Mark Carpenter/The People’s Defender
Two of the top players in the SHAC go after each other in this action from last Thursday night at North Adams High School. North Adams’ Emily Fite (right) applies some full court pressure to Lynchburg’s Laney Lewis in the second half of the game. Both girls led their teams in scoring with Fite getting 12 and Lewis getting 20 for her victorious Lady Mustangs.
Mark Carpenter/The People’s Defender
With a pained expression on her face, North Adams’ Brittany Stout turns the corner on the Lynchburg defense in action from last Thursday night at North Adams High School.
Lady Devils' struggles continue with 46-33 loss to Lynchburg
Poor shooting, turnovers lead to North Adams defeat
For the second consecutive Thursday night, the schedule makers matched up the North Adams Lady Devils with a tough opponent in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and for the second week in succession, the Lady Devils came up on the short end of the scoreboard.
After a 10-point loss on their home court to Fayetteville one week earlier, the Lady Devils were again the hosts as the Lynchburg Lady Mustangs came to town looking to knock off the home team and move into a first place tie in the league standings.
For Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams squad the scenario would turn out to be all too familiar. Their offensive struggles continued in the absence of point guard Taylor Gast, 27 turnovers, and again a late comeback ran out of gas with the Lady Mustangs getting a 10-0 fourth quarter run to hand the Lady Devils a 46-33 defeat, leaving the two teams tied for the top spot in the big school division of the SHAC.
"It was a very physical game but we have to learn to play through that," said North Adams head coach Rob Davis. "Both teams played hard but we just turned the ball over too much and didn't shoot it very well. We have been shooting well in practice but there's a difference when you get that kind of pressure on you."
From the opening tip off forward, the gathered fans saw one of the most physical girls basketball games in recent memory, a physical game that only saw 10 free throws combined among the two teams. Contact in all corners of the court put both offenses in struggle mode and points were hard to come by, with the game being tied at 4 after a pair of Emily Fite free throws at the 4:55 mark.
After a Lynchburg basket, North Adams freshman Staci Dinsmore, who is seeing more and more action in Gast's absence, took a defensive rebound and went coast to coast to tie the game for the third time. The Mustangs answered with a hoop but the first quarter ended on a plus for the home team as a Brittany Stout three-pointer gave the Lady Devils a 9-8 lead after eight minutes.
When North Adams began the second quarter with three turnovers, the Lady Mustangs took advantage with three straight baskets off those miscues to grab a five-point lead and on top of that, a lead they did not relinquish the remainder of the night. The Lady Devils got buckets from Karly Boerger and Mikayla Jodrey, but continued to have struggle with the intense pressure and physicality of the Lynchburg defense.
North Adams got a Rylee Copas basket with 4:20 left in the half and at that point both offenses went "into the tank" with only one more basket combined before the intermission. That score came from Lynchburg's Laney Lewis and gave the Lady Mustangs a 20-15 lead at the break.
The first three minutes of the second half were disastrous for the Lady Devils as their scoreless drought extended to nearly seven minutes. Lynchburg began the second half on an 8-0 run, which vaulted them into a double digit advantage. The first North Adams score came from Fite at 4:53 but a steal and score by Lewis made it 30-17. The offensive futility continued as the home team went yet another four and a half blank minutes on the board. Luckily for the Lady Devils, their opponent was not faring any better as the Lady Mustangs did not score again after the Lewis steal, while North Adams stayed within striking distance, getting baskets by Boerger and Fite to move the deficit back to single digits , down 30-21 heading to the fourth. When Fite knocked one down on the first possession of the final quarter, it began the last North Adams run of the night. With fatigue setting in on both sides, the Lady Devils opened the final period with an 8-4 spurt to cut the Lynchburg lead to 34-29 with 5:15 to play.
Unfortunately that was the last hurrah for the home team as the Lady Mustangs put this one away by scoring the game's next 12 points and holding North Adams scoreless until there were just 40 seconds remaining in the game. The Lady Devils got the final two buckets of the contest but it was far to late as Lynchburg grabbed that share of first place, winning by a final score of 46-33.
"We missed a couple of free throws that could have cut it to three, and then they just went on that run on us," said Coach Davis. "We spent a lot of energy to try to get back in the game and we miss Taylor Gast a bunch on both ends of the floor.
Another bad offensive night saw the North Adams girls shoot just 29% from the field, connecting on just 14 of 46 attempts, including a 1 for 11 performance from three point land. A battered and bruised Emily Fite led the home team with 12 points, earning each and every one of them. Mikayla Jodrey scored 8 for North Adams with Staci Dinsmore and Karly Boerger getting 4 each.
As they normally are, the Lady Mustangs were paced by the long and lanky Laney Lewis who totaled 20 points in the contest. Sarah Rosselott and Emma Setty added 8 apiece for the winners.
For the Lady Devils, now 13-5 on the year ( 8-3 SHAC ) the road got no easier as they traveled to Peebles on Monday night to face a very hot Lady Indians squad. Then, it is Portsmouth West at home tonight to finish the week.
8 12 10 16 -46
9 6 6 12 -33
Lynchburg (46): Fittro 2 0-0 4, Creighton 1 0-0 2, Little 2 0-0 4, Lewis 8 4-4 20, Rosselott 4 0-0 8, Setty 4 0-0 8, team 21 4-4 46.