Prep Basketball: South Rowan girls 50, West Forsyth 49
By Mike London
LANDIS — South Rowan’s Katherine Van Wieren picked up assistant coach Laurie Corriher and whirled her around like she was heaving a discus.
South Rowan head coach Jim Brooks got elevation that would have made Kobe Bryant proud.
The Raiders were celebrating for a reason. They beat CPC rival West Forsyth 50-49 on Friday night for their biggest victory in several seasons and broke a nine-game losing streak to the Titans.
Point guard Kristen Brown’s first field goal of the night won it. She swished a 3-pointer from the right corner as time expired.
“I was like, ‘Whoa, did I actually do that,’ ” said Brown, who was being high-fived by rows of complete strangers after the game. “We were looking for Kim (Wilson), but they had a lot of people on her, so someone else had to shoot.”
Brown’s shot clearly beat the buzzer, but West Forsyth fans were incensed with the timeout awarded the Raiders with 4.5 seconds left and the Titans leading 49-47.
Van Wieren and Krista Haywood were scrambling for the ball under the South goal, and Brooks was screaming at the nearest referee for a timeout. South didn’t have clear control but was ruled to have possession and was granted its final timeout.
“That’s a call South Rowan doesn’t get every day,” Van Wieren said. “We knew then, we had to win it.”
Added Brooks: “We got a big call, but sometimes when you’re hustling and busting it, you will get a call. But all that call got us was a timeout. We still had to do something with it. I didn’t poll the girls, but, by golly, I know all of them wanted to go for the win.”
Brooks wanted a 3-point look for the win because South’s chances if it got two points and sent the game to overtime were still slim. Taylor May had fouled out with 10 points. Van Wieren, who had scored 16, was limping after turning an ankle. Katie Wise, who had played major minutes, had to be exhausted.
The inbounds pass went to Haywood. She tossed the ball to Wise at the top of the key, and Wise found Brown. Brown didn’t hesitate, and her shot swished.
“No, Kristen wasn’t the first option,” Brooks said with a smile. “But they did a good job of getting out on Wilson.”
The Titans (11-11, 5-6) appeared to have control with a 42-33 lead early in the fourth quarter, but South stopped turning the ball over.
“Laurie Corriher had as much to do with winning this one as anybody,” Brooks said. “She wouldn’t let them put their heads down when things were going wrong.”
South (8-13, 3-7) missed five straight foul shots at one point, but Van Wieren cashed in two free throws after West Forsyth’s 6-foot-5 center Elizabeth Maas (nine points, nine rebounds, 11 blocks) was hit with a technical. Then Brown swished two more for a
Wilson’s 3-pointer with a minute left gave South a 47-46 lead, but Tisha Henderson hit a runner and added a free throw to put West ahead by two.
Brown’s 3-pointer erased South’s deficit and started a celebration.
“I’ve never been so excited in my life,” Van Wieren said. “We played with our hearts, we had faith, and it all worked out.”
West forsyth (49) — Miller 13, Henderson 12, Maas 9, Bolar 4, Lunsford 4, Farrell 3, Urban 2, Foster 2, Ricks.
south rowan (50) — Van Wieren 16, Wilson 11, May 10, Wise 8, Brown 5, Houston, Haywood, Morton, Garrett.
W. Forsyth 10 18 12 9 — 49
S. Rowan 13 13 7 17 — 50
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4256 or email@example.com.