Redhawks facing North Rowan again
The boys basketball programs at Monroe High and North Rowan have become quite familiar with one another in recent seasons.
The Redhawks (23-4) travel to face the Cavaliers (26-3) in the third round of the state playoffs for the third straight year today at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals in Greensboro next Friday.
North Rowan won at Monroe 44-40 in the 2010-11 season, but the Redhawks responded with a 54-51 victory on the road last year.
"They got us at our place two years ago and we got them at theirs last year, so I guess this is the tiebreaker," said Monroe coach Johnny Sowell. "We're familiar with them and familiar with their gym. It's a loud gym and I like that, and the kids like that."
Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Redhawks and Cavaliers have been two of the most successful 1A teams in the state.
Monroe has a combined record of 91-26 during that stretch, including a state championship in 2010.
North Rowan is 95-18 with a 1A state title in 2011.
The Redhawks enter this year's matchup as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest bracket while the Cavs are the No. 2 seed.
Monroe has won 12 straight and and 16 of its last 17. North Rowan is riding a 18-game winning streak.
North Rowan relies on senior guard Oshon West, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder who averages a team-high 15.9 points per game.
Four other players post better than 9.2 points per game, including freshman Jalen Sanders (10.3), junior Michael Connor (9.9), junior Michael Bowman (9.2) and senior Malik Ford (9.2).
Monroe is led by junior guard Brandon Roddy, who averages a Union County-best 21.5 points per game.
Roddy, who was voted Player of the Year in the Rocky River Conference, had 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in Wednesday's second-round win over Bessemer City.
The Redhawks also get 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game from senior forward Quayshawn Chambers, who was a starter as a freshman on Monroe's 2010 state championship team.
Friday's third round
state playoff games
No. 3 Monroe (23-4) at No. 2 North Rowan (26-3), 7 p.m.
No. 8 East Davidson (19-9) at No. 4 Cuthbertson (18-10), 6:30 p.m.
No. 5 West Stokes (23-6) at No. 1 Cuthbertson (26-3), 8 p.m.
No. 3 Alexander Central (25-4) at No. 2 Porter Ridge (24-3), 7 p.m.