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MOUNT ULLA — At one point in the third quarter of Tuesday’s NPC game at West Rowan, West Iredell fans noticed they only had four players on the court after a substitution gone awry.
The rest of the game just figuratively felt like 5-on-4 for the Warriors, who were treated to a forgettable evening by their host.
That was thanks to West Rowan, who got a boost of confidence in a 84-41 win against West Iredell, as well as its third-straight win. It was a an opportune way to begin a stretch of six games in two weeks.
“We made a bunch of stops early and got our running game going,” said West Rowan coach Mike Gurley, whose team had four finish in double-figure scoring. “This is great for us. We need this kind of win.”
West Rowan didn’t need a last-second 3-pointer to prevail this time like it did in its last game against East Rowan. After a two-week layoff due to factors ranging from snow to exams to fires in the laundry room, the Falcons reached a season-high in points with everyone on the roster scoring. The Falcons are 5-10 overall but 3-1 in the NPC with North Iredell on the schedule tonight.
West Rowan’s Najee Tucker led all scorers with 17 points. Freshman Dearius Phillips, who came in with three points on the season, finished with 16.
“I was getting open, calling for the ball and doing what I had to do,” Phillips said. “It feels great to have a game like this.”
Seth Martin, Celexus Long and Daisean Reddick all canned 3-pointers to give West Rowan a 13-4 lead before the first timeout.
Devon Morrison and Martin got back-to-back steals and layups to put the Falcons up 18-5 after one quarter. The Warriors had trouble getting in their halfcourt sets and committed too many turnovers to compete. West Rowan steals and layups were the result as it held WI to one field goal in the each of the first and second quarters. WR netted 26 points in each of the second and third quarters to pull away.
“They’re a lot better than we are,” West Iredell coach Matt Miller said. “Tip your hat to them. They played harder than we did. I don’t think they’re 40 points better than us, but they’re good.”
Martin finished with 11 points and Devin Parks chipped in with 10.
Lance Johnson led West Iredell (2-11, 0-5) with 15 points while Troy Sells added 12.
“We tried to take Johnson and Sells out early because we know they’re solid players,” Gurley said. “We created some misses and got some running going. It was good to see us play that well.”
Chris Hassard opened the second quarter with a putback and Zeke Blackwood answered with a transition layup to keep it going.
A trey from Parks made it 30-9 and Phillips cashed in an easy two the next trip down. Morrison and Parks got easy baskets to stretch the lead to 39-11. It was 44-15 at halftime.
“It was good energy tonight considering we hadn’t played in two weeks,” said Gurley, who won his 334th game with the Falcons. “We’re not in school and our student body wasn’t there to create energy for us. We knew we had to make our own energy.”
The party continued in the third quarter when the lead ballooned past 40 and got to 70-25 with eight minutes left. After being held to 10 points each in the second and third quarters, WI outscored WR 16-14 in the fourth.

WEST IREDELL (41) — Johnson 15, Sells 12, Messick 5, Reid 4, Weaver 2, Keaton 2, Gilleland 1, Davidson, Allison, Dalton, Boggs.
WEST ROWAN (84) — Tucker 17, Phillips 16, Martin 11, Parks 10, Blackwood 6, Long 6, Morrison 6, Reddick 5, Hassard 4, Gabriel 2, Gallagher 1.

W. Iredell 5 10 10 16 — 41
W. Rowan 18 26 26 14 — 84

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