Prep Basketball: Lake Norman girls 59, East Rowan 42
By Bill Kiser
MOORESVILLE ó East Rowan came into Tuesday night’s game against Lake Norman a little banged upBut Mustangs head coach Karen Garmon said that wasn’t the reason behind East’s 59-42 loss.
“We didn’t have any intensity,” Garmon said. “We didn’t play at the level we usually play at. Everything we tried to do was lackadasical and awkward. We didn’t have any flow, we didn’t have any chemistry. That’s not the way we’re used to playing.”
Katelynn Poole scored 15 points for East Rowan (13-7, 11-4 NPC), which fell two games behind second-place Lake Norman in the league standings.
Lyndi Vince and reserve Marissa Riley scored 11 points each for the Wildcats (16-4, 13-2), who have now won eight of their last nine games.
Three of the Mustangs’ key starters played with injuries suffered during practice just 24 hours earlier. Alaina Vanderford suffered an injured little finger on her right hand, Ashley Collins had a twisted ankle and center Olivia Rankin played with a bruised quadricep muscle.
The trio’s performances were off ó Vanderford finished with just four points, Collins went 0-for-8 from the field and scored all six of her points from the free throw line, and Rankin had eight points and just three rebounds after missing significant time because of foul problems.
But Garmon said that wasn’t the full reason East lost.
“Maybe they came in with their heads down tonight, but this wasn’t the team that I’ve been coaching all year,” she said. “We talk about heart, desire and fire all the time, and that’s what we live by and die by. Tonight, we died by it.”
Still, it was Lake Norman that struggled early in the first half, missing 18 of its first 21 shots.
That allowed the Mustangs to pull ahead, scoring the final seven points of the first quarter to lead 14-8, then pushing that to 16-8 in the opening seconds of the second quarter on Madlyn File’s short jumper.
Then the Wildcats got hot, hitting six of their last 10 shots and closing out the quarter with a 15-2 run to pull ahead 23-18 at the break.
East pulled within two points twice and three points on three occasions in the third quarter, and closed to within six points twice in the fourth quarter. But Lake Norman closed the game with a 15-6 run, with the Wildcats hitting 11 of 13 from the free throw line during the run.
east rowan (42) óPoole 15, Rankin 8, File 7, Collins 6, Vanderford 4, Holshouser 2, Sabo.
lake norman (59) ó Riley 11, Vince 11, Lewis 10, Stevens 10, Wright 9, Shalvey 4, Mannion 2, Howard 2, Kirkland. E. Rowan 14 4 13 11 ó 42
L. Norman 8 15 15 19 ó 59