South Rowan girls 58, Cox Mill 45
By Mike London
CONCORD ó South Rowan’s Kayla Morrow had taken a finger in the eye, a punch in the ribs and an elbow to the jaw.
The really bad news was there were still 29 minutes left to play.
South’s game at Cox Mill on Tuesday was a little wild and a little sloppy, but the Raider girls prevailed over the first-year school 58-45.
There’s no truth to the rumor that Cox Mill its changing its colors after Christmas, from purple to black-and-blue, but it’s something to think about. While the Chargers haven’t won a game yet, they do cheerfully fight to the bitter end. They cut a 24- point deficit down to nine, and South coach Jarrod Smith had to reinsert his starters in the final minutes.
“That was rough and physical,” Smith said. “This was their first home game, and we came here expecting to ruin it ó just not in a rude way.”
South escaped mostly because Morrow, for a homecoming queen, can be pretty mean. She shoved back, hit the floor frequently and accumulated 15 points, 14 rebounds and four steals.
Nicole Barringer shot 6-for-12 from the floor for 13 points, and Lauren “Goose” Miller went 8-for-9 from the foul line and scored 12.
Cherise Baker had all 12 of her points in the second half to lead the Chargers (0-5).
South trailed by a point after a quarter, struggling to adjust to the spacious, chilly new gym. Santa Claus made an appearance in the bleachers, but later returned to the North Pole ó probably seeking a warmer place to sit.
The Raiders (3-4) pressed furiously, forced 24 Cox Mill turnovers in the first half and put together a 26-point second quarter to take charge of the game. Barringer hit three field goals in the key quarter, Libby Sides made a 3, and Morrow dominated the paint. She had nine points and seven rebounds in the quarter and made a steal for a three-point play to close the half.
“It was pretty rough, but we just had to fight through it,” Morrow said. “Coach said we were seeing some adversity and had to show our true character. We did. We played great as a team.”
When Morrow scored inside with 6:53 left in the third quarter, South led 50-26. That lead melted down to 51-42, but Miller made three consecutive free throws ó one on a technical ó to seal victory.
south ROWAN (58) ó Morrow 15, Barringer 13, Miller 12, Sides 7, Goins 4, Swartz 3, Lookabill 2, Caple 2, Stancil, Weber, Corriher, Waldroup, Bost, McManus.cox mill (45) ó Baker 12, Worthy 7, Arrington 6, K. Cella 6, Stafford 6, Meyer 4, Eure 2, Felton 2, A. Cella, Joshi.
S. Rowan 8 26 16 8 ó 58
Cox Mill 9 13 6 17 ó 45