Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2013
GRANITE QUARRY — West Iredell’s Elizabeth Webb was unstoppable … until it really counted.
As a result the East Rowan girls escaped with a dramatic 61-57 NPC home win Tuesday night.
The Warriors star sophomore had a remarkable fourth quarter as she rallied her team from 11 points down in the final minutes to give them a chance to pull off the upset. Webb had 19 of her 35 points in the final quarter, including 13 of 15 at the foul line.
But with the game on the line in the final 10 seconds, East Rowan’s Sydney Poole denied Webb the ball with solid defense and Kelli Fisher grabbed a key rebound to lock up the win for the Mustangs.
“I was focused on if the ball comes off, I have to get the rebound,” Fisher stated. “I knew I could not let them get it back.”
A little extra drama came with 36 seconds left when East’s Karleigh Wike’s free throw put them ahead 58-56. The Warriors missed three shots inside in a frantic sequence, then fouled Lauren Thomas on the rebound.
East coach Danielle Porter protested that an intentional foul was signaled by one official but got a technical foul for her trouble. Thomas hit one free throw to make the score 59-56 then Webb shot the technicals for West. Although she had been nearly perfect at the line in the period, she missed the first and hit the second to make the score 59-57 East.
“I just missed that one but we left it all out on the floor tonight, “Webb said after the game.
West got the ball with six ticks left and a chance to tie or win. But Poole, who had shadowed Webb all night denied her the ball and West (1-7, 2-13) had to settle for a jumper from sophomore Kelsi Summers. The shot missed, Fisher rebounded and a fast break led to a Poole layup at the buzzer.
“It was definitely scary,” Porter said of the final sequence. “It got a little hairy at the end but it was good for us to experience a close game at the end and pull one out.”
East (3-4, 11-7) seemed in control after a tight battle for three quarters as Wike pushed the lead to 53-42 midway in the 4th.
NOTES: Wike had yet another remarkable night for East Rowan with 23 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks…. Fisher added 10 points and 12 rebounds while freshman point guard Jocelyn Lowe had a solid second half and scored nine points.
WEST IREDELL (57) — Webb 35, Summers 9, Boggs 7, Allison 2, Coleman 2, Heath 2, Morrison, Feamster, Snouse.
EAST ROWAN (61) — Wike 23, Fisher 10, Lowe 9, Ajayi 8, Poole 6, Fry 3, Thomas 2, Gullett, Sides.
W. Iredell 7 15 12 23 — 57
E. Rowan 12 12 18 19 — 61