Prep Basketball: West Rowan girls 47, Carson 42
By David Shaw
CHINA GROVE ó It’s no secret around Mount Ulla. As Ayana Avery goes, so goes the West Rowan girls basketball team.
Both went pretty far on Friday.
“With the exception of a few plays late in the game, Ayana played great,” coach Erich Epps said after West gained a 47-42 NPC win at Carson. “To be honest with you, she didn’t practice (Thursday) because her legs are sore and she’s got a shoulder injury. So I really didn’t know how she’d play tonight.”
Avery scored a game-best 23 points as the Falcons (4-3, 2-2) won their second road game this week. She scored the team’s first nine points, though all that did was keep West within 10-9 of feisty Carson (1-8, 0-6).
“We’re getting there,” said losing coach Brooke Misenheimer. “We just need to put four quarters together.”
This was the closest league game Carson has played this season. Last night, the Cougars built early leads of 8-2 and 10-4 before WR used a 13-2 scoring spree to take command.
“We came out with a fire,” Carson junior Breckin Settlemyer said. “What we need to do is sustain that. We need to capitalize on little things like making layup and hitting our open shots. We’re progressing. We’re making progress. But we’re not there yet.”
Avery ó the sophomore sniper who has developed an authoritative dribble-drive ó made the baskets that mattered most. Her fastbreak layup gave the Falcons a 17-12 lead in the second quarter. Her 3-pointer from right side provided a 10-point lead and West’s only third-period points. And finally, her two free throws with 11 seconds remaining snuffed out Carson’s comeback hopes.
“This was a good night,” Avery said. “We worked as a team and everybody did the best they could.”
That may be true, but Avery paced all scorers. “Ayana’s the one that makes us go,” said Epps. “Every game that she’s scored at least 20 points, we’ve won. And every time she hasn’t, we’ve lost.”
Baskets by Settlemyer (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Maegan Livengood gave the Cougars the early edge. West regrouped and actually held a 45-31 lead with 2:12 to play.
“Most of us woke up and decided we were better than that,” said WR’s Ashley Dutton, who scored all six of her points in the final quarter. “And we needed to get this done.”
WEST ROWAN (47) ó Avery 23, Calloway 7, Dutton 6, Simmons 4, Watkins 3, Moose 2, Cross 2, Gillespie, Hollaway, Baucom, Parker.CARSON (42) ó Settlemyer 12, K.Livengood 10, Sellers 7, Heggins 5, M. Livengood 4, Marshall 4, Hough, Meismer. W. Rowan 11 18 3 15 ó 47
Carson 12 8 4 18 ó 42
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