SALISBURY — West Rowan sophomore Taylor Martin isn’t much larger than a credit card, but she led the charge on Friday in a Moir consolation game with 16 points.
Khaila Hall had her usual 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Falcons, but the 5-foot Martin, a gnat in sneakers, was the difference-maker in a fast-paced 51-47 win over South Rowan.
“Khaila is really good, and she’s going to get hers,” South coach Jarrod Smith. “But we can’t let Martin make three 3-pointers. Our defensive rotation just wasn’t very good, and she got some open looks.”
Both teams were starved for a win and both played with passion for a game that started at noon in front of a gathering barely big enough to be called a crowd.
Third-seeded South (5-5) dropped its fourth in a row and third straight since losing leading scorer Avery Locklear. Cassidy Chipman had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Raiders, while Lynsey Corriher had 14 points and eight boards and didn’t commit a turnover in 31 minutes.
Seventh-seeded West (3-8) had lost five straight outings since a Dec. 6 win against Northwest Cabarrus.
“We really needed this,” West coach Ashley Poole said. “We’ve had trouble finishing off games, but today we finished a lot stronger. Our turnovers were down and our rebounds were up, and those are the two things we stress.”
South set basketball back a few centuries in a 41-18 first-round loss to Davie, so it needed a fast start — and got it. Corriher and Kamryn Stamey had early “and-ones,” and when Sylvetta Bost tossed in a runner that scraped the Goodman Gym ceiling, South had a 14-7 lead six minutes into the game.
Hall led West’s comeback. Her scoop shot put the Falcons up 25-24, and a free throw by Quanice Miller gave West a 26-24 halftime lead.
“We didn’t play a very good second quarter, but then the whole second half was nip-and-tuck,” Smith said.
West built a six-point lead, but Chipman erased it with back-to-back 3s.
“Chipman got hot, so we went to a box-and-one on her and the girls did a good job with it,” Poole said.
Chipman’s stickback gave South a 38-37 lead, but Martin hit a 3 at the 5-minute mark to put West ahead to stay.
“I was a little cold in the first half, but then we moved the ball a lot better in the second half,” Martin said. “I was getting open, and they were just falling in.”
Hall followed Martin’s go-ahead shot with a layup, and a 3-pointer by Berkley Alessandrini with 3:25 remaining put West up 45-38, the Falcons’ biggest lead all day.
“Berkley looked tired and we were getting ready to take her out when she made that big 3-pointer,” Poole said.
South got as close as 45-42 on a Beth Ann Martin 3-pointer with 2:51 left, but the Falcons closed the door with layups by Hall and Shanice Miller, who had 10 points.
South had the rebounding edge but couldn’t overcome 29.3-percent shooting.
“We played a whole lot better than Thursday,” Smith said. “We can build on this.”
WEST ROWAN (51) — T. Martin 16, Hall 15, S. Miller 10, Lovell 4, Alessandrini 3, Q. Miller 3, Yow, Cowan.
SOUTH ROWAN (47) — Chipman 16, Corriher 14, Bost 8, B.A. Martin 5, Stamey 3, McLendon 1, Figueroa, Waters, Smith, Chabala.
W. Rowan 9 17 11 14 — 51
S. Rowan 14 10 12 11 — 47
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