Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2013

LANDIS — After a horrendous start, the South Rowan girls battled all the way back to take the lead in the third period and seemed poised to win their fifth straight Wednesday night.
Somebody forgot to tell A.L. Brown.
The Wonders responded with a 13-2 run to end the third quarter then held off one last rally to beat their longtime rivals 64-57.
Guards Aitana Grant and Kyla Downs scored 17 points each and provided the crucial points in the second half as they handed the Raiders (4-1) their first loss of the season. It also avenged a 13 point setback to South in the season opener a couple of weeks back.
“We didn’t handle their pressure well last time but we knew what to expect coming in this time,” Brown Coach Mike Wolford stated. “I was real proud of our effort. The girls stepped up and made the plays when it counted.”
South was coming off a tough win the night before at West and got off to the worst possible start against the Wonders (2-2). They missed their first 10 shots and took almost seven minutes to score from the field. They went down 9-1 early and trailed by 10 twice in the second period before closing it to 27-21.
With guard Sylvetta Bost leading the pressure defense, the Raiders finally took their first lead, 32-30, on a Beth Ann Martin three pointer midway in the third period.
But Grant scored three quick buckets to lead the Wonders on the 13-2 spurt to close the period. The margin reached as high as 16 before Avery Locklear (25 points) and Cassidy Chipman (16 pts, 11 rebounds) led one last surge.
The margin shrunk to six twice but a long three by Taleithia Alexander and free throws by Sascha McCoy sealed it for the Wonders.
“We came out sluggish and they just wanted to win more than we did.” Raider Coach Jarrod Smith said. He also noted his team missed 13 free throws in the first half and was 27 of 48 for the game. Normally they shoot 70 percent from the line.
SOUTH (57) — Locklear 25, Chipman 16, Martin 5, Bost 4, Corriher 4, McClendon 3, Figueroa, Stamey, Martin, Waters.
AL BROWN (64) — Grant 17, Downs 17, Alexander 8, Kituku 6, Rogers 5, McCoy 4, Grier 2, Vernon 2, Stanback, Howard.
AL Brown 13 14 16 21 — 64
South 9 12 13 23 — 57