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Prep girls basketball: Career game by Shenique Pharr lifts East

GRANITE  QUARRY — Shenique Pharr scored a career-high 25 points for East Rowan, and Kelli Fisher had 14 points and 17 rebounds, but everyone agreed the key play in a 69-58 Mustangs victory was a little thing.

That was an all-out sprint back on defense by Amani Ajayi when it appeared West Rowan’s Taylor Martin might have an uncontested layup. Ajayi cut Martin off at the hoop, and Ajayi got the benefit of the whistle on the block-charge call.

East Rowan was clinging to a four-point lead and the Falcons were charging with four minutes left when it happened.

“Definitely the pivotal play,” East Rowan coach Danielle Porter said. “If Amani doesn’t sprint all the way, she doesn’t get there and doesn’t have a chance to get that call,”

West Rowan (8-13, 6-7 SPC) focused on stopping East Rowan’s 6-foot-3 Fisher and limited her. But Pharr was devastating as an athletic weakside rebounder, and Ajayi contributed 16 huge points.

“They overplayed Kelli,” Pharr said. “When that happens, others step up.”

East Rowan (18-2, 12-2 SPC) won its seventh straight game and stayed tied for first in the SPC.

The Mustangs passed sloppily in the first half and struggled to a 27-22  lead at halftime.

“We did start kinda dead,” Pharr said.

Things heated up in the second half after Martin hit two 3-pointers to help cut a 12-point deficit down to four.

East Rowan contained Khaila Hall with a triangle-and-two defense. Hall hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer from 40 feet to finish with 14 points, seven assists and five steals. Martin scored 13, while Diamond Lovell had 11.

 

West Rowan (58): Hall 14, Martin 13, Lovell 11, Vaughters 8, Charles 7, Miller 3, Yow 2.

East Rowan (69): Shenique Pharr 25, Ajayi 16, Fisher 12, Shenell Pharr 9, J. Lowe 5, Troutman.

West Rowan       7    15  16  20  — 58

East Rowan      13  14  19  23    — 69

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