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West Rowan girls whip Cox Mill, 67-35

By David Shaw

sports@salisburypost.com

MOUNT ULLA —Egypt Alexander has spent the early part of West Rowan’s girls basketball season playing hide-and-seek, but she isn’t hiding anymore.

The senior forward had a breakout game in Friday’s 67-35 non-conference win against visiting Cox Mill — and the post-game smile stretched across her face was impossible to miss.

“I’ve been looking back at some stuff, thinking about the last three games,” Alexander said after scoring a season-best 24 points in unblemished West’s seventh victory. “I felt like I was slacking and needed to pick it up. This was a lot better.”

West coach Ashley Poole has spent some billable hours with Alexander in the film room, reviewing her play in recent decisions against North Rowan, A.L. Brown and Lake Norman.

“I’ve been waiting for Egypt,” Poole said. “I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when. When she looked at game film I think she was able to see how she was not hustling, not getting to the basket and back on defense. It had to change and tonight was the night.”

Alexander averaged just 9.5 points-per-game through West’s first six outings, but quickly established herself in the paint and scored 12 first-quarter points against Cox Mill (4-6). She finished 10-for-17 from the field and added 13 rebounds — outshining, at least for the moment, sophomore teammate Abigail Wilson.

“I knew she had it in her all along,” Wilson said after shooting 11-for-14 from the floor, contributing 22 points and snagging 12 rebounds. “I’ve been watching her since middle school. We were all waiting for tonight.”

West built a three-point lead in the opening period and extended it with a dominant second quarter. Cindy Connolly’s 3-pointer from left side put the Falcons up 19-11 before Wilson launched a 12-2 run with an authoritative inside move and layup. Mary Sobataka’s fast-break bucket gave the Falcons a 33-16 halftime lead.

Cox Mill, which received 11 points from sophomore Anna Coley, dug itself a deeper hole in the third quarter. West scored 13 unanswered points — beginning with Alexander’s three-point play and ending with Taylor Poole’s 3-ball from the right corner — and mounted a 48-19 lead. “We talked about it at halftime — don’t let up,” Poole said. “Keep pushing.”

The lead ballooned to as much as 66-31 following Alexander’s stick-back with two minutes remaining. Wilson enjoyed her seventh straight game with 20-plus points and is averaging a county-best 24.1 ppg.

“It was really nice to see both Egypt and Abigail have big nights in the same game,” Poole said. “It didn’t surprise me, but it sure did make me happy.”

NOTES: Sobataka had five assists. … West visits Mooresville on Monday. The Falcons enjoyed an 8-0 start two seasons ago before losing to North Rowan in the Christmas tournament.

COX MILL (35) — Coley 11, Michael 6, Kimes 6, Webb 3, Andrikanich 3, Sheffield 2, Tillery 2, Smith 2, Sondrini, Feil, Holmes.

WEST ROWAN (67) — Alexander 24, Wilson 22, Connolly 8, Sobataka 3, Blabon 3, Poole 3, Vaughters 2, Robinson 2, Hoffner, Hillie, Evans, Hairston, Pharr.

Cox Mill                11    6      8    10 — 35

West Rowan        14   19    20   14 — 67

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