• 61°

Dale’s/Moir Christmas Classic: Wilson leads West past South

Dale's/Sam Moir Christmas Classic first day

JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST … West Rowan’s Taylor Poole (23). The West Rowan girls basketball team defeated the South Rowan team 65 to 26 in Game 3 on the opening day of the 2019 Sam Moir Christmas High School Basketball Classic at Catawba College. Salisbury,North Carolina,12/26/19.

By Dennis Davidson

dennis.davidson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — At halftime of Thursday afternoon’s Dale’s/Sam Moir Christmas Classic first-round game against South Rowan, No. 2-seed West Rowan looked like a one-girl team.

Senior forward Abigail Wilson had scored 20 of the Falcons’ 30 points, as they led by 15.

However, that notion was dispelled in the third period as guards Taylor Poole, Gabby Blabon and Cindy Connolly got going from long range. The end result was a 31-point quarter for West and a 65-26 rout of the No. 7-seeded Raiders.

The Falcons (8-0) made 10-of-15 shots from the floor during the torrid third quarter, as Poole drilled three 3-point baskets and Blabon added two more from behind the arc.

Poole scored 11 of her 14 points and Blabon scored all of her eight points in that big frame for West. Wilson added eight points, Connolly two and Whitley Arnott dropped in a basket as the Falcons took a 61-23 advantage into the final quarter.

“We made some adjustments at halftime, how we were moving without the ball,” said West coach Ashley Poole. “We relied too much on Abigail inside in the first half. Once we opened it up outside a little bit, the girls executed well and got into some transition offense, too.”

The Falcons were a little slow out of the gate, even with five seniors in the starting lineup.

“Everyone was a little jumpy at the beginning, but it’s the Christmas tournament,” added Poole. “But we found our rhythm in that third quarter, ran the floor well and picked it up on defense some.”

A 40-point lead and running clock then ensued in the fourth period the runaway soon ended.

Wilson, a UNC-Asheville signee, led the way with 28 points and 17 rebounds. She made 11-of-20 shots, mostly from the paint, and 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

As a team, West shot 44 percent from the floor (24-of-54), not bad for a high school team playing its first game this season in Goodman Gym, where the shooting background is a little different.

The Falcons were even better from behind the arc, connecting on 7-of-15 three-point attempts (47 percent).

Meanwhile, South (1-8) did not fare as well. The Raiders were 9-of-41 from the floor (22 percent) and 4-of-10 from the foul line. South also hurt itself with 15 turnovers.

In addition to the scoring of Wilson, Poole and Blabon, Connolly finished with nine points and five rebounds.

South was led by guard Bethany Rymer, who scored nine points.

The Raiders’ new young head coach, former Carson star Alex Allen, who just graduated from Lynchburg College last May, knew that South would have an uphill climb against the veteran West team.

“We’re a young team and fairly new to one another,” said Allen. “It’s a different system that we’ve brought in. We knew there would be a learning curve with it  and I didn’t expect it to go smoothly.

“But today, we came out and played hard and I can’t fault them for anything if they battle like that,” continued allen. “That’s all I can asked for, the girls’ best effort. This game showed us some things to work on, but that’s should be the case for every game — learn from it.”

Allen now has a game under her belt in the big holiday event, one that she played in four times with the Cougars.

“It was different,” Allen said, about coaching in the Moir. “There’s always a lot of energy in the Christmas tournament and it’s a fun environment. Getting to see the coaching end of it was a special experience for me. It’s nice to be back here in a different role.”

Poole acknowledge that the Raiders fought the Falcons to the end.

“Give credit to South for playing us hard,” she said. “We just had to make sure that we were doing our jobs well and keeping our composure.”

NOTE: West plays today at 3 p.m., against No. 3-seed Salisbury, in the first girls semifinal.

SOUTH ROWAN (26) — McGuire 4, Moore 2, P. Chabala 1, Rymer 9, Cherry 5, Littlejohn, M. Chabala, Harper, Redmon 3, Rollins 2.

WEST ROWAN (65) — Blabon 8, Arnott 4, Poole 14, Wilson 28, Connolly 9, Cuthbertson, Durham, Mason 2, Haggas, Spicer.

South Rowan       5    10    8   3 — 26

West Rowan      17     13   31   4 — 65

Comments

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional

Crime

Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home

Coronavirus

Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths

Health

‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor

Crime

Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts

Education

Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is

Cleveland

Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Nation/World

House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

News

Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate

Coronavirus

Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief

Crime

Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint

Education

Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools will survey families, stakeholders about next superintendent

Local

Library to reopen for in-person visits Oct. 1

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office K-9s to receive bulletproof vests

Crime

Man charged with sex offense, raping teen

Business

Commissioners receive analysis of county’s development application process

Crime

Man arrested in Spencer in connection with Charlotte murder investigation

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Education

KCS sees smooth transition back to classes, unlikely to transition to all in-person for K-5

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active