Prep Basketball: South Rowan girls 70, East Rowan 60

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 13, 2012

By Mike London
GRANITE QUARRY — Sophomore Lynsey Corriher had a personal 7-0 run in the third quarter that swung Monday’s first-round NPC tournament game in South Rowan’s direction.
“I just wanted to win,” Corriher said. “I didn’t want our season to be over.”
It isn’t. South plays on.
Fifth-seeded South won 70-60 at East Rowan to avenge two earlier setbacks to the fourth-seeded Mustangs. South (10-15) will play top seed North Iredell in a semifinal at Statesville on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
South has to win the tournament to make the playoffs. East keeps its No. 4 seed for the playoffs as long as South doesn’t pull two more upsets.
Part of what happened was Corriher’s spree that turned a 34-33 South deficit into a 39-33 lead. Part of it was 30 points by South’s amazing freshman Avery Locklear.
Part of it was X’s and O’s.
South has tried to pressure East’s guards fullcourt all season without great success. But South coach Jarrod Smith switched from a man press to a zone press for the third matchup and created 28 turnovers.
“We sat back a little more and let them make mistakes,” Smith said.
Smith’s other tweak was stationing Locklear at the high post rather than the perimeter. Locklear was a force on the offensive glass and repeatedly got to the foul line.
“We put Avery closer to the basket, and she’s athletic enough to get off her floaters against East’s tall people,” Smith said. “It changed the dynamic a little bit.”
Smith trusted most of the ballhandling to senior Lauren Miller. Besides passing well, Miller drilled three big 3s.
Karleigh Wike’s strong night (23 points, 16 rebounds) and 14 points by Sydney Poole gave East a chance.
East led 31-29 at halftime because Wike and Kelli Fisher hammered South on the glass, but when South began to battle evenly on the boards in the second half, the Mustangs (8-15) were in trouble.
Corriher (16 points, eight rebounds) put South in charge, and the Raiders stayed there.
“Our intensity was way, way up,” Locklear said. “East is tall and they’re a good team, but we came here to compete as hard as we could.”
East coach Danielle Porter was disappointed with her team’s turnover struggles. Part of it was due to foul trouble for Lauren Thomas.
“We played tonight like we were playing at the start of the season when we were 0-8,” Porter said. “We lacked focus. We made a lot of simple passes very hard.”
SOUTH ROWAN (70) — Locklear 30, L. Corriher 16, Miller 13, Register 7, K. Corriher 2, Coley 2, Allison, McCoy.
EAST ROWAN (60) — Wike 23, Poole 14, Fisher 12, Sides 4, Fry 3, Thomas 2, Lowe 2, Brown.
S. Rowan 10 19 19 22 — 70
E. Rowan 11 20 9 20 — 60