Prep Basketball: West Rowan girls 58, Carson 35
By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan girls coach Bob Blake started his five seniors in what will likely be their final home game, and his skyscraper lineup is now 1-0.
Blake sent out guard Rachel Graham and four post players — Rhonda Turner, Meagan Stout, Wendi Adams and Elizabeth Kraft. That group started and concluded the Falcons’ 58-35 NPC victory over Carson.
“The seniors had fun starting and finishing,” Blake said. “But we were wondering who was gonna play guard in that lineup. Elizabeth has guard skills and played a wing. We put Rhonda on the other wing, thinking she’s caught enough passes in the post to know how to throw it into the post.”
Both Turner and Kraft produced quick assists and big grins, and seven Falcons scored in the first quarter for a 21-11 lead.
But Carson (1-20, 1-12) played even with the Falcons in the second quarter. The Cougars were still close at halftime because senior guard Mackenzie White, a former Falcon back in her old gym, had 14 of her 20 points in the first half.
“At the very beginning it was just gonna be another game, but then a lot of emotions got put into it,” said White, who played despite a bad ankle.
Because the seniors were honored at halftime with their parents, Blake had no opportunity for a locker-room speech, but he did emphasize doing a better job against White in the second half.
“Mack kind of went off on us in the first half,” Blake said.
Graham, who got plenty of help whenever Carson tried to set a screen, shut out White in the third quarter. With White missing all five of her third-quarter field-goal attempts, Carson’s offense disappeared. Natasha Howell (11 points), had Carson’s only bucket in the period.
West (12-11, 6-7) got its fastbreak going and scored the last 11 points of the third quarter to break out to a comfortable 22-point lead.
Because of its unusual starting lineup, West got lots of points from “reserves.” Peyton Sawyer, starting to come into her own as a top-notch guard, had 14 points on drives and layups off turnovers. Ambidextrous Brooke Taylor scored 11 points — six left-handed and five right-handed.
All 12 Falcons scored, and Kraft was delighted that she tossed in six points.
“That’s got to be near my career high,” she said with a laugh. “It was the perfect time to do that — on Senior Night. I’m just glad all of us got to be on the floor together at the same time.”
Carson experienced the euphoria of its first win last week, but coach Brooke Misenheimer’s team took a step back.
“Mack was taking the ball to the basket with a purpose, but I was very disappointed in our effort overall,” she said. “We weren’t moving, weren’t talking, didn’t box out and didn’t know who our man was. We’ve got to learn from it and come out and play harder on Friday.”
Carson (35) — White 20, Howell 11, Brown 2, Marshall 2, Lynn, Curtindale, Stewart, Hough, Bell, Whitley, Cress, Beaty.
west rowan (58) — Sawyer 14, Taylor 11, Turner 9, Kraft 6, Foster 4, Cox 4, Adams 2, Izze 2, Stout 2, Simmons 2, Graham 2.
Carson 11 13 2 9 — 35
W. Rowan 21 13 14 10 — 58
Contact Mike London at 704-797-4259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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