West girls 74, East 64: Taylor's career-high 25 paces Falcons

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2006

By Nick Bowton

Salisbury Post

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan couldn’t put the game out of reach, and East Rowan couldn’t finish a rally.

As a result, West saw its lead keep dwindling to four points and widening to 10 before it beat the Mustangs 74-64 on Thursday.

“We could never put ’em away,” West coach Bob Blake said. “We didn’t know who to concentrate on defensively ’cause they can all shoot. We tried man. We tried zone. We tried fullcourt press. We tried everything. It would work for two or three trips down the floor, and then we’d have to change again.

“We can’t give up points like that.”

With Brooke Taylor and Rachel Graham scoring like they were last night, the Falcons could afford to play average defensively.

Taylor scored a career-high 25 points, and Graham matched her career-best with 15. Both players scored at clutch times, as well.

When East (0-4) went on a 7-0 run to get within 42-38 early in the third quarter, Graham made her first 3-pointer. When the Mustangs got within 45-42, Graham hit another 3. Both came from the right corner.

“Her and Brooke are our best shooters in practice every night,” said Blake, whose team improved to 3-1. “We know they can shoot, and they’re shooting with a lot of confidence right now. Rachel stepped up big.”

So did Taylor. A junior, she scored nine points in the fourth quarter as East tried to rally one final time.

West’s lead dipped to 68-64 when East point guard Katelynne Poole made a free throw with one minute remaining, but Taylor made a layup six seconds later to start a game-ending, 6-0 run.

Poole tried to keep her team in the game in the fourth quarter, but she had to do so without fellow sophomore Ashley Collins. Poole scored eight of her career-high 21 points in the quarter, while Collins fouled out with 3:15 remaining.

Collins’ absence left East without its leading scorer and rebounder.

“I felt like our fire and intensity left the game,” East coach Karen Garmon said. “She’s our vocal leader. We look to her for that fire and that spark. When she came out, it dropped off.”

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NOTES: East’s Lauren Cress led all players with 15 rebounds, while teammate Kesley Stout had 12 points and nine rebounds. Collins had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. … West went 17-of-32 from the free-throw line, while East shot 15-of-27.

EAST ROWAN (64) — Poole 21, Collins 17, K.Stout 12, Cress 7, Miller 4, Cooper 3, Hill, S.Stout.

WEST ROWAN (74) — Taylor 25, Graham 15, Kraft 9, Sawyer 7, Foster 6, Turner 5, Cox 3, Adams 3, Stout 1, Izzie, Simmons, Dickerson.

E. Rowan 14 17 17 16 — 64

W. Rowan 18 22 11 23 — 74

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Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or nbowton@salisburypost.com.

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