Girls basketball: Raiders cruise past Spiders
LANDIS — Despite a rash of foul problems and injuries, the South Rowan girls showed just how explosive they can be Tuesday night. The Raiders opened the second half with a 14-2 run and blew past visiting Concord 58-37 to get their season off to a 2-0 start in the South Piedmont Conference.
Seniors Avery Locklear’s 23 points and Cassidy Chipman’s 13points led the offensive effort, but it was an intense defensive blitz to open the second half that made the difference.
South Rowan (2-0, 2-0) made a brief run to close out the first half with a 14-point lead then quickly put it away with its outburst to open the third period. Point guard Sylvetta Bost had a steal and two jumpers to get it started. Then fellow guard Caroline Hubbard put an exclamation point on the surge by soaring to block a fast break layup by the Spiders’ Jamya Patton.
“I was very hyped,” said Hubbard, who stands at 5-foot-4. “I was like, ‘I gotta get her.’ So I hauled butt down there, and I got it. I guess it was just an adrenaline rush.”
South Rowan’s defensive pressure produced three steals and a half dozen turnovers in the decisive run as they outscored Concord (1-1, 0-1) 22-7 in the third and expanded their lead to 54-25.
After opening the first half with 16 fouls and injuries to key subs Malaysia Williams and Caitlin Chabata, the Raiders made a conscious effort to turn things around after halftime. They cut back on the fouls in the second half and played through some minor injuries to top scorers Locklear and Chipman.
“We talked at halftime about coming out in the first four minutes of the third period and turning this game around with defense,” South Rowan coach Jarrod Smith said. “And that is exactly what we did. Defensively we did a much better job of communicating and only gave them one shot in that spurt.”
Concord stayed in the game early thanks to the Raiders’ foul issues, hitting 10 of 10 free throws in the first period. They cooled off at the line and managed only two field goals in the first half to put themselves in a deep hole.
“In the first half we fouled a lot and were sloppy,” Bost said. “We knew we had to pull together and talk to each other more on defense to turn it around.”
Locklear had 17 of her 23 in the first half and added six rebounds. Chipman grabbed eight boards and threw in four steals to go with her double-digit scoring effort. Kayla McClendon added 10 while Bost continued to provide offensive support with eight points and three steals. Janae Thomas and Patton led the Spiders with six each.
The Raiders will need to heal up quickly as they have two more games this week including Wednesday against North Rowan and Friday against West Rowan, both at home.
South Rowan 58, Concord 37
Concord: Thomas 6, Patton 6, Black 4, Cannady 4, Williams 4, Privette 4, Houston 3, Vinson 2, Ford 2, Robinson 2, Thomas, Anderson.
South Rowan: Locklear 23, Chipman 13, McClendon 10, Bost 8, Hubbard 2, Williams 2, Figueroua, Martin, Waters, Chabala, Bunn.
Concord 12 6 7 12 — 37
South Rowan 16 16 22 4 — 58