Prep Basketball: Lake Norman girls 66, West Rowan 36

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2007

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan’s girls basketball team picked a terrible time to play a terrible game.

The Falcons suffered 27 turnovers and made only six baskets in the second half of Monday’s 66-36 loss to visiting Lake Norman.

“You could tell during warmups,” guard Peyton Sawyer said after West (8-6 overall) fell to 2-3 in NPC play. “Nobody had their game faces on. This wasn’t a good game for anybody.”

It was for the Wildcats (11-4, 4-1 NPC), who outscored WR 43-16 in the second half and rolled to an easy victory.

“We played well in the first half,” said West coach Bob Blake. “Our defensive intensity was there. We got open. We got good shots.”

And they had an early 8-2 lead after Sawyer and Wendi Adams drove for back-to-back layups midway through the opening quarter. But Lake Norman, behind eight first-half points from senior center Lindsay Mannion, gradually built a six-point edge and was up 23-20 at the break.

The turning point came early in the third period. LN’s Lauren Marshall hit a layup and a set shot from the left side to kick it off. Mannion followed with a layup and a drive along the right baseline for an easy bucket, giving the guests a 31-20 lead just two minutes into the second half.

“I’m not sure what happened,” said Sawyer. “But I guess we gave up. The first string was not playing defense and the second string played defense but wasn’t scoring.”

By the time the third quarter ticked to a close, West trailed by 16 points and had more questions than answers.

“We’re not a third-quarter team,” Blake said. “Average-wise, we’ve outscored our opponents in the first, second and fourth quarters and in overtime. But we’re coming out of the locker room flat at halftime. Maybe we need to stay out on the floor and shoot layups. All I know is we’re not getting it done in the third quarter — and we didn’t get it done tonight.”

In that case, don’t let Blake see the fourth-quarter summary. West was outscored 24-10, including 16-1 during a four-minute stretch.

“When you’re playing bad defense and can’t get shots off, this is what you get,” said Sawyer. “We’ll be better next game.”

“Hey, it was Monday for Lake Norman, too,” he said. “We’re just so used to that Tuesday-Friday thing that what when something different happens, it changes our whole perspective. That’s no excuse. We’ll have to bounce back.”

lake norman (66) — Mannion 16, Marshall 10, Abernathy 9, Shalvey 8, Haynes 7, M.Graham 7, Moffett 5, Schultz 3, Hammond 1.

West rowan (36) — Adams 10, Kraft 6, Cox 5, Taylor 4, Sawyer 4, R.Graham 2, Turner 2, Stout 2, Izze 1, Simmons, Foster.

L. Norman 13 10 19 24 — 66

W. Rowan 9 11 6 10 — 36

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Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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