“Always coming out ready with a lot of energy has been a little bit of a struggle this year. Tonight, I thought we were ready,” Starmount Coach Jeffery Hague said.
In the first quarter, the Rams hit five three-pointers to jump out to the 22-8 lead.
Dylan Pardue helped lead the Rams in the first quarter, with three three-pointers, while Fondae McDaniel and Charlie Wagoner each added one of their own.
The Rams didn’t slow down in the second quarter either.
Jacob Riley, Christian Hurt, and Wagoner each added another six points to help the Rams lead the Red Devils 46-15 heading into halftime.
“I think part of that is them not just not knowing a whole lot about us, like we didn’t know a whole lot about them. And our shooters just getting open looks and knocking them down tonight,” Hague said.
Starmount continued to press the offensive throttle in the second half, and added another 32 points.
Still, the Red Devils were able to go on a 9-2 run to end the third quarter, and breathe a bit of life into Newton-Conover’s offense.
However, the Rams cruised down the stretch for the 78-36 reason, and punched their ticket to the second-round game.
Charlie Wagoner and Jacob Riley combined for 28 points, knocking down 14 each, while Christian Hurt chipped in with 10 points of his own.
While the Rams were lights-out on the offensive side, big defensive plays gave the Rams plenty of opportunities to score.
"On the defensive end is where we have to bring it every night in the playoffs for us to have a chance. I thought the intensity level was great," Hague said.
For Newton-Conover, Cameron and Dorian Shuford each reached double digits. Cameron led the Red Devils with 13 points, while Dorian added 11,
“I think the most fun part (about the post-season) is playing against people you’ve never played against before,” Hague
The number two seed, Shelby Golden Lions, defeated Pisgah 72-56 in the opening round, and faced Starmount Wednesday evening with a 9-14 overall record.
"You get to the post-season and you have to step up to the challenge. Sometimes you don't know a lot about the other team and so you have to come in focused and ready to play," Hague said.
At press time, results were unavailable.
Starmount- 22 24 16 16- 78
Newton-Conover- 8 7 14 7- 36
Starmount: Charlie Wagoner 14, Jacob Riley 14, Christian Hurt 10, Jake Barr 9, Dylan Pardue 9, M.J. Bryant 6, Dillon Dobson 6, Austin Somers 3, Fondae McDaniel 3, Dillon Bray 2, Alex Barr 2
Newton-Conover: Cameron Shuford 13, Dorian Shuford 11, Nick Carter 6, Jamal Coates 2, Kevin Cline 2, Octavius Harden 2