South Rowan girls 56, East Rowan 47
By David Shaw
LANDIS — Fifteen days between games did the South Rowan girls basketball team a world of good.
The well-rested Raiders played their first game since Jan. 4 on Wednesday and surged past visiting East Rowan, 56-47.
“We hadn’t played since God-knows-when,” winning coach Jarrod Smith said after South 5-8, 2-2 NPC) broke a three-game losing skid. “If there was ever a team that needed a break, it was us. Because we weren’t playing very well.”
They found a lively sparring partner in East (3-10, 1-4), a team enduring its own struggles. In a game that made terrible art but terrific drama, South used a 13-3 finishing kick in the last three minutes to prevail.
“This was definitely something we needed,” junior guard Lauren Miller said. “It gave us a fresh start. We played as a team, actually.”
The Mustangs were the better squad in the early going, jumping to a 17-12 edge on Mallory Drew’s putback midway through the second quarter. But the lead changed hands three times before halftime and South carried a 23-22 advantage to its locker room.
“We had the lead but didn’t maintain it,” East coach Danielle Porter said. “I didn’t like our intensity, our passion and I don’t think we handled the ball well.”
It became a more prominent problem in the third period when South opened with an 8-0 run. By the time Sam Goins and Nicole Barringer hit back-to-back layups late in the quarter, the Raiders led 37-28 with eight minutes to play.
“I think we just let everything go,” Goins said after netting a team-high 12 points. “We just forgot about the losing streak and started playing better. It was a slap in the face.”
It didn’t last. East stormed back and jumped ahead 44-43 on Olivia Sabo’s 3-pointer with 2:56 left, then managed only three free throws the rest of the game.
“I think we panicked,” said ER sophomore Steffi Sides (14 points). “Once we got down, we couldn’t get back up. Nobody really had the heart to play.”
South finished 17-for-23 from the free throw line. “And that’s the best we’ve been in a long time,” Smith said. “Let’s hope we can keep it up.”
EAST ROWAN (47)— Sides 14, Sabo 11, Drew 9, Poole 9, Rummage 3, Honeycutt 1, Fry, Lowe.
SOUTH ROWAN (56) — Goins 12, Barringer 10, Miller 10, Gaddy 7, Allison 7, McManus 4, Jones 3, K.Corriher 2, L.Corriher 1, Swartz, Register.
E. Rowan 8 14 6 19 — 47
S. Rowan 9 14 14 19 — 56