East Rowan girls top North Stanly

Published 12:29 am Saturday, November 21, 2015

By Marny Hendrick


GRANITE QUARRY — The East Rowan girls basketball team had to overcome a horrendous effort at the foul line and a lot of other offensive inefficiencies Friday night, but the Mustangs still managed to pull away late and claim a 50-42 win over North Stanly.

It was the home season opener for the East girls as they improved to 2-0 with both wins coming against the talented North Stanly team (0-2) out of the Uwharrie 1A Conference.

After trailing by as many as nine in the first half, East finally managed to battle back and tie the game at 34-34 after three quarters. It was still a see-saw battle with just over two minutes remaining with East up, 41-39, when a pair of free throws by Shenique Pharr started the Mustangs on a decisive 7-0 run.

Pharr’s two foul shots were ironic because the Mustangs spent most of the game clanging free throws off the iron, hitting just 17 of 43 for the contest. They were equally off target from behind the arc, hitting just one of 16 long shots.

But it was the missed opportunities from the foul line that drove senior point guard Jocelyn Lowe and coach Danielle Porter crazy.

“We had so many chances but that is unacceptable to shoot like that from the foul line,” Lowe said. Coach Porter was a little more blunt saying “…we were atrocious from the foul line.”

Yet the Mustangs made the critical plays down the stretch when they needed to as Pharr hit her two foul shots at 2:06, freshman Lauren Weisensel banged in a 10-footer off the base line, then Lowe stole the ball and drove for a layup.

“Finally, our man-to-man defense started clicking, which helped us get some steals and get out in transition like we like to do.” Lowe said. “We finally started to let our offense come to us and show more patience.”

Shenique Pharr led the winners with 18 points, mostly in transition, while her twin sister, Shenelle, turned in 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Senior post Brittany Small continued to excel inside with 14 rebounds and two blocks. Small, a state 3A high jump champion, now has 31 rebounds in the two East wins this season.

Still, Porter was not a happy person despite the second comeback win this season for her team. “We just had a lack of focus tonight and we are gonna have a little chat about that,” she said. “I hope we can all get on the same page and be focused for 32 minutes in the game. I feel very fortunate right now to have this win.”

Comets head coach Gary Speight was proud of his team’s effort but felt they just ran out of steam in the end. “We were in some foul trouble tonight (27 total fouls), ” he said. “But I thought we just got tired in the second half. Of course, (East’s) pressure defense had a lot to do with that. But we had two good games with a strong team and that can only make you better.”

North Stanly was led by their sharp shooting forward Aliyah Scott who had 21 points for the second straight game. She also hauled in seven rebounds.

East Rowan will open South Piedmont Conference play next Tuesday when they travel to face Cox Mill.

N. Stanly (42) — Scott 21, Smith 7, Sells 6, Hinson 5, Almond 2, Shepherd 1, Shelton, Baucom, Mullins, Roseman.

East R0wan (50) — Shenique Pharr 18, Shenell Pharr 11, Small 6, Weisensel 5, J. Lowe 4, Werner 3, McCree 2, Harrison 1, S. Lowe.

N. Stanly    11  18    5    8 — 42

E. Rowan   11  13  10  16 — 40