Rowan County outlasted East Carter to claim victory 58-54 in a fourth quarter battle.
East Carter came out hungry for a win. Alyssa Stickler and Haley Campbell sunk early threes to pull away from the Lady Vikings.
Stickler scored seven points during the Lady Raiders’ 13-4 run to start the game. She ended the night with 15 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Trailing by nine, Rowan County’s Brooke Blevins fought back. She totaled 13 points of the Lady Vikings’ 15 points in the first quarter. She made a steal half way through the first that started a 10-4 run that pulled the Lady Vikings within a bucket before the first buzzer.
“Brooke really stepped up tonight. We got down nine points early, and she took a lot of shots that were in her zone. She hit a couple threes, but she took he time to shoot them. She got a couple steals and some easy layups. That is what we expect of her,” said Rowan County Coach Matt Stokes. “As I have said before, one ball defender, she is the best we have. You could see it tonight. She got a couple of easy baskets just because of her defense.”
Blevins ended the night with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Lady Vikings were hurting for scoring production in the second quarter. They were missing Angela Marcum because of an ankle injury sustained in Monday night’s game against Bath County and Promise Cross went out late in the first with foul trouble.
Marcum is expected to return for the post season, however, she will not be playing in the Friday night’s game against George Rogers Clark.
“She is walking around pretty good right now, but we are going to play it more safe than sorry. We’d rather have Angela next week and for Districts than put her out tomorrow when she is only going 80 percent and she makes it worse,” said Stokes.
The Lady Vikings remained behind 30-27 at half time.
Haven Ford leading the way, the Lady Vikings outscored the Lady Raiders 12-4 in the third quarter. Ford with back-to-back baskets took the Lady Vikings’ first lead since a 2-1 lead in the first.
Ford had a huge second half scoring 13 points. Having netted nine points in the first half, Ford ended the night with 25 points, two rebounds, three assists and a steal.
“She has got that natural instinct when it comes to basketball. She could feel that we just weren’t in sync offensively and just takes over,” said Stokes.
A nine-point lead during the first had turned into a 10-point deficit for the Lady Raiders with 5:38 left to play.
“We should never have been in there in the first place, just a terrible, terrible third quarter. We fall behind by one or two points and we panic. It just like a snowball. I think we had turnovers on four or five straight possessions, silly turnovers,” said East Carter Coach Hager Easterling.
“We had fallen behind by two points and they were looking at the clock with that look on their faces that we were down by five or six with 30 seconds left. That was our body language on the bench.”
The Lady Raiders bounced back with an 11-point run. Makyla Waggoner came in off the bench to net nine points in the fourth quarter. She knotted up the score 49-49 with 3:25 left.
Ford responded with two free throws and her second three of the quarter to keep the Lady Vikings on top.