Moir Christmas Classic: East Rowan girls 50, South Rowan 47
By Ronnie Gallagher
Don’t think for one minute that the South Rowan girls will forget who their opponent is next week: the same one that sent the Raiders home for good in the Moir Christmas Classic.
South, which used an aggressive defense to go up 27-18, collapsed in the second half, losing to East Rowan 50-47 on Tuesday.
Karen Garmon’s Mustangs, who managed just 26 points over the first three quarters, exploded for 24 in the fourth as almost everyone who hit the floor contributed.
“Very satisfied,” Garmon said. “I feel like they played the entire night. They were full of emotion, they were communicating and they were going as hard as they could.”
Especially senior Alaina Vanderford, who proved why she’s the team leader. Not only did she top all scorers with 13 points but hit the clutch free throws down the stretch.
Free throws were the difference as East (2-10) hit 24 to South’s 11.
“Obviously, they were ten times more aggressive going to the basket,” South coach Jarrod Smith said. “Our guards could beat them off the dribble but they decided not to.”
Behind Nicole Barringer’s long-range shooting, South (3-9) led 22-18 at the half and then scored the first five points of the third. But the Raiders missed several wide-open layups created by defense. East hung around and trailed only 29-26 going into the fourth period after Madalyn File swished a jumper and Vanderford hit one of her eight free throws.
The final quarter was all East.
The momentum swung when Taylor Honeycutt hit one free throw but missed the second. Olivia Sabo was there for the putback and followed that by drilling a 15-footer that gave East a 37-36 lead. Mallory Drew, who scored seven of her nine points in the final quarter, along with Vanderford, did the rest from the free throw line.
Vanderford scored the last three points from the stripe to wrap it up.
“It’s their hearts and hustle that make the plays,” Garmon said. “We wanted to get the ball to Alaina and let them foul her all day long.”
It left Smith with the urge to practice this morning at 8 a.m. He’ll be sure to remind his players of their next opponent.
“The good news is, we get to see them on Tuesday,” he said. “This will be fresh on their minds. But until we make some free throws and layups, it’s not going to matter.”
NOTES: File scored 11. … Drew was 7 of 10 from the line and finished with 10. … Sabo was a monster on the boards, grabbing 16 rebounds and two blocks to go with her eight points. … Point guard Lauren Miller led South with 10 points.
e. Rowan (50) ó Vanderford 13, File 11, Drew 9, Sabo 8, Honeycutt 6, Corpening 2, B. Boling 1, Eagle.
S. Rowan (47) ó Miller 10, Barringer 8, Caple 8, Corriher 7, Jones 6, Goins 5, Morrow 3, Lookabill, Sides, McManus .
East Rowan 10 8 8 24 ó 50
South Rowan 6 16 7 18 ó 47