LANDIS — A big advantage at the foul line and a breakout performance by sophomore forward Cassidy Chipman made all the difference in a close win for South Rowan’s girls Friday night.
Chipman poured in 33 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and keyed the defensive pressure as South held off a strong West Davidson team 82-74 in overtime. The non-conference battle was literally decided at the foul line as South (2-2) hit 37 of 57 free throws while the Lady Dragons (0-2) committed 42 fouls and lost six players as a result. They were forced to play the final 1:30 of overtime with just four players but still managed to hang close.
“ Free throws were the difference tonight but this truly was a team win,” Raider coach Jarrod Smith noted. “Everyone contributed including the ones that didn’t score. We had to gut it out and find a way to win.”
Chipman, a 5-9 wing in her first varsity season made 20 of 27 foul shots for the night and also made key plays at the end of regulation and then in overtime to lead the way. Her three point play followed by a short jumper in the lane pushed South ahead for good with 2:30 left in overtime, 75-71.
“I had a good game but couldn’t do any of it without the support of my teammates,” Chipman said, “I think we are getting better and better as a team.”
The Raiders were playing their third game of the week and were riding a two game losing skid. They turned the tide in this game by abandoning their outside game and pushing the ball inside to Chipman and fellow sophomore Avery Locklear, who had 23 points of her own. Post player Lynsey Corriher had 10 points and a strong inside effort until she went down with a painful knee sprain late in the third period.
The aggressive inside attack by South resulted in the large disparity in fouls and free throws. It also cost West Davidson their sharpshooting guard Callie Herman, who piled up 33 points before fouling out with two minutes in regulation. She was followed shortly by post player Emily Hutchinson who left with 17 points.
“We lost a lot of players to fouls but I am proud of my team for playing hard the entire game,” Dragon coach David Klinkoski said. “We competed all night and had a chance to win.”
West Davidson actually led 65-62 with :49 seconds left in regulation but two foul shots by Beth Ann Martin and a steal and three point play by Chipman brought South back. After West went back up 69-67 with 17 seconds left Locklear nailed two foul shots to tie the contest and force overtime.
The game was a tight battle throughout as South once led by eight points early but were never able to shake the Green Dragons until late in overtime.
WEST DAVIDSON (74) — Herman 31, Hutchinson 17, Shoaf 7, Middleton 6, Norman 5, Martin 4, Leonard 3, Rivas, 1, Beverly, Hughes.
SOUTH ROWAN(82) — Chipman 33, Locklear 23, Corriher 10, Martin 8, Stamey 5, Coley 3, Honeycutt, McClendon, Davis.
W. Davidson 12 16 18 23 5 — 74
S. Rowan 14 16 18 21 13 — 82