LATHAM Madison Rowland had something to prove.
After being limited to four points the first time she played against Shenendehowa, Rowland dropped 33 points to lead Shaker to a 60-39 victory over the Lady Plainsmen in Saturday’s Suburban Council girls basketball game.
“I definitely wanted to come out strong today because I didn’t play well the last time (Jan. 10),” said Rowland.
Early foul trouble hindered Rowland the first time Shaker played Shen during a special basketball doubleheader between the two schools last month at Siena College -- one which raised money for the Christopher Stewart and Deanna Rivers scholarships at Shen. Shaker (14-1 league, 16-1 overall) compensated for her absence, as Lyric Artis and Merrick Rowland led the Blue Bison past the Lady Plainsmen 51-43.
Rowland was in command from the opening tip in the rematch, though. She scored 15 of Shaker’s 18 points in the first quarter and drained three three-pointers as part of a 12-point second quarter to personally out-score Shen 27-15.
“How about those 27 (points) in the first half?” said Shaker coach Emily Caschera-Bowles. “It was the Madison Rowland show out there.”
“I went to the gym before the game and I was warmed up, which really helped me,” said Rowland.
By contrast, Shen struggled to get into a groove in the first half against an aggressive Shaker defense. Shaker’s guards forced several turnovers, and the Blue Bison’s forwards prevented Shen from making shots near the basket.
“Everyone stepped up tonight -- not just me,” said Rowland.
“We’ve been practicing our shots lately, but it didn’t go our way tonight,” said Shen forward Carly Boland.
Rowland added six points in the third quarter before taking a seat on the bench as Shaker extended its lead to 47-25. Shen didn’t surpass the 33-point plateau until midway through the fourth quarter.