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Moir Christmas Classic: W. Rowan boys get first win, take 7th place

Staff report

SALISBURY — The West Rowan boys have been flirting with victory in recent weeks and they were finally able to close the deal Saturday morning in the Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic.

A strong start to the third period by the Falcons (1-11) provided the bulk of the margin as West held off South Rowan (1-8), 60-53, to claim seventh place in the tournament.

Senior guard Payne Stolsworth (23 points) and junior guard Jay Joseph (17) provided the firepower as West quickly expanded a 27-19 halftime lead to as many as 18 points in the third quarter.

Joseph scored nine points in a row while Stolsworth drilled a couple of long 3-pointers to make the score 47-29, late in the third period.

South rallied to within nine points in the final two minutes of the game behind Jarron Hines and Brenden Finger, and cut it to the final seven-point margin on a follow shot by Hines in the final seconds.

Finger topped the Raiders with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while Hines scored 17, with 15 coming in the second half.

South also enjoyed a big advantage at the foul line, making 17-of-27 while West was just 5-of-10.

WEST ROWAN (60) — Stolsworth 23, Joseph 17, Brawley 13, Butler 5, Ford 1, Hassard 1, Tadlock.

SOUTH ROWAN (53) — Finger 18, Hines 17, Jones 7, Fullard 5, Graham 4, Holloman 2, Peacock, Dextraze.

West Rowan         8    19    20    13  — 60

South Rowan       6    13    23    21  — 53

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