MISENHEIMER –– Following a bittersweet performance on Friday, the Gray Stone girls basketball team is looking to end the rest of its season on a high note.
On the same night where senior guard Danielle Werts made school history by becoming only the second Knight to reach the 1,000-point club, her team lost its chance at achieving a perfect season.
With a 62-56 road win over Gray Stone (17-1, 12-1), the North Rowan Cavaliers (16-7, 12-2) avenged their previous 60-35 loss to the Knights back on Jan. 7. The Cavaliers’ victory also moved them squarely into second place in the Yadkin Valley Conference, right behind the Knights.
Gray Stone ends its regular season with games against Uwharrie Charter Academy (13-6, 9-3), North Moore (1-19, 0-12) and North Stanly (7-10, 7-6).
Knights head coach Robert Stack, who has a five-year streak of 20-plus-win seasons, says that one loss isn’t enough to spoil the effort his team has cultivated over the past few months.
“That one game doesn’t make or break a season for us,” said Stack. “We still have our goals and things that are still available for us. It’s never about one game — it’s about our body of work.”
The Knights held a 35-32 edge at halftime but struggled to guard a Cavaliers team that opened the second half with a 12-0 run and never trailed again.
“I give credit to North Rowan,” said Stack. “They played with great energy and did what they needed to do to win.”
Despite the frustration of snapping a 17-game winning streak, the Knights took solace in seeing their star player enter the 1,000-point club in front of their home crowd.
The moment arrived at a critical point in the game: With five minutes left in the first half, Werts nailed a three-pointer to tie up the score.
“It’s great to see her honored with that achievement,” said Stack. “That’s an impressive career, and it’s great to have everybody out here cheering for her.”
Werts led the Knights with 14 points, while senior Danika Ray had 10 points and senior Seccora Medley added nine.
For the Cavaliers, sophomore Hannah Freeman provided the majority of offensive production with a team-high 22 points. Freshman Kamora Cannie brought in 13 points and junior Natavia Taborn recorded 11.
Gray Stone made one last-ditch effort with 4:45 left in the game as a layup by Werts made it a 52-48 score. From that point on, however, North Rowan used a collection of steals and free throws to lock up the finish — the Cavaliers knocked down eight of their final foul shots.
North Rowan only has one conference game left, against South Davidson (4-16, 3-10), so this final week of the season will shape up the final conference rankings going into postseason play.