High school basketball: Big win for East girls
By Mike London
STATESVILLE — East Rowan’s girls got their biggest win of the season and the biggest in coach Kevin Holland’s three seasons on Monday.
The fifth-seeded Mustangs surprised fourth-seeded West Rowan, 67-57, in a first round game in the North Piedmont Conference Tournament.
West was coming off a huge Senior Night victory against Statesville, while the Mustangs were coming off a blowout loss at North Iredell.
But you never know.
“We played our best game,” Holland said. “We’ve had lots of good quarters and we’ve played good halves, but this was the first time we’ve played well from start to finish. That’s what it was going to take tonight.”
West (19-6) had beaten East (14-11) nine times in a row, including twice this season, but it was the Mustangs’ night.
“We had played really well at West and then we had led West most of the first half at our place,” Holland said. “So our girls had it in their heads they could compete with them. West’s size makes them tough — Abigail Wilson got her points and Gabby Blabon made a lot of 3-pointers that hurt us — but our girls competed. Mary (Spry), Caroline (Houpe) and Grace (Eagle) really fought on the boards.”
West got in foul trouble — again. That hurt the Falcons.
East scored the last five points of the first half to take a 34-29 lead. East expanded its lead early in the third quarter, but West got back within three heading to the final eight minutes.
Then East controlled the fourth quarter with junior point guard Adalie Harrison, who played all 32 minutes, handling the ball and making free throws. She went 12-for-12 from the foul line and scored a career-high 22.
Spry, who had rolled an ankle on Friday made nine free throws and scored 16. Brooke Mitchell made two 3-pointers and scored 11.
“We were very patient in the fourth quarter,” Holland said. “We put the ball in Adalie’s hands and she finished it off.”
Wilson scored 23 for the Falcons, while Blabon made four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 18.
West will return to action in the 3A state playoffs.
East takes on top-seeded Carson today in a semifinal at Statesville at 6 p.m.
E. ROWAN (67) — Harrison 22, Spry 16, Mitchell 11, Eagle 7, Houpe 6, Honeycutt 5, Peeler.
W. ROWAN (57) — Wilson 23, Blabon 18, Sobataka 7, Connolly 4, Poole 3, Arnott 2, Pharr, Hoffner.
E. Rowan 17 12 19 19 — 67
W. Rowan 15 9 21 12 — 57
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