BOONVILLE – A new season of Starmount basketball started Tuesday night, and there was no shortage of drama on the court.
Tied at 37 with less than three minutes remaining in the game, senior forward Kyler Gregory got a loose ball, and drove it to the boards to break the tie. Those points put the Rams up for good as the Rams defeated North Iredell 41-37. Starmount led through most of the game and looked like they’d be headed for a sure victory, but North Iredell started to pull closer, finally tying it with 2:56 remaining. That’s when the Rams had to dig deep to grab what they thought was theirs.
“I felt like as young as we are, we held our composure really well, just had to hang in there and lock down,” Gregory said. “Loose balls are extra chance points for our team, and definitely a good thing to get.”
The final three minutes had turnovers but simply had no buckets falling for either side. As both teams were in the bonus, North Iredell had a chance to tie it late on the foul line but missed both free throws. After a huge rebound by senior Brandon Prescott, a Raiders foul put him on the foul line to put the game away in the closing seconds. Prescott nailed both free throws when it mattered most.
“Coach has always told me to crash the basket, and I saw the chance and took it,” Prescott said.
“People took care of the ball when we had to, Brandon hit those two free throws late. That was big, and we just kept the defensive pressure up,” Head Coach Rocky Horton said.
Prescott finished with 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Gregory had 24 points and 12 rebounds. The Raiders defense tried triple-teaming Gregory but that left open holes for player Griffin Cass, who had 6 points, to go through. Coach Horton had a name for Gregory after the game.
“Workhorse,” Horton said. “Grabbing rebounds, finishing second-chance points, getting triple-teamed all night, and as we go on from we’ve got to realize that people are going to focus on him. Other people are going to be able to step up and we’re looking forward to that.”
Following Tuesday’s win, Starmount dropped a game, losing to South Stokes 55-52 Wednesday night.
Up next for the Rams are the Forbush Falcons (1-3), who haven’t gotten their year off the way they’d like, but would like to turn it around at Starmount’s expense. That game is at Forbush, scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.