Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
NEWTOWN Chapmanville made just 1 of 12 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter as a five-point third quarter deficit ballooned to 21 Tuesday night.
Prior to the fourth quarter, Chapmanville held a five-point lead, 23-18, in the third quarter before Mingo Central regained the lead, 26-23, with an 8-0 run.
The Lady Tigers evened the score at 26 on Jaiden Mahon's with 1:05 to play in the third quarter, however, Chapmanville missed its next 11 shots as Class AA No. 2 Mingo Central defeated the eighth-ranked Lady Tigers 50-29 Tuesday night on Miner Mountain.
Following Mahon's 3, Mingo Central scored the final five points and went on a 22-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarter to pull away from Chapmanville. The Lady Tigers only successful made field goal came with 0:49 remaining when Makayla Parsons scored on a layup following a steal.
As lopsided as the score may indicate, the game itself was a lot closer as Chapmanville and Mingo Central traded the lead six times and there were seven ties in the games first 31:14.
Addie Smith, who was held without a field goal and two points in the first half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers as part of an 8-0 run that gave Mingo Central a 26-23 lead with 1:19 to play in the third quarter. Mahon tied it with a 3 of her own 14 seconds later and Madisyn Curry's 3 with 0:46 remaining broke a 26-26 tie and gave the Lady Miners a 29-26 lead.
“We shot poorly but the kind of defense we are playing we put ourselves in the position to have to shoot lights out to win,” Chapmanville coach Kristina Gore said. “In the first half I thought we did a pretty good job, we held (Addie) Smith to two points, we lost their midseason transfer (Jenna Sparks) a few times in the paint, and we shouldn’t have.”
“(In) the second half she (Smith) gets free for two 3’s right off the bat in the third quarter and that really sparked them, got the crowd into it, who I had thought stayed fairly quiet the first half because of the job we were doing defensively.” Gore said.
Mingo Central coach Kim Davis-Smith said the Lady Tigers defense in the first half, especially the defense on Smith, who is the team's leading scorer, kept the contest close because Chapmanville was able to take the ball out of her hands forcing others to step up.
“It was close because they were guarding Addie, and when the ball is out of Addie’s hands, whether she is scoring or not, all coaches know that that is their game plan for sure, it would be my game plan,” Davis-Smith said. “It was effective, and she only had two points in the first half,”
Davis-Smith said Smith's back-to-back 3's out of a third quarter timeout, which was called after the Lady Tigers scored the first seven points of the quarter, kicked the offense in gear and jumpstarted the comeback.
Smith finished with a game-high 12 points and was one of three Lady Miners to reach double figures. Curry and Jenna Sparks each had double-doubles. Curry finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Sparks added 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“The timeout and that 3 and then the other 3 and it just kind of kept rolling, and our girls feed off her, but it was good to see other people stepping up and scoring and that is what we kind of needed all along,” Davis-Smith said. “It was good to see Madisyn Curry contributing the way that she needs to be contributing for us to be successful, and of course Jenna (Sparks) was in double figures as well.”
Bella Hall came off the bench to score eight points on 4 of 5 shooting from the field. Hall also had five assists and four steals in the win for Mingo Central.
“I look here and she has eight points but in my mind and coach mind, her impact of the game is so much more than that, and I think even the last game she may have had two points or four points, but it feels like double digits,” Davis-Smith said. “When she does come in she is really on her game and she can impact it defensively and offensively, and especially in a game like that when they are putting two people on Addie, it allows people like Bella to step up and contribute.”
The win gave Mingo Central a season sweep of Chapmanville and likely locked up the number one seed, which would give the Lady Miners homecourt advantage, in the upcoming Class AA Region 3 Section 2 tournament.
“Always good to get a win and Chapmanville is a great team, and they have a lot of talent on that team, so we knew it was going to be a tough game tonight,” Davis-Smith said. “Very proud of our kids, it is a big environment, and we are having more and more crowds because people are excited about our program and what they are doing.”
“It should, I think so and I don’t know why it wouldn’t,” Davis-Smith said. “It will be a battle, it is a battle every time we play them and it will be a battle in February when we play them again.”
Alaira Evans led Chapmanville with 10 points while Daizi Farley scored nine points. Mahon and Chloe Thompson each had three points with Mahon pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds for the Lady Tigers.
Chapmanville was looking to avenge an earlier season loss to Mingo Central. The Lady Miners defeated the Lady Tigers 55-49, handing them their first loss of the season, on Dec. 13 at Chapmanville.
“We look scared to be honest with you. I felt like we were missing some energy that they brought, and I don’t know how you can’t get up for this game, but it doesn’t get much bigger than tonight, it was one that we have had circled on the calendar,” Gore said. “I saw some weaknesses in my our mental toughness tonight that was just really discouraging and disappointing, but we are going to get back to work, Mingo is a good team give them credit, they are not scared of anybody or anything. They play hard, they play good team basketball, which we typically do as well but they are the better team right now.”
If Chapmanville and Mingo Central meet for the third time it will be in the sectional championship on Miner Mountain in late February. Last season Chapmanville beat Mingo Central twice during the regular season, but the Lady Miners won the sectional championship on the Lady Tigers home floor.
"I saw some quit in our girls, which is disappointing to see that, but it is hard to beat a team three times," Gore said. "We got to try to find some positives, regroup, look at the film and figure out what went well, what didn't and go from there."
Davis-Smith doesn't buy into the theory that it is hard to beat a team three times and provided a different outlook on the old adage.
"I think the more you play people the more you learn them. It gives you more opportunity to scout them and see what works and what doesn’t work,” Davis-Smith said. “We know that anything can happen and that anybody can beat us any day. I tell my kids that all the time and I don’t think more highly of my team than anyone else’s and I think that anybody can be beaten any given day.”
“We will be prepared, we will take it real serious just like they are,” Davis-Smith said. “We all want to get to Charleston and we know that they want to. They have a great team, and we will be prepared for it.”
Mingo Central improved to 11-1 and will host AA No. 3 Summers County Saturday afternoon.
“Great program, Chad Meador is a great coach, he has a team that has worked really hard, he has a solid team inside and out, he has players that have improved and worked on their game,” Davis-Smith said. “You are going to get a good quality game when you play Summers County. They are going to be prepared to play us, x’s and o’s wise, and I am sure it is going to be that same game strategy that Chapmanville presented us.”
Chapmanville falls to 9-5 and will return to action Monday evening at home against Belfry (KY) in a makeup game that was originally scheduled for December 23 but postponed due to weather.
“I have seen some film on them, and they do have a seventh grader who is averaging 20, and they also have a transfer from Martin County (KY) who is averaging about 15. They got two great guards that we are going to have to key in on,” Gore said. “We are going to have to see if we can’t turn them over a little bit, get the ball out of their hands and hopefully get out and run."
With eight games left in the regular season, Gore is hopeful that her team can overcome this current slide that has saw her team lose four of its last seven games.
“We are going to have to do some soul searching and figure out what our identity is,” Gore said. “Something is missing, and we talked about that in there (locker room), it is definitely not talent. I don’t know if it is a mental edge that certain teams have on us that we are not overcoming at the moment. I know these kids; I know what they are capable of, and I got faith that we will regroup and put something together come and hopefully be playing our best basketball come tournament time.”
Mingo Central 50, Chapmanville 29
Evans 5-13 0-3 10, Farley 3-11 0-0 9, Mahon 1-7 0-0 3, Thompson 1-2 1-2 3, Christian 1-4 0-0 2, Parsons 1-2 0-0 2, Fleming 0-4 0-0 0, Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 12-44 1-5 29.
Mingo Central (11-1)
Smith 3-8 3-4 12, Curry 4-11 1-2 11, Sparks 5-9 0-0 10, Hall 4-5 0-1 8, Davis 1-5 1-4 3, Adkins 1-3 0-0 2, Grimmett 1-2 0-0 2, Akers 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-44 5-11 50.
Chapmanville 12 4 10 3- 29
Mingo Central 12 6 13 19- 50
3-Point Field Goals_Chapmanville 4 -21 (Evans 0-4, Farley 3-10, Mahon 1-5, Fleming 0-2), Mingo Central 5-12 (Smith 3-7, Curry 2-5). Fouled out_None. Rebounds_Chapmanville 25 (Mahon 10), Mingo Central 28 (Curry 10, Sparks 10). Assists_Chapmanville 7 (Farley 2, Mahon 2, Fleming 2), Mingo Central 14 (Hall 5). Total fouls_Chapmanville 9, Mingo Central 4. Technicals_None.