Prep Basketball: East Rowan girls 51, Davie 46
By David Shaw
GRANITE QUARRY — It’s called a full-court press, and it nearly cost East Rowan a home victory Tuesday night.
Davie County’s swarming pressure defense was here, there and everywhere in a wild, edge-of-your-seat fourth quarter. Only a clutch three-point play by Lisa Hill with 2:24 remaining helped East hang on for a 51-46 victory.
“They definitely threw on a great defensive press,” winning coach Karen Garmon said after East (7-11, 3-3 CPC) won its second straight conference game. “Breaking the press — that’s something we’ve had trouble with all year. But I called a timeout, settled them down and told them what they need to do to break it. After that, they were OK.”
Before that the Mustangs were A-OK. East blended a crisp passing game with some sharp shooting to take a 12-2 lead in the opening five minutes.
“Our offense has pretty much struggled all year,” sophomore guard Ashley Collins said. “But in the first quarter tonight we were getting a lot of open looks. It seemed like everybody was looking for everybody and seeing the whole floor.”
On the other side was Davie, the team East leapfrogged in the conference standings.
The War Eagles (7-11, 3-4) trailed 18-9 after one quarter, 30-18 at the half and 42-28 when East’s Rebecca Cooper sank the front end on a one-and-one late in the third period.
“That’s been one of our problems,” Davie coach Debbie Evans said. “We play too soft in the first half and turn it into a comeback game. If we didn’t have to dig out of a 10- or 12-point hole, we’d be all right. Unfortunately, it’s been a common story for us.”
Davie began digging when senior forward Rebecca Riddle confiscated an offensive rebound and hit a layup with two seconds remaining in the third period.
Four minutes later — after Tonesha Turner drained a 3-pointer and Amber Parrish scored on a floater from the right side — East’s lead had been trimmed to 44-39.
Meanwhile, Davie’s frantic arms-and-legs defense forced 18 second-half turnovers, including 10 in the final quarter.
“When they came with that strong defense, we kind of panicked,” Collins said. “Our intensity started dropping. We just had to slow down, get our heads straight and relax.”
It was Hill who applied the heart paddles and rescued the Mustangs.
With East clinging to a 47-41 edge, Hill caught up with a long outlet pass, drove the right side, hit a layup and was fouled by Davie’s Carly Pratapas.
Hill’s ensuing free throw gave the Mustangs enough breathing room to prevail.
“Lisa does a great job giving head fakes and getting players up in the air,” Garmon said. “When that happened, I think I jumped from the coach’s box all the way to the end of the bench.”
Hill, a junior, got herself another scrapbook memory.
“I bruised my left knee when I hit the ground,” she said, flashing a 150-watt smile outside the East locker room. “I didn’t even know it went in the basket because I was holding my knee. After that, our intensity was back. Everyone was pumped. At least they acted like it.”
On this night, it was no act.
Davie (46) — Turner 9, Riddle 9, Brown 8, Parrish 6, Garrett 5, Fowler 4, Pratapas 4, Evans 1, Wharton, Owens.
East rowan (51) — Collins 12, Hill 11, Miller 9, Poole 8, Cooper 7, Cress 3, K.Stout 1, Barrier, Vanderford.
Davie 9 9 12 16 — 46
E. Rowan 18 12 12 9 — 51
Contact David Shaw at email@example.com.