Prep basketball Lexington girls 53, West Rowan 34

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 16, 2012

By Mike London
LEXINGTON — West Rowan girls coach Todd McNeely pleaded for a whistle when Brittney Barber was battered on a layup attempt — and he got it.
Well, sort of. The whistle was for a technical foul on McNeely.
It was not a positive Monday afternoon for the Falcons, Lexington’s guests for a special Martin Luther King Day affair. West was assessed four technical fouls and one intentional foul — all in the second half — and lost 53-34 to the Yellow Jackets.
Lexington (6-7) shot 28 free throws in the second half and retained possession after a lot of them.
But that’s not to say the guys wearing stripes beat the Falcons. They did a lot to beat themselves.
Competing without Shay Steele (concussion), their leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker, the Falcons (9-8) needed others to step forward, and no one really did.
“We just didn’t have a good team effort today,” McNeely said. “We never could get anything going. We were really flat, and I have no idea why. I’d blame exams anxiety, except we’ve got a bunch of honor students.”
Barber got to the line enough to make seven free throws and scored 13 points, but the hustling senior missed her last five field-goal attempts as the Yellow Jackets pulled away. Nycieko Dixon contributed nine points, but she missed her last six shots.
Barber and Dixon were the only Falcons to score in a sluggish first half that ended with West trailing 18-13.
When Alison Dutton and Alison Sobataka got into the scoring column in the third quarter, the Falcons had plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Lexington led only 26-24 with 2:37 left in the third quarter when West’s Tabitha Ball chased down a rebound.
Trapped on the baseline, Ball tried to create space and her extended elbow caught Lexington’s D’Necia Ausborne in the face. Ausborne was down on the floor several minutes, and officials ruled the foul on Ball was intentional.
That’s where the game got away from West. Lexington scored the last eight points of the quarter, including a three-point play by Alexis Fowler and a 3-pointer by Brittany Jones for a 34-24 lead.
“We did a great job of keeping our composure and responded by playing well,” winning coach Lamont Johnson said. “Our big girls hit the boards very hard, and we got a win that we really needed.”
WEST ROWAN (34) — Barber 13, Dixon 9, Sobataka 5, Ball 2, Cross 2, Dutton 2, Landy 1, Hunter, Miller, Harrington, James.
LEXINGTON (53) — Fowler 15, Carter 13, Jones 13, Ausborne 4, Kelly 4, Wall 3, Vinson 1.
W. Rowan 5 8 11 10 — 34
Lexington 6 12 16 19 — 53