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Prep basketball: Statesville girls 60, West Rowan 40

By Ronnie Gallagher

Salisbury Post

STATESVILLE — You know the old cliche about “wanting it more?”

It was never more evident than in the West Rowan girls’ 60-40 loss to Statesville on Tuesday night.

Just listen to the coaches.

“We didn’t play with any urgency,” said West’s Bob Blake. “I think we’re looking foward to the Christmas break. We didn’t get down the floor. We didn’t take open shots.”

While the Falcons (4-3, 0-1) didn’t get the job done in any phase, the Greyhounds came in pumped up. Coach Todd Jones said his girls hadn’t forgotten West beat them on their home floor in the North Piedmont Conference Tournament last year.

“It hurt our girls,” Jones said. “They wanted this game. They want the conference (title).”

If Statesville (7-2, 2-0) keeps playing like they did on Tuesday, it’s in the bag. This is an impressive group of basketball players.

Keyrra Gillespie, a sophomore point guard, kept feeding her teammates with perfect bounce passes and found time to score 15 points, matching teammate Jada Nesbit. Jones also got 21 from Kenyonna Harris.

“It was easy to get fired up,” said Jones.

That fire showed from the opening tip. After Rhonda Turner scored off a feed from Rachel Graham to pull West within 8-6, Statesville exploded with steal after steal. Before Blake could blink, his team trailed 26-11 after one.

“We told them in the locker room they were going to press,” shrugged Blake. “We seemed to forget.”

The Falcons held Statesville to eight second-quarter points, but managed only eight themselves and went into halftime down 34-19.

It was 44-23 with five minutes left in the third when West went on a little scoring binge. Layups by Turner, Peyton Sawyer and Erin Foster pulled West within 15 at 44-29.

“I thought if we could cut it to 10, we could make a run at them,” Blake said.

Wishful thinking. Despite baskets by Elizabeth Kraft and Wendi Adams, Statesville’s lead was back to 22 at the end of the quarter.

With his team playing badly, and leading scorer Brooke Taylor still slowed by a thumb injury, there would be no comeback against Gillespie & amp; Company.

“Gillespie’s the real deal,” Blake said. “They’re better defensively (than last year) and they push the ball down the floor better. We’ve got our hands full.”

*

NOTES: Adams led West with 11 points. … West was 10-of-26 from the stripe. … The Falcons try to get back on track Thursday at home against West Iredell.

West rowan (40) — Adams 11, Turner 8, Taylor 6, Foster 5, Graham 4, Sawyer 2, Kraft 2, Cox 2, Simmons, Izze, Stout.

statesville (60) — Harris 21, Gillespie 15, Nesbit 15, Daywalt 4, Bailey 3, Hickman 2..

W. Rowan 11 8 14 7 — 40

Statesville 00 00 00 00 — 60

*

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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