Prep Basketball: Lake Norman 53, South Rowan 43
By Bill Kiser
MOORESVILLE ó The numbers finally caught up with South Rowan in a 53-43 North Piedmont Conference loss to Lake Norman on Friday night.
Outmanned and outgunned, the Raiders (9-7, 6-4) struggled in the second and third quarters to lose their second consecutive game.
Nikki Graham had 15 points and Taylor May 12 points and 11 rebounds for South Rowan, which led briefly in the second quarter.
But the Wildcats (12-3, 9-1) got balanced scoring from their deeper lineup, and pulled ahead by as many as 19 points early in the fourth quarter.
South Rowan dressed just seven players Friday against Lake Norman ó center Kayla Morrow has missed the last two weeks because of an injured shoulder, and guard Katie Roberts was out with a sore throat.
By comparison, the Wildcats dressed 11 players, and saw nine of them score as they shot nearly 47 percent from the field. And while South forced them into 15 turnovers, nearly half (seven) came in the final eight minutes.
The Raiders, meanwhile, managed just 26.8 percent, with six of their seven players scoring. They also turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 17 LN points.
“They shoot the ball well,” South Rowan head coach Jim Brooks said. “When we let them set their feet and get a good look at the basket, they shoot the lights out. … They and East (Rowan) are neck and neck for the best shooting team in the league.”
Still, the Raiders managed to make a game of it in the first quarter, fighting back from a 5-point deficit to tie the score at 12 on May’s jumper with 53 seconds left. South then took its first lead at 15-12 on Graham’s 3-pointer with 7:29 left in the second quarter.
However, the Raiders went cold after that, going more than six minutes without a field goal, and the Wildcats broke loose with a 13-2 run to regain the lead, and pulled ahead 31-21 at the half.
“It seems like we always have one bad quarter,” Brooks said. “We just couldn’t buy one. You can’t have single-digit quarters, because they’ll kill you. That’s what we’ve been getting, though.”
South pulled no closer than 10 points the rest of the way. Lake Norman took its biggest lead early in the fourth quarter at 49-30.
NOTES: Brooks said Morrow is expected to return to action for next Friday’s game against West Rowan.
south ROWAN (43) ó Graham 15, May 12, W. Haywood 6, Garrett 6, K. Haywood 6, Goins 4, Sides. lake norman (53) ó Stevens 13, Riley 10, Shalvey 8, Lewis 7, Mannion 4, Kirkland 4, Vance 3, Wright 2, Taylor 2, Mccollum, Howard.
S. Rowan 12 9 9 13 ó 43
L. Norman 12 19 16 6 ó 53