West Rowan girls 68, West Iredell 37

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2011

By Mike London
STATESVILLE — West Rowan freshman Nycieko Dixon is another limb on a family tree of local basketball-playing Dixons that includes 1990s stars Marvin and Devina (Salisbury) and Carlos (South).
Dixon has an advanced basketball I.Q. despite her youth, and she knew the most important thing for the Falcons coming off an emotional meltdown in Saturday’s ugly loss to North Iredell was team chemistry.
“I went out there not thinking about shooting the ball at all, but trying to make sure everyone else got to touch it and shoot it,” Dixon said.
Dixon ran things smoothly and helped Shay Steele get back on track after two shaky offensive games. The Falcons got contributions from everyone in uniform in a 68-37 NPC waxing of West Iredell (3-12, 2-5).
“It’s a good win, and a lot of girls played well,” West coach Erich Epps said. “To win like that on the road, I’m pleased with our effort.”
Senior Ayana Avery, the county’s leading scorer, was not in uniform and also will sit out Friday against Carson. Epps suspended Avery for two games because she temporarily left the bench in frustration during the wipeout by North Iredell.
Avery’s absence meant the Falcons (13-5, 5-2) were minus 18 points a game, but Steele came up big with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals, and Falcons moved the ball so well that 10 girls in blue shirts scored.
“We missed a lot of easy layups, but we kept getting the rebounds,” Dixon said. “We did OK.”
The Falcons crushed West Iredell 27-12 on the glass in the first half, with Brittney Barber (nine points, seven rebounds) and Alison Dutton (eight points, eight rebounds) helping out Steele.
West Rowan led just 19-13 after Jaclyn Gatton hit a 3-pointer for the Warriors, but Alison Sobataka’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped a 12-2 run by the Falcons to end the half.
Then West Rowan settled things with a 25-point third quarter that included two 3-pointers by Dixon.
“That run before the half gave us breathing room,” Epps said. “Then we had a really strong third quarter.”
WEST ROWAN (68)— Steele 18, Dixon 11, Barber 9, Dutton 8, Ball 6, Sobataka 5, Caldwell 3, Miller 3, Parker 3, Watson 2, Harrington.
WEST IREDELL (37) —Gatton 14, Sigmon 7, Ellis 5, Gaines 5, Ijames 4, Bolick 1, Marshall 1, Moose, Riddle, Lucas.
W. Rowan 16 15 25 12 — 68
W. Iredell 8 7 9 13 — 37