4-4) with 13 points.

North will participate in the Frank Spencer Classic in Winston-Salem after Christmas, while Thomasville will play in the Sheetz Holiday Classic at Southwest Guilford after Christmas.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or