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Prep Basketball: West Rowan girls 59, South Rowan 29

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
MOUNT ULLA — Alison Dutton’s 10 points and six rebounds were the biggest surprise of West Rowan’s 59-29 NPC romp against South Rowan.
Dutton, a 6-foot-2 junior, entered Friday’s game with a modest 27 points for the season and 57 in a mostly under-the-radar varsity career.
“Dutton can play,” West coach Erich Epps said. “It’s just that no one knows it yet.”
Dutton drilled her first two shots, and sometimes when that happens, confidence builds.
“No clue where that came from,” Dutton said with a grin. “Ayana Avery told me to get rid of my chewing gum and get serious about playing, but I disobeyed her and kept chewing.”
Avery, who scored 20 points, didn’t mind. Dutton supplied most of the help the high-scoring senior guard got in the first three quarters. Freshman guard Nycieko Dixon came alive with 10 in the fourth to finish with 14.
South (5-9, 2-3) just had one of those games that happen in a long season. The Raiders shot 2-for-23 from the floor in the first half while turning it over 19 times. That led to an insurmountable 30-9 deficit at the break.
“The South team I was looking at tonight was not the same team I saw Wednesday when we beat East Rowan,” South coach Jarrod Smith said. “Against East, we had the desire to win every single possession, and we got a big win. Tonight, that desire wasn’t there for whatever reason, and their guards put a lot of pressure on us.”
The Falcons had a 10-0 run in the opening minutes. By the end of a quarter, Avery had 13 points, Shay Steele had five blocks, and West led 16-3.
“We tried to get out in the passing lanes, and a lot of times they were just handing us the ball,” Avery said.
Avery outscored South by herself until Chelsea McManus hit two free throws late in the third quarter to make it South 18, Avery 17.
Avery bumped her career scoring total to 1,768, passing Wendy Hampton for second place on West’s all-time list. She needs just 47 more for first place.
West (12-4, 4-1) will be at home against North Iredell, ranked No. 1 in 3A, today at about 4 p.m.
“It’ll be a good gauge for us,” Epps said. “If they wax us, we know we’ve still got a lot of work to do. If we can play with them, it means we could do something in the playoffs.”
SOUTH ROWAN (29)— Gaddy 7, Goins 6, L. Miller 4, McManus 4, Allison 4, Barringer 3, Swartz 1, K. Corriher, Jones, Register.
WEST ROWAN (59) — Avery 20, Dixon 14, Dutton 10, Barber 7, Sobataka 3, Ball 2, Steele 2, Harrington 1, Watson, Q. Miller, Caldwell, Parker.
S. Rowan 3 6 9 11 — 29
W. Rowan 16 14 13 16 — 59

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