High school girls basketball: Mustangs win with good fourth quarter

Published 2:12 am Thursday, January 5, 2023


Staff report

GRANITE QUARRY –  Hannah Waddell scored 18 points as East Rowan’s girls basketball team got another win on Wednesday.

The 45-34 non-conference victory against West Stanly wasn’t exactly a work of art, but the bottom line is the Mustangs (7-5) have topped last season’s victory total.

East is 30th in the 3A West RPI rankings and is in the chase for a playoff spot. Thirty-two will make the 3A West bracket.

A loss to West Stanly, 3-11 and 34th in the 2A West rankings, would have hurt, but the Mustangs avoided that fate.

East trailed 3-0 at the outset, but Waddell made a 3-pointer to tie, and the Mustangs took the lead for good at 5-3 on a bucket by Lindsey Cook.

Waddell can shoot, but the first three quarters weren’t smooth for the Mustangs, who played again without Mary Church.

Both teams turned it over and both teams missed point-blank shots and both teams struggled mightily. After three quarters, the Mustangs led 24-21.

East had a good minute at the start of the fourth quarter. Waddell had time to measure a 3-pointer from the left wing and made it to trigger a sudden 9-0 East surge to 33-21.

East benefited from a banked-in 3-pointer during that spree, and Lily Kluttz forced two turnovers and got three points out of them.

West Stanly didn’t quit. A 3-pointer by Grayson Howell got the Colts back to 39-34 with a minute left.

But the Mustangs finished with another solid minute. Peyton Whicker and Waddell went 6-for-6 at the foul line to ice the victory for coach Bri Evans.

Mia Kluttz didn’t make any field goals, but she’s got some bounce and did a job on the boards for the Mustangs.

East is off to a 3-0 start in the South Piedmont Conference, with victories over Concord, Northwest Cabarrus and Lake Norman Charter.

East has a tough SPC game at home against a good Central Cabarrus squad on Friday. Central (8-5) is 20th in the 3A West RPI rankings.

West Stanly    7   6   8   13    — 34

East Rowan   8    8  8   21    — 45

East scoring — Waddell 18, Whicker 6, Collins 6, Cook 4, L. Kluttz 4, J. Featherstone 3, Miller 2, Boardley 1, M. Kluttz 1.