GRANITE QUARRY — Sometimes you have to pull the reins in before you can charge forward.
East Rowan’s unbeaten girls basketball team figured that much out early in Tuesday’s game against visiting Concord and rolled to an easy 54-33 SPC victory.
“We’ve had trouble with that,” coach Danielle Porter said after East (6-0, 3-0) turned a reckless liftoff into a safe landing. “We’re trying to go too fast. They just need to let the game come to them. That’s pretty much been the same in every game this season.”
It’s rarely about the start at East — and always about the finish. And the Mustangs spent the first quarter on the frozen food aisle, missing their first 20 field goal attempts before making four straight.
“Our speed is one of our strengths,” 6-foot-4 senior Karleigh Wike said after netting 11 points and snatching 24 rebounds (20 offensive). “But it can also be a weakness. Sometimes we need to slow it down before we get going.”
Wike and teammate Shenique Pharr helped bust open a close game with key plays late in the opening period. Wike gave East a 10-7 lead when she hit a short set shot from inside the lane with 41 seconds remaining in the quarter. Then Pharr drove for a layup, was fouled and completed a three-point play with 22.4 seconds on the clock.
“The pace was a little fast,” 6-3 East junior Kelli Fisher said after contributing 14 points and eight rebounds. “But we should have finished through. In the second quarter our nerves went away.”
Losing coach Angela Morton quickly realized Concord (1-3, 0-2) would have its hands full with East’s impossible-to-ignore size advantage.
“Our margin for error was really small,” she said. “Most people are gonna have trouble matching up with their bigs. We couldn’t get rebounds. They kept putting their big bodies in the right spots.”
Concord didn’t make a basket in the second quarter and trailed 31-11 at halftime. There was 5:28 remaining in the second period when Wike reeled in her 1,000th career rebound, according to school records.
“At my house we keep track of all my stats,” Wike said afterward. “I’m trying to get 1,000 points to go with the 1,000 rebounds — and I think I’m the leading shot-blocker in school history. What’s going on?”
CONCORD (33) — Ford 16, Patton 6, Floyd 5, Cannady 3, Thomas 2.
E. ROWAN (54) — Fisher 14, Wike 11, Shenique Pharr 9, Shenell Pharr 6, Lowe 6, Ajayi 5, Drew 3, Lambert, McCree, Benge.
Concord 7 4 13 9 — 33
E. Rowan 13 18 20 3 — 54
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