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Boys basketball: Mustangs win defensive struggle with South Rowan

GRANITE QUARRY — East Rowan’s boys won a 44-35 struggle against South Rowan on Friday, the third time this season the Mustangs won in the South Piedmont Conference while scoring fewer than 50 points.

East Rowan coach Trey Ledbetter chalked the victory up to defensive execution rather than offensive inefficiency.

“The gameplan was to double-team (South Rowan post man) Lavon Hill and take him out of the game, and we couldn’t have executed that any better,” Ledbetter said. “Hill is a threat to get 30 any night.  I know he was under the weather some and I’m sure that helped us, but that first half was the best defensive execution we’ve had all season.”

Hill, who averages 16.5 points, was held to four and fouled out with 4:20 left to play.

East Rowan’s lead at halftime was 22-11, even though the Mustangs (7-7, 4-4) hadn’t made a single two-point basket.

“There was some great defense played in that game — especially by South Rowan,” said East Rowan’s Logan Shuping, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points.  “It was just tough for either team to score.”

The Raiders (3-11, 2-6) didn’t reach 20 points until they had played 23 minutes and they trailed 30-23 after three quarters.

“I’m at a loss for words,” South Rowan coach Bryan Withers said. “We got what we wanted a lot of times, but we must have shot under 20 percent from 10 feet. I can’t understand it because we’ve got a lot of kids who can score.”

South Rowan did a good job of attacking East Rowan floorleader Bravon Goodlett and got him in foul trouble. Goodlett fouled out with 6:31 remaining.

Shuping hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Shuping, Austin Wyse and Austin Love made enough free throws to keep the Raiders at bay.

“We could’ve put them away with a good spurt to start the second half, but we didn’t get it,” Shuping said. “Then it became a struggle.”

Qwan Rhyne led South Rowan with 11 points, but Ledbetter felt the Mustangs did a good job on him too.

“Once Hill fouled out, they were going to Rhyne every time,” Ledbetter said. “But Samuel Wyrick did a good job defending Rhyne, Ian Bradshaw rebounded well, and Tay Davis did a good job handling the ball after Goodlett fouled out.”

SOUTH ROWAN (35): Rhyne 11, Wilder 7, Childers 6, Littlejohn 6, L. Hill 4, Rary 1, Finger, Stewart.

EAST ROWAN (44): Shuping 14, Wyse 8, Bradshaw 7, Love 5, Davis 4, Sa. Wyrick 4, Goodlett 2, Se. Wyrick.

SOUTH ROWAN      7   4   12  12  —   35

EAST ROWAN          10  12  8  14   —  44

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