LANDIS — The theme of Tuesday night’s game between the South Rowan and West Iredell girls was, “Whistle while you work.”
The officials blew their whistles and South blew a 12-point, third-quarter lead in a zany 61-51 loss to the previously winless Warriors.
The third quarter was beyond belief.
South (3-5, 0-1) led 25-24 at halftime but coach Jarrod Smith wasn’t too pleased with his offense.
“We were settling for too many jumpers,” he said. “I told them to attack.”
And attack the Raiders did. Avery Locklear scored nine points in a 12-1 run to put South up 37-25 with five minutes left. West Iredell coach Chante Miller called for a press and that’s when the whistles starting blowing. The Warriors (1-5, 1-0) went on a quick 13-0 run to suddenly take the lead 38-37 on a steal and layup by Ariana Feimster.
Caroline Hubbard brought the ball down and ended up in a pile of bodies being hacked and pushed— another common theme of this game — and she was called for the foul.. When she protested, she was tagged with a technical and left the game.Smith, who appeared to be walking away from the battle, was T’d up as well. Elizabeth Webb sank three of four foul shots for a 41-37 Warrior lead.
Want more craziness? Next trip down, Locklear, who had 17 points, was called for a flagrant foul after an elbow to the head and was disqualified. Two free throws. 43-37 West.
“I saw that when the technicals began,” Miller said when asked about South’s frustration. “I told my girls to stay composed.”
Next trip down, Cassidy Chipman, who had 14 points, fouled out. By the time Alisha Davis hit a free throw with 14 seconds left, West Iredell had stunned the crowd with a 21-0 run.
“You take our top two scorers out, and Caroline, who is one of our best defenders, it’s tough to win that game,” Smith said.
South never threatened again as West freshman Kelsey Summers, finished with 21 points. Webb had 19.
“These girls will be fine,” Smith assured. “This was a fluke night. It was strange. It will probably never happen again in my life.”
WEST IREDELL (61) — Summers 21, Webb 19, Feimster 8, Allison 6, Boggs 5, Daniels 2.
SOUTH ROWAN (51) — Locklear 17, Chipman 15, Bost 10, McClendon 3, Davis 3, Honeycutt 2, Coley 1, Hubbard.
W. Iredell 18 6 22 15 — 61
S. Rowan 12 13 13 13 — 51