64Rowan County47Wayne County

Sweet Sixteen: Rowan whips Wayne, but injuries cause concern

vikings' decisive Victory marred by player injuries

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMarch 19, 2011 

Wayne's World usually connotes fun times.

Friday night, though, Rowan County turned Wayne's World into the Twilight Zone.

Rowan County came out in a 2-3 zone and knocked Wayne County out of the KHSAA/PNC Boys Sweet Sixteen with a 64-47 spanking in Rupp Arena.

The Vikings (29-5) will take a 14-game winning streak into Saturday's semifinals, to meet either Bullitt East or Marshall County at 11:30 a.m. "If we'd have taken a chart and wrote everything down and said, 'All right, these are all the things we can't afford to do,' I think we did most of them tonight," Wayne Coach Rodney Woods said. "Just a total collapse, a nightmare of a game. Everything that could go wrong went wrong."

Most notably, the Cardinals couldn't shoot straight — 15-for-54 (27.8 percent).

Rowan County cooled off in the fourth quarter to finish 22-for-54 (40.7 percent). Through three quarters, the Vikings doubled Wayne's accuracy, 48.7 to 24.3 percent.

Rowan didn't escape unscathed.

D.J. Townsend, who led the Vikings with 17 points and three assists, twisted an ankle.

Adam Wing, who had 11 points and six rebounds, suffered a knee injury in the last minute of the third quarter.

Although Townsend will be able to play Saturday, Wing's status will "probably be a game-time decision," Coach Shawn Thacker said. Not only is the 6-foot-4 junior key to the basketball team, he is considered one of the state's top football quarterbacks.

"He's got a future ahead of him in whatever he decides to play (beyond high school) and we've got to make sure we take care of him along those lines, too," Thacker said.

In addition to Townsend and Wing, the 16th Region champions got 14 points from Darrell Cross and 10 from Jason Egan. Corey Hunter had eight points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Rowan won the rebound category 40-30.

"We got whipped every way you can get whipped," Woods said. "Every category you can name."

One thing Woods' team did do well was shoot free throws, making nine of 10. However, Rowan hit 15 of 17.

Wayne (31-5) was paced by Kyle Gehring with 11 points off the bench. Gavin Dunagan had six points and six rebounds.

Wayne led 2-0 and 5-4 before getting swamped.

The Cardinals went without a point for nearly 51/2 minutes spanning the first two quarters, seeing a 9-8 deficit grow to 21-8.

Townsend, a 5-foot-10 junior, had half of Rowan's 12 points in the run with two jumpers and two free throws. Wing stuck a fork in the Cardinals by ending the first quarter with a four-point play.

"We've had a tough time all year every time someone's played us a 2-3 zone," Woods said. "We've had to struggle every time."

Rowan led by 13 at halftime and by 23 through three quarters, which ended with concern for Wing.

"They got a steal and I didn't want to trip him up, so I brought my knee back, kind of hyperextended a little bit," Wing said. "Then, when I hit the ground, I kind of tweaked it a little bit. I was scared. I thought I heard something pop. But the pain subsided a little bit, I got up.

"It's just a little sore right now. Just going to ice it down, take an ibuprofen, see how it feels in the morning."

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