Prep Basketball: A.L. Brown girls 51, South Rowan 41
By Marny Hendrick
LANDIS ó In a game with many frustrating ebbs and flows, South Rowanís girls appeared to have one last rally-card to play.
A.L. Brown freshman Aitana Grant had other ideas, however, as a rebound basket of her own missed free throw helped assure a 51-41 Wondersí victory on Friday.
A.L. Brown (2-3) led the non-conference rivalry rematch by 14 points early in the fourth period.
But a pair of long 3-pointers by senior Lauren Miller and clutch free throws by Kayla Corriher sparked an 11-3 run. South suddenly trailed by 43-38 with 2:47 left.
Brown led by six with 2:15 remaining when point guard Grant grabbed a rebound and was fouled. She hit the first, missed the second then scrapped for the rebound and laid it in to kill the rally.
For the Raiders (3-4), it was a disappointing home opener. So disappointing that Coach Jarrod Smith has called a rare 7 a.m. Saturday morning practice.
ěIt is not necessarily punishment,î Smith said of the early practice. ěIt is to get focused. The way we played you canít dwell on it all weekend, so we will practice and focus on getting ready for next week.î
Smith was happy with the late rally by his Raiders but felt they strayed far away from their true strength.
ěWe need to attack the basket and draw fouls, but tonight we were content to stay on the perimeter and shoot poorly from outside,î he said.
Neither team shot very well in the early going.
South bolted to a 7-0 lead then proceeded to go scoreless for nearly six minutes.
A.L. Brown, on the other hand, started the game with a horrid 1-for-15 shooting performance.
They rebounded with key 3-pointers from Jennifer Raper and Sara Tuttle to go ahead 16-8 at halftime.
ěI swear we are a good shooting team,î winning coach Mike Wolford stated, ěWe just havenít shown it yet. But it was an important win for us tonight.î
Both of Brownís wins have come against South.
Wolford also praised his freshman guard Grant, not only for her late-game heroics, but for the defensive work she did against Southís talented freshman Avery Locklear.
Coming in with a 13-point average, Locklear was shut down until 2:10 of the third period but did end up with 10.
The Wonders got strong inside play from Raven Phifer and Champagne Brice. They had nine points each and numerous offensive rebounds.
A.L. BROWN (51) ó Tuttle 10, Brice 9, Phifer 9, Grant 8, Smith 7, Cannon 5, Raper 3, Shue.
SOUTH ROWAN (41) ó Miller 10, Locklear 10, K. Corriher 10, Allison 5, Jones 3, Register 2, McConneaughey 1, L. Corriher, Honeycutt.
A.L. Brown 3 13 18 17 ó 51
S. Rowan 7 1 14 19 ó 41