Prep Basketball: West Iredell girls 52, West Rowan 49

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 6, 2009

By Bill Kiser
STATESVILLE ó West Rowan girls coach Erich Epps had a feeling his team was in for a bad night when its bus wouldn’t start.
Epps was right for a little more than two quarters, and the Falcons mounted a second-half rally before falling 52-49 to West Iredell 52-49 in a NPC game Tuesday.
Desere Cross scored 12 points for West Rowan (5-7, 2-5). It overcame a 17-point deficit to pull within one with less than three minutes to play.
West Iredell’s Elizabeth Walden hit a layup with 2:50 remaining to push the Warriors’ lead to three points, and the Falcons could not overcome turnover problems.
They also couldn’t overcome an uncharacteristically quiet game from leading scorer Ayana Avery. She had a season-low nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, including a 1-of-8 effort on 3-pointers. The sophomore guard was averaging 21 points per game.
“The bottom line: West Iredell’s girls played hard for 21/2 quarters, and my girls played hard for 11/2 quarters,” Epps said. “Still, this was a game we could have won. … I’m glad we were able to come back, make a few shots and play with some intensity.”
Kadijah Watts scored 13 points and Walden finished with 12 for West Iredell (7-7, 3-5). It forced the Falcons into 32 turnovers.
The Warriors led for the entire first half, using an 18-8 second quarter to push their lead to 33-20 at the break. West Iredell then pulled ahead 37-20 on Brianna Renwick’s steal and layup with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
That’s when West Rowan began its comeback.
The Falcons closed the third quarter with a 12-3 run. They outscored West Iredell 17-10 in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, pulling within 50-49 on Cross’ layup with 2:53 remaining.
That’s as close as West Rowan would get ó Walden scored on a breakaway layup three seconds later to push the Warriors’ lead to three.
“I know we’ve got a young team, but the kids still have to execute,” Epps said. “But the kids are hanging in there and working through it.”
west rowan (49) ó Cross 12, Avery 9, Dutton 7, Simmons 6, Calloway 5, Parker 4, Watkins 2, Holloway 2, Moose 2, Turner, Watson, Gillespie, Baucom.west iredell (52) ó Watts 13, Walden 12, Chapman 9, Renwick 6, Sigmon 4, Cooper 4, Frye 2, Keever 2, Tuttle, Johnson.
W. Rowan 12 8 12 17 ó 49
W. Iredell 15 18 7 12 ó 52