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Prep Basketball: West Rowan girls 56, West Iredell 49

By Bret Strelow

Salisbury Post

STATESVILLE — Foul trouble and free-throw struggles didn’t stop West Rowan’s girls from holding on for a road win.

The visiting Falcons prolonged their playoff aspirations by earning a 56-49 victory against West Iredell on Friday night.

West Rowan led by 18 points late in the third quarter and by 13 early in the fourth. The Warriors drew as close as 51-49 with one minute left, but free throws by Brooke Taylor and Rhonda Turner closed out the scoring.

West Rowan (11-9, 5-5 NPC) lost the first meeting, but the fifth-place Falcons now trail West Iredell (12-7, 6-4) by one game in the league standings. They are two games behind third-place North Iredell (10-8, 7-3).

“We just have to keep knocking these people off and keep moving up the ladder,” West Rowan coach Bob Blake said.

Taylor (14 points, five steals), Peyton Sawyer (12 points, four steals, three blocks) and Rachel Graham (11 points, six steals) scored in double figures for the Falcons. Turner went toe-to-toe with West Iredell forward Shauna Redmon, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Seven of West Rowan’s 10 two-point field goals were fastbreak layups, and Taylor and Graham each made two 3-pointers.

The Falcons went 25-for-47 from the line, including 12-for-25 in the fourth quarter. They were 7-for-19 in the period when Taylor stepped to the line with 50.2 seconds left.

Taylor, who had missed 10 of her first 12 free-throw tries, made two to give West Rowan a 53-49 lead.

“I figured they had to fall sometime,” Taylor said, “and they finally fell.”

Redmon secured an offensive rebound with 34 seconds left, but West Rowan reserve Katie Cox blocked Redmon’s putback attempt.

“I was like, ‘All right, whatever, I guess I’ll go for it,’ ” Cox said. “It probably wasn’t a good choice because I had four fouls.”

West Iredell missed another shot, and Turner drew an over-the-back foul going for the rebound. She made two more free throws for a six-point lead.

“That was a huge block from Katie,” Blake said. “We got the ball, went down and they fouled us. That was a big turning point.”

WEsT ROWAN (56) — Taylor 14, Sawyer 13, Graham 11, Turner 7, Cox 4, Adams 3, Simmons 2, Kraft 2, Stout 1, Foster, Izze.

WEST IREDELL (49) — Allison 13, Redmon 11, Dagenhart 7, Branch 5, Melvin 4, Allegro 3, Rufty 2, Laws 2, Waugh 2, Stroud, Stokes.

West Rowan 13 14 13 16 — 56

West Iredell 9 7 13 20 — 49

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Contact Bret Strelow at 704-797-4258 or bstrelow@salisburypost.com.

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