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Girls basketball: East knocked out

From Staff Reports

ASHEVILLE — The season ended unceremoniously for East Rowan in the third round of the 3A girls basketball state playoffs. Asheville Erwin, seeded fourth in the 3A West, soundly defeated No. 12 East Rowan 72-48 on Tuesday in a battle to determine which advanced to the Western Regional Tournament in Winston-Salem.

“It was a folly of errors,” East Rowan head coach Danielle Porter said.

It was the second time in four days the Mustangs took a bus up the mountain to Western North Carolina and the third time in the postseason they played a team from the Asheville area. They defeated No. 21 North Henderson 63-55 on Friday in the first round and turned around Saturday for a 71-63 road win at No. 5 Canton Pisgah.

Porter, who doesn’t like to make excuses, said a stomach virus hit the team harder than the short time between games and the long time on the road.

The Mustangs (22-4) battled in the first half Tuesday and found themselves down 35-23 at the break. Erwin, which was undefeated against the MAC this season, outscored East Rowan 25-11 in the third quarter to essentially put away the victory.

The Warriors got 18 points apiece from Dalton Gossett and Mariah Reid. Kendra Griffin added eight points.

“We were all ready for this game and we knew how hard we needed to play,” Dalton Gossett told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “We did it for our school, for our fans. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Shenique Pharr, East Rowan’s leading scorer in the postseason, once again led the way for the Mustangs with 11 points. She was the only player to reach double figures. Kaleigh Troutman had nine points. Kelli Fisher, who averaged 17.6 points per game, was limited to just four points. It was only the second time this season she was held to single digits.

While the outcome was not what Porter wanted, that was not the most difficult part of Tuesday’s loss.

“At the end of the day, the loss is not what I’m upset about as much as moving on from this group,” she said. “It’s hard to walk away from when you get a group like that. It’s been the most fun of any season I’ve ever coached. It’s hard to say good bye.”

 

The Asheville Citizen-Times contributed to this report.

 

East Rowan (48): Lowe 6, Shene. Pharr 7, Ajayi 5, Sheni. Pharr 11, Benge 6, Troutman 9, Fisher 4, Drew, Eller, Werner.

East Rowan 8 15 11 14 — 48

Erwin 15 20 25 12 — 72

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