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Ironmen win opening round

CHERRYVILLE — Cherryville, a No. 2 seed, used three scorers in double figures to defeat North Lincoln 96-69 in the first round of the 1A/2A Southern Piedmont Conference boys basketball tournament Monday at Cherryville High School.
“Cherryville doesn’t hide anything, they want to simply outscore you at a very high pace and we tried to minimize that as best we could,” North Lincoln head coach Mike Hainrihar said. “They are going to be tough to beat.”
Terry Whisnant, Thomas Bess and Brandon Heavner combined for 54 points.
Whisnant led all scorers with 25 points as he led gave the Ironmen an early boost with 12 points in the second quarter, in which Cherryville led 54-39 at the break.
“We did a better job defensively to start the 3rd quarter, but just couldn`t seem to put the ball in the basket,” the North Lincoln coach said. “I was very proud of our kids for competing as hard as they did.”
Darius Howell (nine points, 10 assists) and Brandon Heavner (season-high 14 points, eight rebounds) contributed near double-double’s for the Ironmen (18-7).
The Knights put up a valiant effort as they also had three players to score in double figures in the loss.
Gray Brotherton, Haynes Brotherton and Garrett McCray combined for 49 points and 18 rebounds.
North Lincoln freshman Gray Bortherton’s 10 points in the first quarter gave North an early advantage but Cherryville countered with 30 points in the second quarter.
“We played their style, and played it well in the first quarter. However, we aren’t built for that pace, and Cherryville, better than anyone we’ve played all year, does a great job of making you play their style,” the Knights coach said.
North Lincoln ended the season with a 5-20 overall record under first-year coach Hainrihar.
Cherryville will host South Iredell beginning at 7 p.m. at Cherryville High School. Should the Ironmen win, they would advance to play the winner of the East Lincoln-Highland Tech semi-final match-up, with the higher seed hosting Friday at its home court.

North Lincoln 25 14 10 20 -69
Cherryville 15 16 17 25 -96
NORTH LINCOLN (5-20): H. Brotherton 20, McCrary 16, G. Brotherton 13, Smith 7, Miller 4, Stone 4, Martinez 2, Little 2, Paysour 1.

CHERRYVILLE (19-7): Whisnant 25, Bess 15, Heavner 14, Howell 9, Stamey 9, Crank 7, McDermid 6, Johnson 5, DeCanal 4, Anthony 2.
by Michael Christopher

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