Moir Christmas Classic: South Rowan girls 61, North Rowan 43
By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY — Kayla Corriher grabbed her first rebound early. She never stopped.
The South Rowan senior finished with 20 boards to go with 11 points in the Raiders’ impressive 61-43 victory against North Rowan in the Moir Christmas Classic noon opener Tuesday at Catawba College.
In fact, anybody named Corriher seemed to go crazy against the Cavaliers.
Lynsey Corriher added 17 points and nine rebounds. That’s 28 points and 29 boards from that last name.
But as South coach Jarrod Smith was quick to point out, if you were a Raider, you had a great day. Freshman Avery Locklear went 9-for-12 from the foul line and led all scorers with 20. Jayvee call-up Kacie Stamey scored five in her Moir debut. Senior Lauren Miller took a charge that brought the biggest smile to Smith’s face.
“I asked her, ‘Is that the first charge you’ve ever taken in your life?’ ” he laughed.
It was that kind of night for South (5-8) which outscored the Cavaliers 30-15 after halftime.
“Win or lose, we needed to play well,” Smith said. “North runs the same press as Carson but we were patient today. I thought we rebounded really well, especially Kayla and Lynsey.”
South ripped down a whopping 50 rebounds for the game and Smith said “Special K” set the tone.
“Kayla’s a coach’s (kid) who has been in that gym since she was two, working, working working,” he said of his 5-9 dynamo. “She’s never working on her 3-pointers or fancy layups. She’s the one working on fundamentals. She controls the inside, even though she’s undersized.”
“I just work hard and do the things other people don’t want to do,” she smiled. “We played well. We played as a team.”
Several of her offensive rebounds were sent back out to Lynsey, who hit from all over the court while recording her career high.
With South up 31-28 at halftime, Lynsey scored four of the Raiders’ first six points of the third quarter. It started a 13-2 run that saw the speedy Stamey add four and Locklear five.
Kayla took a feed from Lynsey for a layup to start the fourth and after Lynsey scored on a layup and off a rebound, South had a commanding 53-36 advantage. It was over.
The Cavs (4-5) started well enough, keeping up with the Raiders throughout the first half. Tinka Bush scored North’s first five points but finished with only seven and fouled out. Freshman Demeria Robinson did all she could with 12 points and eight rebounds but the Cavs shot just 26 percent from the field. They were also called for several questionable charges.
North coach Tony Hillian wasn’t happy at all about any of it and he refused comment.
Smith, however, was more than happy to talk.
“It’s my first win in the Christmas tournament,” beamed the third-year Raider coach. “We usually don’t play well here.”
Smith had just returned from his grandmother’s funeral and made it to the game only minutes before tipoff.
“It helped take my mind off things a little bit,” he said.
Now, the Raiders play in prime time against No. 1 seed and undefeated neighbor Carson at 6.
A word of advice for the Cougars: Box out Kayla Corriher, please.
SOUTH ROWAN (61) — Locklear 20, L. Corriher 17, K. Corriher 11, Miller 5, Stamey 5, Coley 2, McConneaughey 1,Bost, Deal.
NORTH ROWAN (43) — Robinson 12, Bush 7, Bradley 6, Brown 6, Cuthbertson 6, Vann 5, Sells 1, Lingle, Ricon.
S. Rowan 19 12 16 14 — 61
N. Rowan 12 16 8 7 — 43