Prep Basketball: South Rowan girls 46, West Iredell 37
By Bill Kiser
LANDIS ó South Rowan girls coach Jim Brooks knows his team isn’t the best at putting the ball in the basket.
Thanks to the Raiders’ defense Friday night, they didn’t have to be.
South Rowan’s ‘D’ came through against West Iredell, holding the Warriors in check en route to a 46-37 league victory.
The Raiders (8-5, 5-2 NPC) forced West Iredell (6-7, 2-5) into 22 turnovers ó 13 came off steals ó and held them to 25-percent shooting from the field.
And while South shot just 32.8 percent and turned the ball over 16 times, that was more than enough to snap the Raiders’ two-game losing streak and give them another much-needed win.
“We have to look at our defense almost as a part of our offense,” Brooks said. “When we’re playing good defense, it seems like we play better on the other end of the court.
“If we can swat the ball away, we’re athletic enough where we can run up and down the floor … and that just opens things up.”
Taylor May scored 18 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for the Raiders. Nikki Graham added 13 points, with 12 coming during the first half when the game was far from decided.
South led by six points early in the second quarter, but the Warriors went on a seven-point run. Tre Cooper’s layup with 3:13 remaining put West Iredell ahead 15-14.
That’s when Graham got hot.
She hit a 3-pointer with 2:52 left to put the Raiders back in the lead, then followed that up with a free throw, a runner in the lane and another 3 during a nine-point run over the next 90 seconds to give South a 23-15 advantage.
“That kept us in the game,” Brooks said.
May then put the Warriors on ice, scoring 12 points in the second half as the Raiders pushed their lead into double digits.
May’s final basket, a layup with 3:18 remaining, gave South its biggest lead of the game at 45-26.
It took an 11-1 run from West Iredell over the final 2:30 to cut the Raiders’ lead back into single digits.
NOTES: South forward Kayla Morrow suffered an injured left arm early in the first quarter and did not play the rest of the game. Her status for next week’s games is undetermined, according to Brooks. “Her shoulder went out of its socket,” Brooks said. “She’s had problems with it before, so we’ll have to wait and see.” … The Raiders bounced back from tough losses to East Rowan and Davie County in the Sam Moir Christmas Classic.
west iredell (37) ó Tuttle 9, Chapman 8, Walden 7, Renwick 6, Cooper 4, Keever 2, Watts 1, Frye, Sigmon.south rowan (46) ó May 18, Graham 13, W.Haywood 4, Morrow 3, Sides 2, K.Haywood 2, Roberts, Goins.
W. Iredell 8 9 8 11 ó 37
S. Rowan 12 11 16 7 ó 46