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INDEPENDENCE -- North Wilkes adjusted to the frenzied pace set by Grayson County and played evenly with the Blue Devils from that point on.
By that time, however, it was far, far too late to make any difference in the outcome.
Grayson played entirely too fast, too intensely and too well for the better part of the first half and used its 24-point halftime cushion to coast to the 67-52 win in a nondistrict boys’ basketball game Tuesday.
The M.O. has been a common one for Grayson County during its 5-0 start, which has seen the Blue Devils pour in 24 points in a quarter six different times, five of those coming in the first half. Tuesday was no different, as the pace of play took the Vikings the entire first half to adjust to, despite their having played the Blue Devils two weeks earlier.
Grayson County scored the game’s first 11 points and led 16-2 by the time the Vikings (4-3) hit their first field goal. North Wilkes was allowed just four attempts from the floor before registering its first make, while the Blue Devils opened the game hitting 7-of-10 in that same span. Mikey Rodgers hit a 3-pointer and teamed with Max Rodgers to score 11 of Grayson’s first 16 points. Adam Wyatt sank a 12-foot jumper for the 16-2 lead before North Wilkes’ Jordan Church scored on a driving layup with 3:35 left in the first period for the Vikings’ first bucket.
Grayson County’s 22-8 lead after the first period quickly swelled to 25 points before the mid point of the second quarter. Ty Cannaday and Max Rodgers each swished a 3-pointer, and Mikey Rodgers dished off to a trailing Lucas Rudy for a layup and a 37-12 lead at 4:17 of the second.
Cannaday later drained another trey and Mikey Rodgers scored twice in transition Đ giving him eight points in the period and 17 in the first half. Cannaday’s driving layup closed the first half with the Blue Devils leading 46-22.
The Blue Devils shot 60 percent for the half, hitting 20-of-33 from the floor, while holding North Wilkes to 8-of-22 shooting and 15 turnovers.
Grayson County took its foot off the gas in the second half, and at times its concentration level backed off as well, as the Blue Devils committed 17 of their 24 turnovers after intermission, limiting themselves to just 15 second-half field goal attempts.
Grayson County maintained a 25-point cushion through the third quarter, though, leading 59-24 entering the fourth. A Josh Martin putback and two buckets off of Grayson turnovers helped the Vikings open the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run, eventually outscoring the Devils 18-8 down the stretch and getting as close as 14 points, 65-51, before running out of clock.
Mikey Rodgers’ 19 points led all scorers and paced three Blue Devils in double figures. Max Rodgers had 13 points in three quarters of action and Cannaday finished with 12 points, including eight in the second quarter. Cannaday also pulled down seven rebounds.
Church led the way with 13 points for North Wilkes, which attempted 20 more shots, 35 to 15, than did Grayson in the second half.
The Blue Devils host Carroll County (5-0) tonight before heading to Fort Chiswell for the Pioneers’ three-day Christmas tournament next Thursday through Saturday.
North Wilkes, NC.........8 14 12 18––52
Grayson County........22 24 12 8––67
North Wilkes, NC (4-3)
Behrens 1 0-0 2, E.Mitchell 2 0-1 4, Owens 3 3-4 9, Hendren 3 1-2 7, Martin 3 2-3 8, Church 6 1-2 13, Bailey 1 0-0 2, Bare 2 3-6 7. Totals 21 10-18 52.
Grayson County (5-0)
Cannaday 4 2-4 12, Roberts 1 0-0 2, Rudy 3 1-2 7, Mk.Rodgers 9 0-0 19, Mx.Rodgers 5 2-4 13, Wyatt 2 2-4 6, Davis 0 3-4 3, Circle 1 1-2 3, L.Mitchell 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 11-20 67.
Three-point field goals – North Wilkes 0-15, Grayson County 4-11 (Cannaday 2, Mk.Rodgers, Mx.Rodgers). Rebounds – North Wilkes 32 (Martin 5), Grayson County 36 (Cannaday 7). Turnovers – North Wilkes 24, Grayson County 24. Team fouls – North Wilkes 16, Grayson County 20. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none.
JV – Grayson County 36-21.