West girls flatten Mooresville 68-35

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2012

MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan’s girls haven’t won the Sam Moir Christmas Classic since 1996, but they could be the top seed this time.

The Falcons got a season-high 24 points from Nycieko Dixon and flattened Mooresville 68-35 on Friday in the West gym to remain the county’s only unbeaten team.

“All the pieces are here for us to be a good team, and we do plan to go into the Christmas tournament undefeated,” Dixon said. “That’s what we’re working for.”

Mooresville (1-3) has a rugged post player in Rakena Bowers and an athletic senior in Zana Tatum, but it was missing point guard Amber Sherrill (illness).

“Amber’s been playing great and hasn’t been turning the ball over,” Mooresville coach Andy Sparks said. “Without her, we didn’t have any solutions.”

Dixon, who hit three 3s in the third quarter to blow the game open, was problem No. 1.

Shay Steele was problem No. 2. Steele stuffed the stat sheet for 18 points, seven blocks and four steals.

Alison Sobataka made three 3s and added 11 points for the Falcons (5-0). The Miller sisters, Quanice and Shanice, scored four points apiece. Khaila Hall had eight rebounds.

“We’re getting better at running our halfcourt offense,” West coach Todd McNeely said. “Every girl who went on the court contributed.”

West (5-0) forced nine turnovers in the first quarter and pushed to a 16-9 lead.

Six Falcons scored in the second quarter, as the lead swelled to 32-16 at halftime.

It was 32-18 in the opening minute of the second half, and that’s when Dixon caught fire.

She hit three 3-pointers and a free throw in an 18-0 run that also included 3-balls by Sobataka and Steele. And suddenly the Falcons were up by 30.

“Their shooting just demoralized us,” Sparks said. “Then we started trying to get quick baskets to get back in it, and that’s not who we are.”

McNeely and Dixon both mentioned how little the Falcons have been able to practice this week. They played three tiring games.

“We had one practice this week for about an hour,” Dixon said. “But we’re playing well together and we shot well. It was good to be back home. It had been a long time.”

West hadn’t played at home since Nov. 27, so a brief ceremony was staged to recognize Steele, who got her 1,000th point on their road trip.

West shot 7-for-11 in the second quarter and was 8-for-17, mostly from deep, in the third.

Everything dropped for the Falcons, even a spinning bank shot by Quanice Miller that dropped through the cords even as McNeely was pleading for his team to get a timeout.

“Hey, I’ll take it,” McNeely said with a laugh.

MOORESVILLE (35) — Tatum 11, Bowers 10, Tillery 8, Darden 2, Jenings 2, Cottrell, Cullen, Thompson, Boriase

WEST ROWAN (68) — Dixon 24, Steele 18, Sobataka 11, Q. Miller 4, S. Miller 4, Hall 3, James 2, Freeze 2, Gibbons, Cross, Edwards.

Mooresville 9 7 6 13 — 35
W. Rowan 16 16 23 13 — 68