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Lady Tigers hold off Lady Huskies late rally for 54-50 win

Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports

CHAPMANVILLE Daizi Farley scored 27 points and Alaira Evans scored 15 points as Class AA co-No. 7 Chapmanville held off Herbert Hoover for a 54-50 win on Thursday night at the Danny Godby Gymnasium.

The Lady Huskies (0-1) trailed 52-45 before Paige Canterbury’s putback off a Brooklyn Huffman’s missed 3-pointer cut a seven-point deficit to 53-50 with 0:21 remaining.

After a Herbert Hoover timeout, Farley dribbled the ball off her leg allowing the Lady Huskies to take possession.

Ayva Veltri got a good look at a 3 and a chance to tie, but her attempt was short as Haley Fleming grabbed the rebound for the Lady Tigers and was fouled with 0:04 remaining.

Fleming made one of two foul shots to seal the win for Chapmanville despite shooting just 50 percent, 12 for 24 from the free throw line, including 3 of 8 in the fourth quarter.

“Fifty percent is not good for us. In practice when we shoot for percentages, our goal is 70, and honestly that is where we should be,” Chapmanville coach Kristina Gore said. “Fifty percent is unacceptable. That is a phase of the game that we must be better at, must be more consistent at. We left a lot of points on the board when you miss the front ends of one and ones like that.”

Chapmanville raced out to a 13-4 lead behind three first quarter 3’s from Farley, but the Huskies closed trimmed to the deficit to one, 13-12, with an 8-0 run to end the first quarter.

Hoover took its first lead, 14-13, with 7:48 to play in the second quarter on Emma Kee’s basket.

“I never felt panic set, but I felt that we kind of maybe expected to get down a little bit early coming down to a hostile environment with a new coach and a new group of girls,” Herbert Hoover coach Scott Garretson said. “The kids stayed composed, they fought through it and next thing you know it is tied and then we have a lead.”

A pair of free throws from Evans gave Chapmanville a 15-14 lead with 6:09 to play and fourth 3 from Farley gave the Lady Tigers an 18-14 lead with 4:47 to play before halftime.

Farley’s triple ended a 6:38 field goal drought that extended to the final 3:25 of the first quarter.

In the first half, Farley was 4 for 8 from the field while the rest of the Lady Tigers were just 1 of 10 from the field.

“We were struggling, but we found her, and our girls are pretty unselfish, and they know how to find the hot hand,” Gore said. “We went back to her in the second half the way we should have.”

Hoover closed the half on a 6-1 run to take a 20-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“I was real happy that we overcame that initial deficit and they battled,” Garretson said.

Farley hit her fifth 3 of the night 15 seconds into the third quarter to give Chapmanville a 22-19, but Hoover answered with a 9-1 run to take a 29-23 lead on Taylor Ray’s layup with 5:02 to play in the third.

Following a Chapmanville timeout, Gore switched to a 2-3 zone and the Lady Tigers responded with a

7-0 run capped off by a sixth 3-pointer from Farley with 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Veltri third 3-pointer of the contest capped a 9-3 Lady Huskies run, giving them a 38-33 lead with 0:49 remaining in the third.

Chapmanville got a pair of free throws from Evans and a Farley layup to close the deficit to 38-37 after three quarters of play.

“As far as giving up runs, there was one thing defensively that we did poorly that allowed them to stay in it,” Gore said. “We had very poor close outs, we fell for every ball fake imaginable, couldn’t stay on our feet and we made a little halftime adjustment.”

“Second half we also switched zone and it helped us keep them in front of us,” Gore said. “It is that simple. You got to stay on your feet, keep people in front of you, make them take tough contest jumpers and then we did get beat we didn’t do a very good job of rotating on the backside.”

Chapmanville regained the lead on Chloe Thompson’s basket gave the Lady Tigers a 39-38 lead with 7:42 remaining, but Veltri answered with a two-point basket of her own to give the Lady Huskies a 40-39 lead with 7:01 remaining in the contest.

It would be the last lead for the Lady Huskies as the Lady Tigers were able to get out in transition and responded with a 13-5 run over the next 4:42 to take a 52-45 lead on Evans transition layup with 2:19 to play.

Garretson said the last run for the Lady Tigers could be attributed to the Lady Huskies inability to get back in transition on defense that swung the wave of momentum in favor of the home team.

“The biggest difference was that they pushed the ball, and we were late getting back on defense,” Garretson said. “Transition defense, we got to work on that, and they extended that lead with that, they were outrunning us. It was definitely a track meet that they were winning at the time.”

Gore said the decisive run and the ability of the Lady Tigers to get out in transition could be attributed to offseason conditioning.

“We have really worked on our conditioning this year because the fourth quarter is where you can win ballgames,” Gore said. “Our goal is to get our five across before their five and if we have numbers, we are going to play early offense, so we don’t’ have to run sets.”

“We want layups, we want quick transition 3’s, so we are going to come at you,” Gore said. “If you can’t beat us down the floor it is going to cause problems for you.”

Regan Geary led three Lady Huskies in double figures way with 14 points. Taylor Ray and Veltri each finished with 11 points and Huffman just missed double figures finishing with eight points and a team high nine rebounds.

“I will take that every night,” Garretson said. “I didn’t realize that we had three (in double figures) and almost a fourth.”

“That is exactly what I want out of this team,” Garretson said. "I think there will be nights where somebody steps up and hits some points, but I love that balance.”

For the game, Herbert Hoover shot 21 of 61 from the field good for 34.4 percent. The Lady Huskies shot slightly better from 3, connecting on 7 of 20 attempts from behind the arc for 35 percent.

“We are still battling through figuring out our combinations, who we got and who we need at certain times,” Garretson said. “I tell them it is the process, and it is not going to happen overnight, we will know who we need to put in those situations, who we need to put in to shoot against a zone, but it is still a learning curve.”

Farley led all scorers with 27 points. She was 10 of 18 from the field and shot 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

“Daizi is a great shooter that is what she does, and she doesn’t hesitate,” Gore said. “We try to put all the confidence in our girls, with the way we practice we want them to put the ball in the air, and it was good to see her have a good night from behind the arc.”

Evans, who played at Chapmanville Middle School before transferring to George Washington High School, struggled from the field in her return home. Evans connected on 3 of 12 field goal attempts but was 8 of 12 from the free throw line and finished with 15 points for the Lady Tigers.

“Alaira, I thought that was a quiet 15 for her as well. She got in foul trouble early and couldn’t get in as much of a rhythm in the first half,” Gore said. “I am sure she had a little bit of jitters playing back in front of her home crowd for the first time.”

Chapmanville shot 40.4 percent from the floor as a team. The Lady Tigers was 17 of 42 from the field and 8 of 23 from 3-point range for the evening. In the first, they shot 5 of 18 from the field, but rebounded to shoot 50 percent, 12 for 24 in the second half.

Gore wasn’t real happy with her team’s 15 turnovers, most of which she felt came in the final minutes as the Lady Tigers were attempting to close out the win.

“Late in the game I believe we were up six or seven at one point, and then we made a few turnovers where we got into a little bit of rush when we didn’t need to,” Gore said. “Those are things that we can look at on film, made some adjustments and just realize that the clock is on our side and there is no need to be in a hurry.”

“I think around 0:40 left we came down and tried to run a 2 on 2 fastbreak, but we didn’t have numbers and ended up throwing the ball away,” Gore said. “They went down got fouled and hit an and one, but those are things that are fixable, but I did like our effort.”

Herbert Hoover and Chapmanville will return to action Saturday in the Big 10-Cardinal Conference Challenge.

The Lady Huskies will host Liberty Harrison, a team Garretson doesn’t know a lot about, but said his Lady Huskies will be up to the challenge and eager to open its home portion of the schedule.

“I hate to admit it I know nothing about them (Liberty Harrison), but I did my research and my research has been that I did see that they have one vote preseason rankings,” Garretson said. “I said ‘that is one more than we got,’ and secondly I did watch a video of a game I found online to see what they were doing.”

“I don’t know if they have the same coach, I might want to figure that out,” Garretson said. "It is kind of unexpected what we got Saturday but we will be happy playing our first home game.”

Chapmanville (1-0) will have an opportunity to pick a signature victory on the season if they can defeat Class AAA No. 8 Fairmont Senior.

The Lady Polar Bears have finished as runner-up in Class AAA the past two seasons and Gore knows they will present a challenge to her team Saturday afternoon.

“They did lose two D1 prospects, who were seniors in Meredith Maier and Marley (Washenitz) up at Pitt,” Gore said. “They did lose the bulk of their scoring, but they did get transfer in Sadaya Jones from Morgantown, who is a lefty, about 5’10’’, who can shoot it and likes to get all the way to the rim.”

“We will have to really key in on her and slow her down, and hopefully try to get her in a little bit of foul trouble early,” Gore said. “If we take care of her and keep things in front of us everywhere else, and make sure we keep her off the boards then we got a good crack at starting out 2-0 and that is the goal.”



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