Published 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2013
SALISBURY — North Rowan’s Nycieko Dixon made herself right at home Thursday night at Goodman Gym.
In her first game against West Rowan — the team she sparked to a Sam Moir Tournament title last winter — the senior guard went off for 14 first-quarter points as North administered a 77-38 first-round drumming.
“Of course I know all of them,” Dixon said after finishing with 15 points and three assists. “But all know each other. The coaches all told me to just go hard and leave it all on the court.”
Dixon wasn’t simply a performer for the second-seeded Cavs. She was a performance. In the first period alone she shot 5-for-8 from the field and drained four of North’s six 3-pointers.
“That’s one of the nice things about this season,” winning coach Brian Lytton said. “With the team we have we know if we come in and play our game, we can pretty much handle anybody. And (Dixon), she’s a dynamite shooter. If you leave her open, that’s a bad mistake because she’s money.”
North (5-0) hit the ground running, sinking six of its first nine shots and racing to a 16-5 lead in the first three minutes. By halftime the Cavs were 8-for-16 from three-point range and the lead had ballooned to 36-15.
“We have a lot of good shooters,” Lytton added. “While that isn’t always Plan A, we also don’t turn down open shots.”
West coach Ashley Poole admitted to taking a calculated risk. “We were content to give them those shots because we knew they’d go away,” she said after the seventh-seeded Falcons (2-8) suffered their fifth straight loss. “Everybody wanted me to adjust my defense, but I knew they couldn’t keep it up.”
Well, not exactly. North finished 11-for-22 from long distance and placed four scorers in double figures. Junior Demeria Robinson made half of her 16 field-goal attempts and topped all scorers with 18 points — 14 in the third quarter.
“In the first half I didn’t make anything,” she said. “So I had to show what I could do in the second half. I think we all did.”
WEST ROWAN (38) — Hall 7, S.Miller 7, Q.Miller 6, Lovell 5, Martin 4, Cowan 3, Yow 2, Greene 2, McNeely 2, Goddard, Allessandrini, Chambers.
NORTH ROWAN (77) — Robinson 18, Dixon 15, Washington 11, B.Blaire 10, A.Blaire 8, Lytton 6, Lingle 4, White 3, Farmer 2, Liles, Russell, Mills.
West Rowan 7 8 11 12 — 38
North Rowan 24 12 21 20 — 77