Mark Carpenter/The Peopleís Defender
This drive to the basket by Manchesterís Rainelle Casey (#20) resulted in a three-point play early in the first quarter of the Lady Houndsí 84-58 win at West Union on Monday Night. Casey led Manchester with 24 points.
Lady Hounds roll to win at West Union, 84-58
Casey scores 24 to lead Manchester
West Union girls varsity coach Shannon Staggs must feel like the Bill Murray character in "Groundhog Day." Or perhaps he relates to Yogi Berra who said "It's deja vu all over again." If Staggs popped in a video tape of any of his 2012-13 squad's games, he would have to swear he was watching the same game over and over again. The sequence continues to be the same for the Lady Dragons. Play a good and competitive first quarter, then watch turnovers and sloppy play take over and before you know it, the scoreboard is lopsided in favor of the opponent.
That process was definitely in place on Monday night as the Lady Dragons welcomed a county rival, the Manchester Lady Greyhounds to the county seat for a non-league battle. The first quarter was a tight affair, but a 16-1 second period run by the Lady Hounds put West Union in a hole they could never dig out of.
"These girls are a fantastic ball club and we can play with anybody when we want to," said Manchester head coach P.J. Wagner. "We are still a young group of kids and we are still working on a lot of things."
Manchester began the game with a 7-2 lead after an old-fashioned three-point play from Rainelle Casey with 5:43 left, but the Lady Dragons fought back, getting a stick back by Kristen Grooms, a three pointer from Natasha Barr, two Barr free throws, and a Jessica Boldman basket to trail just 13-11. A Tess Burns bucket and another two by Casey left the Lady Hounds on top 17-13 after eight minutes of play.
When Natasha Barr scored on the first West Union possession of the second period, it looked like the Lady Dragons were around to stay. Then as they say, the proverbial roof caved in. The Lady Hounds took off on a 16-1 run, featuring two baskets by Hannah Rideout and Morgan Johnson and in the blink of an eye, the visitors had jumped ahead 33-16.
The Lady Dragons recovered a bit with scores by Boldman and Barr but two Casey free throws kept the Hounds on top 37-20 with 1:33 to go in the half. West Union's Marci Schneider got the final basket of the first half, a half that ended with the Lady Hounds on top 39-24.
Even with the large halftime deficit, Staggs inspired his troops at the break and they came out with an aggressive third quarter of play, outscoring Manchester 19-13 to keep faint hopes alive and trail just 52-43 with one period left on the board.
That one period, however, turned out to be a disaster for the home team. The Manchester offense came back to life and racked up a rather impressive 32 fourth quarter points, including a 12-0 run to begin the stanza. In the meantime, the Lady Hound defense held West Union to just 15, leading to a one-sided final that was really not indicative of how the entire game played out. When all was said and done, the Lady Hounds had picked up their third win in a row and seventh of the season, defeating West Union 84-58.
Rainelle Casey, who has been a pleasant surprise this season for Coach Wagner, led four Lady Hounds in double figures with 24 points, adding 5 steals to a team defensive effort that forced West Union into 30 turnovers. Morgan Johnson scored 18 and her line also included six steals and six assists.
Hannah Rideout scored 15 for Manchester and completed her double double effort with 14 rebounds. Tess Burns continues to improve with each outing as she tallied 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.
"Our kids work so hard in practice," added Coach Wagner. "It seems like in a lot of our games this year, we decide to come out and play in the fourth quarter and we did that tonight. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."
Coach Staggs has been waiting for a breakout game from Natasha Barr and he got it as Barr led all scorers in the game with 31 points that included hitting 11 of 12 free throws and getting a double double with 14 rebounds, as the Lady Dragons did a much better job on the boards than they had when the two teams met in the McDonald's Classic in late December.
Jessica Boldman also reached double figures in rebounds, hauling in 11 to go along with an 8-point offensive performance. Kristen Grooms scored 6 and Mikayla Akers and Marci Schneider 5 apiece for West Union.
The Lady Dragons again suffered shooting woes, connecting on just 17 of 61 attempts for 28%.
The Lady Hounds improve to 7-5 on the season and now face a very tough stretch of their schedule beginning with a trip to Lynchburg on Thursday night. On Monday, the Lady Hounds will get their first look at the first place North Adams Lady Devils. West Union, now 1-10 on the year, faced a tough task on Wednesday night, entertaining an unbeaten Portsmouth Notre Dame squad and then jumped right back into league play on Thursday with a trip to Eastern.
17 22 13 32-84
13 11 19 15 -58
Manchester (84): Casey 9 6-9 24, Johnson 8 1-2 18, Rideout 6 3-6 15, Burns 5 2-2 12, Adams 3 3-6 9, T. Himes 0 6-10 6, Team 31 21-35 84.
W. Union (58): Barr 9 11-12 31, Boldman 2 4-4 8, Grooms 2 1-5 6, Akers 1 3-4 5, Schneider 2 1-2 5, Tolle 1 0-0 2, Hanes 0 1-2 1, Howard 0 0-2 0, Smith o 0-1 0, Team 17 21-32 58.