Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 7, 2013

MOUNT ULLA — With an overwhelming start to the game, West Rowan made sure they kept their share of first place in the North Piedmont Conference Wednesday night.
The Falcons (19-1, 8-1) pounded last-place Statesville 57-37 but it could have been much worse based on the way the game began. With a stifling defense and the rapid attack of Shay Steele and Nycieko Dixon, West scored the first 18 points and led 21-1 after the first period.
Despite going to the bench early and often, the Falcons continued their dominance in the second period behind freshman Khaila Hall and Dixon to lead 33-6 at intermission. Dixon led the way with 13 while Steele had a balanced effort with eight points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
To Statesville’s credit, however, they bounced back with a solid second half to make the game more competitive, even though the outcome was never in doubt. The Greyhounds (2-17, 1-9) actually oupointed West in the second half, sparked by a 10-2 run right out of the gate in the third period. But that only served to cut the margin to 35-16.
“I was just making sure everybody got to play tonight, “ West coach Todd McNeely said. “My bench has been very good about waiting their turn. We had 12 players in the game tonight and everybody played quality minutes and contributed.”
The brief run by Statesville was halted by Dixon with three foul shots and a fast break layup. Hall then found her range with a pair of jumpers that pushed the final margin back out to 20. Statesville had actually trimmed the margin down to as low as 15 in the final period.
“Overall we played alright as a team, “ Hall said . “With the big lead we relaxed a little and let them get wide open for easy shots. We didn’t box out like we needed to as well but we’ll take the win.”
Dixon was the offensive spark for West with 19 points while Hall had 11 and Steele had 9 in limited playing time but had eight boards and four blocks. All 12 Falcons played substantial minutes with nine of them getting into the scoring column.
Despite their slow start, Statesville got a strong game from guard Noel Parsons with 11 before she went down with an ankle sprain in the second half. Sophomore Ineya Hairston picked up the slack late to lead Statesville with 15.

STATESVILLE (37) — Hairston 15, Parsons 11, Padgett 3, Elliott 2, Arnett 2, Carr 2, Lewis 2, Turner 1.
WEST ROWAN (57) — Dixon 19, Hall 11, Steele 9, Sobataka 6, Q. Miller 4, S. Miller 2, Cross 2, Alessandrini 2, Freeze, Edwards, Gibbons.

Statesville 1 5 14 17 — 37

W. Rowan 21 12 11 13 — 57