Prep Hoops: North Rowan girls 47, East Rowan 32

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2006

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

SPENCER — A little bit of tough love went a long way for the North Rowan girls basketball team Tuesday night.

As of Monday, head coach Mike White wasn’t sure what he was working with.

“He kicked us out of practice,” forward Sierra Ingram reported after the Cavs were sent home more than an hour early. “He said we weren’t being serious enough. He got this look on his face and yelled at us, ‘If y’all want to lose, get out of here. Get out right

now.’ ”

The Cavs got the message loud and clear, returning to post a 47-32 win over visiting East Rowan in their season-opener. They played upbeat offense and lockdown defense, limiting the youthful Mustangs to nine field goals.

“Our defense was real good tonight,” said White. “And that was one of the things I had to question coming into this game. After that practice, it’s like they weren’t focused. I had to get their attention.”

East certainly did when it converted 7-of-9 free throws and took a 9-8 lead after one quarter. But its lack of firepower eventually made a difference.

“Our defense, our communication, our rebounding — all of that was excellent,” said Mustangs’ coach Karen Garmon. “All the hard stuff we did right. Our shots just weren’t falling. We won’t shoot this poorly again.”

North’s Shemeika Brown had no such problem. The senior guard drove the lane for layups three times in the pivotal second quarter, fueling an 11-0 run that put the game out of reach.

“We were sprinting the court, getting more rebounds and getting the ball down low,” Brown said after tossing in a game-best 14 points. “I guess Big White helped us out by fussing at us. We wanted to prove we can play good basketball.”

Ingram proved it as well. She scored on a fastbreak layup that gave North an eight-point lead late in the third period, then hit a putback to make it 40-26 with six minutes to play.

“The last thing (White) told us (Monday) was that if we didn’t win tonight, we’d have to run for an hour after the boys game,” Ingram said. “And help clean up, too.”

East received a nice game from sophomore Ashley Collins, who scored 10 points before fouling out with 1:20 to play.

“It’s a good starting point,” she indicated. “We’re pleased with how we did — except for the shooting. Knowing we’re a team that can shoot and not finishing like this, that’s frustrating.”

Garmon agreed. “That’s our strength,” she said. “People know we can shoot. And we will get better.”

EAST ROWAN (32) — Collins 10, Hill 7, Cooper 4, Poole 4, Miller 4, Cress 3, Stout, Barrier, Vanderford.

NORTH ROWAN (47) — Brown 14, Ingram 13, Turner 7, Casey 6, Parker 5, Cuthbertson 1, Wilks 1, Bethea.

E. Rowan 9 8 9 6 — 32

N. Rowan 8 14 11 14 — 47