West Rowan girls 62, A.L. Brown 43
By Mike London
MOUNT ULLA ó Nearly blown out in the second quarter, West Rowan’s girls turned things around and hammered A.L. Brown 62-43 on Wednesday at the West gym.
It’s always better to be the blowers than the blowees, and the smiling Falcons left the gym with one of those wins that can change a season.
The sudden turnaround was fueled by junior Ayana Avery’s 24 points and the strong play of freshman Shay Steele, who scored 14 points.
“The first half we just missed too many easy shots,” West coach Erich Epps said. “I was very pleased with the way we settled down in the second half. This was a game we had to have. It’s a big step for us as a program.”
After Jayana Lott made two free throws with three minutes left in the first half, the Wonders (3-2) led 28-15, but they were blitzed 47-15 the rest of the way.
“When we were still down 10, Ayana yelled she was tired of losing,” Epps said. “I told her, ‘Honey, so am I.’ I thought the first half she tried to do it all by herself. The second half, she let her teammates help her more and that opened up her game.”
Frustration was boiling out of Avery’s ears after she went scoreless in the first quarter, but she buried four deep 3s in the second quarter to keep West from being destroyed.
Still, things still didn’t look great for the Falcons (2-2) when they trailed 35-27 at halftime. Epps challenged his team. It responded.
West’s defense suffocated the Wonders into 2-for-26 shooting in the second half.
“Coach said we needed to have a fire burning in our bellies, and we had that the second half,” Avery said. “The young girls played great.”
Freshmen Tabitha Ball and Steele took over for West at the start of the second half, teaming up for a game-turning 10-0 run.
Scorebook confusion shorted the Wonders three points on the scoreboard, but that didn’t affect the outcome.
A.L. brown (43) ó Blakeney 15, McCauley 8, McGuine 5, Parker 4, Lott 4, Spears 3, Tuttle 3, Blackwelder 1,Cannon, Forrest.
west rowan (62) ó Avery 24, Steele 14, Ball 6, Holloway 6, Cross 6, Al. Dutton 4, Barber 2, Parker, Watkins, Turner, Baucom, As. Dutton,Bolick, Leach.
A.L. Brown 15 20 5 3 ó 43
W. Rowan 7 20 16 19 ó 62