Basketball playoffs: Big road wins for West, South girls

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From staff reports

Basketball playoffs …

MONROE —  One of West Rowan girls basketball coach Ashley’s Poole’s major goals for this season was 20  victories.

The Falcons got there on  Tuesday, winning at Parkwood, 61-57, in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.

The Falcons (20-7) were down 57-52 late in the game after Molly Setliff made two free throws, but West scored the last nine points of the contest.

“We hung with them a long time, and then  we forced them into several turnovers and played really well defensively at the end,” Poole said. “We hit on a long pass to Abigail Wilson on an inbounds play to tie the game up. We showed some heart, we showed some effort. We got it done.”

West is seeded 19th after finishing third behind North Iredell and Carson in the North Piedmont Conference. Parkwood (22-5) was seeded 14th.

Senior Egypt Alexander’s play was huge for the Falcons. She scored 23 points after having two off games in the NPC tournament.

“We really needed that from her,” Poole said.

Wilson, a sophomore, stayed right on her average with 21 points.

Tyler Poole added seven for the Falcons. Other scorers were Mary Sobataka (5), Shyann Vaughters (2), Cindy Connolly (2) and Chantal Robinson (1).

Setliff, one of the top players in Union County, was held to 12 points. Addison Laney scored 13 for the Rebels.

West trailed 32-26 at halftime. The game was tied at 40-all going to the fourth quarter.

West will play at No. 3 seed Morganton Freedom (23-4) on Thursday.

W. Rowan   18  8  14  21   — 61

Parkwood  15  17  8   17 —  57

South girls

MAIDEN — South Rowan’s girls basketball team came out hot, and the Maiden Blue Devils never had a chance.

South made five 3-pointers in the first quarter of the 2A state playoff game and roared to a 20-5 lead.

The Raiders, seeded 19th, won, 68-46, against the No. 14 seed.

“We got on them very quick,” South coach John Davis said. “When you’re shooting the ball like we were, it  really helps.”

South maintained a cushion, 35-19, at halftime.

Maiden (19-6) tried to fight back in the second half, but South’s standout junior Janiya Downs didn’t let that happen.

She had 18 of her 31 points in the second half and went over 1,500 points for her career.

“Janiya had a ton of  blocks and rebounds,  besides all the points, and she just took over,”
Davis said. “Riley Corriher had a lot of steals and Whitley Arnott had a lot of blocks and rebounds. Even after we cooled off some with our shooting, we stayed comfortably on top.”

Cree Bass led Maiden with 11 points.  Grace Herman had 10. Arnott helped hold Maiden’s standout 6-footer Zoe Huffman to seven points.

“Whitley has become one heck of a basketball player,” Davis said. “And tonight she stayed out of foul trouble. That was key.”

Corriher scored 13 for the Raiders. Arnott (8), Tazah Hardin (7), Jalee Rollins (6) and Madison McGuire (3) were the other scorers.

South is seeded low because it was only the fourth-place finisher in the  Central Carolina Conference.

“We played in a really good league,” Davis said. “The fifth-place team in our league (West Davidson) didn’t make the playoffs, but I guarantee you they could beat a lot of teams that did.”

South (18-8) will play on Thursday at third-seeded North Wilkes (24-3).

South   20  15  17  16  ­ — 68

Maiden  5  14  10  17   — 46