Prep basketball: West girls topple Northwest, 64-40
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó West Rowan’s Ayana Avery missed two layups in the opening seconds but didn’t stay cold long.
The Falcons’ sophomore scoring machine tossed in 33 points in a 64-40 NPC blowout of Northwest Cabarrus on Tuesday in “The Pit,” a venue where Rowan teams traditionally struggle.
With 2:15 remaining and victory secured, Avery, who was two points shy of the career high she set as a freshman, sprinted to the bench for a well-deserved pat on the back from coach Erich Epps.
Avery, who made eight steals, has the green light anywhere inside the gym, and she put it up 29 times. She hit 13 field goals, including three 3-pointers, and was 4-for-4 on free throws.”We just really wanted to win this one because we had a rough night at Lake Norman,” Avery said. “We took advantage of our speed. Mila (Simmons) got everyone involved in the offense. Desere (Cross) played a great game inside.”
Simmons was in early foul trouble, but her quickness keyed a variety of aggressive defenses employed by the Falcons. She scored 13 points to match her career high.
Cross contributed 11 points and eight rebounds as the Falcons (3-2, 1-2) collected their first league win.
“My girls are a box of crackerjacks, and I never know what surprise I’m gonna pull out,” Epps said.
“This was a 720-degree turn from the way we played at Lake Norman on Friday. We got after it. I’m sure Northwest didn’t have their best night, but when Mila and Desere play well, we can be pretty good.”
Every league win the Falcons can secure now is a bonus because they’ll get better when they add quick, experienced senior guard Peyton Sawyer next semester.
This is “Orange” week for the Falcons. Three games against all three orange uniforms on their schedule ó Northwest, Davie County and Carson.
“All orange and all on the road,” Epps said. “We got this first one, and we got it in a place where we didn’t win last year.”
It was 16-16 before Avery ended the first quarter with two free throws and a layup. She had 16 of West’s 20 points in the first quarter.
Northwest (2-6, 1-4) shot 3-for-17 in the second quarter as the Falcons eased out to a 32-23 lead at the break.
Ashley Dutton and Gabby Calloway contributed buckets in the third quarter as West widened its lead. A flurry by Avery early in the fourth quarter put the Trojans down 20.
Imani Williams led cold-shooting Northwest with 11 points.
WEST ROWAN (64) ó Avery 33, Simmons 13, Cross 11, Dutton 4, Calloway 2, Moose 1, Baucom, Parker, Holloway, Watson, Turner.
NW CABARRUS (40) ó Williams 11, Hahn 7, Nazer 6, Allen 6, Pethel 4, Broome 2, Blakely 2, Arrington 2, Marburger, Herring.
W. Rowan 20 12 14 18 ó 64
NW Cabarrus 16 7 9 8 ó 40