High School Basketball: The North boys lost their scoring punch, but were looking to reload
Posted at 12:00 AM Sunday, November 27, 2022
Ninth in a series of reports on local basketball teams…
by Mike London
Spencer – Most of the firepower is missing and it won’t be for long, but North Rowan coach Jason Cosby is confident the Cavaliers can find enough points and enough rebounds to field another strong team.
North was 19-6 a year ago. Five losses were to strong conference rivals Salisbury and Thomasville. The Cavaliers have twice won the 1A state playoffs.
“We still have a lot of athletes, a lot of interchangeable parts, a lot of guys in the 6-2 to 6-3 range,” said Cosby. “We might score it better than we did last season. If we play together, we can be dangerous. If the guys buy, and they have so far, I think we can be good.”
Cosby Certified Trainer. He usually had exceptional athletes, but he also got the most out of them. The only men who have coached more Rowan boys’ basketball victories than Cosby – Mike Gurley, Bob Hundley, Sam Gilley and Bob Farr – are in the Salisbury Rowan Hall of Fame. Cosby will surpass Var’s total wins this season.
But it won’t be an easy ride for the Cavaliers. North is missing the top five scorers from last season, including double-digit players Quashawn Carpenter, Derek Hanson and Amir Alexander.
There was also a significant pre-season injury that the Cavaliers would have to overcome. Cosby said Desarius Carpenter was playing as well as anyone on the list, but he broke his thumb. It will be out at least until late December.
Amari McArthur will be decisive. The football star receiver was very good in the rings as a sophomore, but he gave up some as a starter and wasn’t a major player.
“He’s really great for this school in football, basketball and track,” said Cosby. “I think last season basketball had them worrying about getting football offers and wasn’t sure what would happen next, but he came this season with good football performances on the table. There was some pressure on him last season, but now he’s relaxed and he’s going to enjoy his year The last in basketball. He can protect a lot of situations, he’s good on the boards, he hits the ball really well.”
Like McArthur, Kemon O’Kelly is a tall, long-range, three-sport player with some basketball skills.
“The kimono attacks really well, and it hits the glass really hard,” said Cosby. “We’ll probably use it near the basket.”
Jericho Charleston, who averaged 5.9 points per game, is the Cavaliers’ leading scorer. As a freshman, he was promoted to the university eight games into the season after a dominant jayvee level. Record in triple digits.
“He’s a good scorer, but his most important role will be as starting point guard,” said Cosby. “Charleston is a quick left man who can dribble, break through and crush defense, and we’re looking for him to provide a lot of the things Quashawn Carpenter has given us in the past three seasons.”
George Maxwell, a rookie guard who averages 4.4 points per game, with 17 maxed out, will be counted on to boost his scoring output.
“He’s a good three-point shooter and has a good drawing game,” said Cosby. “He’s a natural scorer, a guy who can give us a big bucket. He played in positions last season because some other players were ahead of him defensively, but he’s worked hard to become a better defender.”
Father Galen Smith returns. He’s a tall 6-foot-3 shooter, the best shooter on the team. It will act as a tonic in the region.
Junior Jaimes Moro, the star back on the soccer team, has two years of experience at the university. He’s only scored in double digits once, but he delivers a lot of positives.
“He’s tough and hard-nosed and sometimes finds holes and weaves through defenders on the basketball court as he does on the football field,” said Cosby. “He’s a good maker for his size and a good leader.”
Jeremiah Alford, the midfielder, suffered an injury in the last football match for North Korea, but he will be back on the field soon and will be an important factor.
“He’s going to do a lot of glue for us,” Cosby said. “He’s really strong and can handle the ball and defend.”
JD Sullivan isn’t that tall, but he’s massive, and a great football player would be required to give the Cavaliers some power and presence in the paint.
Cosby expects good things from newcomers Jaden Polk and Jamarion “JoJo” Tarver.
Polk started with a bang, with 17 points on North Rouen’s opening night against South Rouen.
“Polk is a left-handed 6-foot-3 with some bounce,” said Cosby. “He’s a good shooter, and he can be special.”
Tarver, a freshman, was also making his varsity debut.
“He’s fast, he’s smart and he’s a really good passer,” said Cosby.
Michael Strickland will assist. It is likely that he will be a fifth quarter man who splits time between Jayvis and the university. He scored 22 against opponents Javez.
Without a real big man, it would take effort from the committee on the boards, but Cosby thinks the Cavaliers can accomplish a lot.
There is not a lot of noise and there is not a lot of pressure. Salisbury and Thomasville will be in good shape, everyone knows that, but the Cavaliers can be up there with them.
“We’re smaller than last season and smaller than last season, so we’re sure to face adversity at some point, but I liked the way we started (78-31 over South Rouen),” Cosby said. “We went there against the South and the guys did everything they were asked to do. We played hard and in the first game we played really well. I love this team. We just have to be relentless.”
Boys in North Rouen
Coach: Jason Cosby (Season 5 in North, 75-23; Season 19, 246-147 in Rowan County)
2021-22: 19-6 overall, 8-4 1A/2A Central Carolina Conference
Playoffs lost the third round to Bessemer City.
League: 1A/2A CCC (Salisbury, Thomasville, Lexington, South Davidson, West Davidson, East Davidson)
Top returnees: Seniors Amari McArthur and Keemon O’Kelly, junior George Maxwell, and sophomore Jericho Charleston
KEY EXTRAS: Jaden Polk and Desarius Carpenter move on from Javies