Moir Christmas Classic: East Rowan girls 51, South Rowan 35
SALISBURY — South Rowan girls basketball coach Jarrod Smith was asked how you stop East Rowan’s 6-foot-4 junior Karleigh Wike.
“You can’t let her get position,” he said. “You have to push her out of the paint before she gets the ball. She can hit the hook shot on you all day long.”
In a 51-35 Mustang win Friday in a Moir Christmas Classic consolation game, Wike hit that hook. She hit some jumpers. She had putbacks.
You know, just another typical Karleigh Wike performance: 17 points, 17 rebounds.
She helped ease the worries of East coach Danielle Porter.
“I was concerned about the intensity issues of playing in a consolation game,” Porter explained. “Its hard to play in a quiet gym and a big gym. I was proud of how we came out and did things the right way.”
East’s first four baskets of the game went like this: Wike off a rebound. Wike with a hook. Wike with another putback. Wike with a 15-footer.
No wonder she is coveted by Division I programs.
But what really helped East to their eighth victory in 12 games was everyone around Wike.
East led the Raiders 22-3 at one time and 22-6 at halftime. But somehow, Smith motivated his troops to come out in the second half and get back in it. A layup by Avery Locklear and a 3 by Cassidy Chipman helped South get within 23-14. Some good stops provided opportunities but the Raiders didn’t cash in.
“We went to some different sets and some other people came up with some big shots,” said Porter. “It helped us get some separation.”
Lauren Thomas came through with a big 3. When Amani Ajayi made a steal and bucket to close the third quarter, East had some breathing room at 30-18.
The Mustangs put it away at the start of the fourth. Wike hit two free throws and then Kelli Fisher’s outlet to Steffi Sides turned into an easy layup. Caroline Fry bombed a three and scored off a pretty assist from Sides. Before it was over, Jocelyn Lowe and Sydney Poole had joined the scoring parade.
The biggest mystery in the county is the offense of the Raiders (3-9), which has produced two 80-point games. But in the Moir, it managed five first-half points against Carson and only six against East.
“All of a sudden, we can’t put the ball in the basket,” Smith said. “We’re not running our offense correctly. All you can do is run people in until they dadgum run the offense.”
SOUTH ROWAN (35) — Locklear 22, Chipman 10, McClendon 1, Martin 1, Hubbard 1, Bost, Kam. Stamey, Kac. Stamey, Honeycutt, Davis.
DAVIE (51) — Wike 17, Thomas 5, Lowe 5, Sides 5, Fry 5, Poole 4, Gullett 4, Fisher 4, Amani 2, Gobble.
S. Rowan 2 4 12 17 — 35
E. Rowan 10 12 8 21 — 51