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Girls basketball: East Rowan wins fifth straight, clinches No. 1 seed

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s acrobatic  Shenique Pharr made three shots while falling on her back, and her teammates made most of the shots they took while standing up.

The Mustangs breezed 61-25 against Salisbury on Friday in the East Rowan gym, winning their fifth straight since a wakeup-call loss to Hickory Ridge. East Rowan (8-1) secured the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Sam Moir Christmas Classic and will have  another meeting with No. 8 seed Salisbury (2-8) in the first round on Dec. 27.

Kelli Fisher and Shenique Pharr scored 14 points each for the Mustangs, while Shenell Pharr scored nine. Amani Ajayi had six points and six rebounds. Kaleigh Troutman came off the bench to grab eight rebounds. Jocelyn Lowe had four assists.

East Rowan’s formula for victory was the same as it’s been in recent games. The Mustangs aren’t great shooters, but they pound the boards and get after it defensively.

The Mustangs had a 44-21 edge on the glass and forced 22 turnovers. Fourteen of those 22 Salisbury turnovers were steals. Shenique Pharr had four steals.

“Defense is creating offense for us,” East Rowan coach Danielle Porter said. “We’re denying that first pass,and we’re disrupting passing lanes and scoring in transition. The Pharrs have so much speed they can sprint and recover without fouling. They’re creating a lot of  havoc on offense and defense.”

The bright spot for the Hornets was nine rebounds by Breya Philpot. Tyzarea Alexander led the scoring for Salisbury with six points.

“Salisbury has some quick, strong players,” Ajayi said. “But the Pharrs are a great asset for us. Sometimes I got a rebound and took two steps and they were already laying the ball in.”

The Mustangs got a 3-pointer from McKenzie Eller and a bucket by Shelby Benge to push their lead to 40 late, but the Hornets scored the last four points.

 

SALISBURY (25)

Alexander 6, Caldwell 5, Honeycutt 4, Capito 4, Houston 2, Wolfe 2, Philpot 1, Jones 1 .

EAST ROWAN (61)

Shenique Pharr 14, Fisher 14, Shenell Pharr 9, Ajayi 6, Troutman 5, Benge 5, J. Lowe 5, Eller 3, Drew.

Salisbury                             7    6      4    8    — 25         

East Rowan                      17    13    16   15 — 61

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