Mabry Paces Rocky Mount

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - Sophomore Tashawn Mabry scored 33 points as his Rocky Mount club overcame a sluggish start in the first round of the state tournament.

Enter Rocky Mount's gym and you'll see a pair of banners that pretty much sum up the school's history. Hanging side by side are shrines to Phil Ford and Buck Williams. Ford, a North Carolina superhero, was the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 1979. Williams was awarded the same honor in 1982.

Anyway you slice it, that's pretty impressive.

Playing in the shadow of those two former stars is sophomore Tashawn Mabry, a 6-foot-5 combo forward. Mabry scored 640 points as a freshman and as a sophomore, became the 5th player in the program's history to topple the 1,000-point barrier.

"I was proud of him because when he did it he called all his teammates out to be with him," Michael Mabry, Tashawn's father said.

Tuesday night, Mabry's Gryphon's sweated one out against Eastern Alamance. Mabry scored 33 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

North Carolina sent an assistant to the game. This year, Mabry has been watched by Maryland (alma mater of Buck Williams), Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Clemson and North Carolina State. The Pack offered Mabry a scholarship last year during camp in Raleigh.

Against a zone, Mabry wore it out from the elbows and took what was available near the rim. A tweener position-wise for now, Mabry is developing his passing game, rebounds his area and does a nice job with his weak side shot blocking instincts; he blocked 5 shots Wednesday night.

He's being evaluated by most of the colleges in the region as they continue monitoring his play. Rocky Mount advances in the 3-A playoffs and will face Northern Guilford Thursday night.

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