High school basketball: West Rowan girls win big; next is Ashe County

Published 5:01 am Friday, February 24, 2023


Staff report

MOUNT ULLA — According to the RPI numbers, North Davidson is the best team West Rowan’s girls have faced so far this season.

That’s possible, but the undefeated Falcons mistreated the 16th-seeded Black Knights like they’ve mistreated everyone else — 27-9 after one, 46-19 at the half, and 71-31 with a running clock after three quarters.

The lopsided final in the second-round 3A playoff game was 89-38.  West’s march continues. The closest contest so far has been by a 23-point margin. That was against 1A North Rowan.

The top-seeded Falcons (27-0) will play at home again Saturday against ninth-seeded Ashe County. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.

West coach Ashley Poole was confident going into Thursday’s matchup. She’d watched film of North Davidson. The Black Knights could shoot and still had experienced seniors Lettie Michael and Rebekah Minton who had helped knock Carson out of the playoffs in the fourth round in 2022 and had played in serious Central Carolina Conference scraps with Salisbury in their younger days.

But Poole could see the Knights weren’t as physical as South Piedmont Conference teams Northwest Cabarrus and Central Cabarrus.

She didn’t think they’d be able to stay with the Falcons long. She was right.

The thing about this flock of Falcons is you never know exactly where the punches are going to come from. This time it was freshman Tiara Thompson. She had four 3-pointers and 14 points in the scorebook by the end of the first quarter. She averages about 11 per game.

Michael made two 3-pointers in the first quarter, but the Black Knights slid behind by 18. It didn’t get any better for the visitors. They closed up shop at 18-11.

Michael, ND’s leading scorer, was shut out in the second quarter, while six Falcons scored.

Lauren Arnold, a junior who reached 1,000 career points on Tuesday, had a 10-point third quarter as the Falcons put the hammer down. De’Mya Phifer racked up eight in the fourth quarter.

Thompson finished with 20. one short of her career high. Phifer (18), Arnold (15), Makaylah Tenor (12) and Emma Clarke (10) also were in double figures.

Jamecia Huntley — the Black Knights probably remembered her not so fondly from her Salisbury days — scored eight.

Mya Edwards, who had 18 in the first round, didn’t score on Thursday, but it didn’t matter much.

Michael and Madison McNair, who carried the visitors in the second quarter, scored 12 each to lead the Black Knights.

Next for West is Ashe County. According to the RPI numbers, the mountain girls will be the best team West has faced so far by quite a bit.

Ashe County actually was sixth in the 3A West RPI rankings, but finished as the second 3A in a split 3A/4A conference. That led to a No. 9 seeding.

Ashe County (19-8) beat Crest in the first round and won on the road at No. 8 Parkwood on Thursday.

The key player for the West Jefferson-based Huskies, is 6-footer Paige Overcash, who averages 18 points per game. She’s an athlete, a star volleyball player.

The primary color for the Huskies, who used to encounter Salisbury frequently in the 2A playoffs, is purple.


North Davidson    9    10    12    7    — 38

West Rowan         27   19    25   18  — 89

N. Davidson — Michael 12, McNair 12, Minton 10, Moore 2, Langley 2.

West Rowan — Thompson 20, Phifer 18, Arnold 15, Tenor 12, Clarke 10, Huntley 8, Cuthbertson 4, Martin 2.