Prep Basketball: Lake Norman girls 66, West Rowan 55
By Mike London
West Rowanís girls got a combined 50 points from Nene Dixon, Shay Steele and Alison Sobataka, but Lake Normanís superior depth paid off with a 66-55 victory over the Falcons on Wednesday.
Lake Norman got scoring from eight players, including a game-high 27 from Marissa Riley, a UNC Asheville signee who recently recorded her 1,000th point.
West (1-1) only got points from four players.
ěI still thought it was a good outing for us,î West coach Todd McNeely said. ěThis was just our second game, and we had to play those two back-to-back.î
In other words, West didnít have the luxury of a practice to work on the things that they learned in their opener ó a 61-51 win against Davie.
Lake Norman (4-0) is solid and was coming off an impressive victory against perennial NPC bully North Iredell. Lake Norman erased a 19-point deficit to beat North Iredell.
West got a 3-point runner at the first-quarter horn from Dixon for a 14-14 tie, but it went to halftime down 31-23 after Riley turned in a big second quarter for the Wildcats.
West trailed 35-30 when Steele picked up her second and third fouls in a matter of seconds midway through the third quarter.
That was the turning point. She had to sit down for a few minutes, and by the end of the quarter, the Falcons were down by double digits.
ěSteele is an exceptional player, and we really didnít have an answer for her,î Lake Norman coach Rich Tinucci said. ěWhen she went out, it was an opportunity for us to open up a lead.î
The backbreaking sequence that ended any realistic comeback hopes for West came a minute into the fourth quarter. Dixon made a steal, but she missed a breakaway layup, and that led to a transition three-point play by Riley. Instead of leading by eight, the Wildcats were suddenly up by 13.
Despite that missed layup, Dixon turned in a fine, 24-point effort that was just one shy of her career high. Steele, a junior who is the No. 2 career scorer among active Rowan girls, scored 17.
Tinucci offered plenty of praise for the Falcons.
ěWe had to grind on every possession against them tonight,î he said. ěIt was just their second game, but you could see theyíre going to have a very good team.î
WEST ROWAN (55) ó Dixon 24, Steele 17, Sobataka 9, Barber 5, Harrington, Miller, Dutton, Landy.
LAKE NORMAN (66) ó Mar. Riley 27, Woods 7, Gibson 7, Mad. Riley 6, Yates 6, Wyman 6, Hunt 5, Gallagher 2, Marshall, Harbori.
W. Rowan 14 9 15 17 ó 55
L. Norman 14 17 17 18 ó 66