Prep Basketball: Lake Norman girls 53, West Rowan 29
By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA ó West Rowan girls coach Erich Epps’ frown widened as seven scoreless minutes plodded by for his team between Gabby Calloway’s second-quarter layup and Amber Holloway’s third-quarter bucket.
West wasn’t supposed to seriously challenge Lake Norman, but Epps expected more than he got from his squad in a 53-29 loss that wasn’t even as close as it sounds.
West (6-9, 3-7), which got 16 of its points in the fourth quarter when it really didn’t matter much, went down meekly and quietly and finished Wednesday the same way it started the day ó stuck in seventh place in a 10-team NPC that gets six state playoff berths.
“I’m tired of losing, and this was frustrating and real disappointing,” Epps said. “I know the girls are working, but last year at this time we were showing improvement and this year we really haven’t. Tonight, we just didn’t have it.”Ayana Avery scored 15 points for West, while Calloway, Desere Cross and Alicia Turner added four apiece.
Lisa Shalvey scored 16 points for the Wildcats. Mary Stevens hit two 3s and scored 10.
Senior Peyton Sawyer still is expected to play Friday when West plays South Rowan, but even the prospect of Sawyer’s long-awaited debut offered no consolation to Epps, who said he may shake things up and audition players who haven’t gotten many minutes the rest of the way.
The only way to go now is up. The Falcons probably struck rock-bottom when they were outscored 31-6 by Lake Norman in the middle two quarters to negate a decent start.
Lake Norman (13-3, 10-1, which has lost only to Statesville in the league, played Avery pretty straight-up defensively, but managed to hold the high-scoring sophomore in check. The Wildcats held her to 6-for-23 shooting. She was 0-for-9 in the middle two quarters as the Wildcats made the game a romp.
Avery has averaged 24.4 points a game in West’s six victories.
“Avery’s a player, and she’ll shoot it two steps behind the (3-point) line,” Lake Norman coach Dave Walla said. “I think we forgot about her one time tonight, but the rest of the time we were right up in her face. We were doing a nice job on her so we stayed mostly man-to-man.
“At one point, I looked up and it was 45-13, and we weren’t shooting very well. I had to be happy with the defensive effort.”
lake norman (53) ó Shalvey 16, Stevens 10, Howard 8, Riley 7, Lewis 5, Wright 3, Mannion 2, Taylor 2, McCollum, Vince. west rowan (29) ó Avery 15, Cross 4, Calloway 4, Turner 4, Hollway 2, Simmons, Parker, Dutton, Gillespie, Watson, Watkins, Moose.
L. Norman 12 12 19 10 ó 53
W. Rowan 7 2 4 16 ó 29
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