Prep Hoops: North Rowan girls 63, East Rowan 57
By Nick Bowton
GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan improved enough in one week to compete with North Rowan — just not enough to win.
One week after North defeated East by 15 points in the season-opener for both teams, the Cavaliers squandered several double-digit leads before winning 63-57 on Tuesday.
“For some reason, when we got up by 10, I thought our defense let down,” North coach Mike White said. “Then we got up by 10 late and still tried to press the ball. Defensive-wise, I don’t think we did a good job. They shot the ball a whole lot better than they did the first time — give them credit — but we didn’t play good defense.”
White’s Cavs (3-1) certainly did make some questionable judgments defensively. They committed two fouls in the final 21 seconds despite holding a three-possession lead.
But thanks to seniors Shemieka Brown and Sierra Ingram, the lead was big enough to begin with that defensive lapses didn’t matter.
Brown scored a career-high 26 points, 19 in the second half. Ingram added a career-high 18 to go with her eight rebounds.
Brown’s biggest impact came against East’s press. Brown scored six fastbreak points in the third quarter, and she went 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth when East (0-3) had to foul.
“That’s a big-time relief. She probably is our best ballhandler,” White said. “She helped us out on the press against West, but we just had turnovers. Tonight, she kept her head, she made good passes when she did pass, but I like it when she’s in attack mode and taking it to the rim.”
White also likes it when he gets big contributions from his post players, and he did last night. Aside from Ingram’s production, junior Shavonna Casey had six points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Daquondra Cuthbertson had several rebounds as well.
As well as North’s frontcourt played, however, it didn’t dominate East in the paint. The Mustangs’ lone senior, Rebecca Cooper, had a career-best 11 points and nine rebounds. Lauren Cress also had a decent game, and East’s guards — Ashley Collins had 11 points and 10 rebounds — helped the Mustangs outrebound the Cavs.
“Last time we played North, our post players didn’t touch the ball,” East coach Karen Garmon said. “They didn’t have a presence. I told ’em we needed to have a presence on the inside so that would open up our guards a little bit. They did a good job of doing that.”
north rowan (63) — Brown 26, Ingram 18, Casey 6, Wilks 5, Turner 4, Holshouser 3, Parker 1, Cuthbertson, Bethea, Parsons, Rice, Propst.
east ROWAN (57) — Poole 15, Collins 11, Cooper 11, Miller 10, K.Stout 7, Cress 3, Hill.
N. Rowan 15 15 18 15 — 63
E. Rowan 13 11 15 18 — 57
Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.