Chapmanville's Charity Atwood (left) and Tayli Smith (right) double team Liberty Raleigh's Brooke Brown (40) during the second quarter of the Lady Tigers win in the Class AA Region 3 Section 1 tournament Tuesday night at Danny Godby Gymnasium (Photo courtesy of CKG Graphics).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
CHAPMANVILLE Alaira Evans scored 22 points and Haley Fleming had 17 first half points to lead Chapmanville to a 74-10 victory over Liberty (Raleigh) in the opening round of the Class AA Region 3 Section 1 tournament Tuesday night at the Danny Godby Gymnasium.
Ten of the 14 players that saw action for Chapmanville scored as the Lady Tigers led the entire game and were ahead by as many as 68 points in the fourth quarter.
“It is good to see all the girls get some playing time and have a good time with it,” Chapmanville coach Kristina Gore said. “It has been an enjoyable season and hopefully we can end of a positive note.”
Chapmanville scored the first 66 points of the contest and held leads of 27-0 after one quarter and 50-0 at halftime.
“Coming into the game, I understood that Liberty (Raleigh) was still growing as a team, working hard but still struggling and in the end, it is one of those games that you got to play,” Gore said. “You want your girls to play hard, don’t want anyone to develop bad habits. We did shoot the ball well, had a lot of fast break opportunities, and I am happy to get the win and move on to Friday’s game.”
With Chapmanville ahead by a wide margin officials shortened the second quarter to six minutes while the second half consisted of a pair of five-minute quarters.
Liberty (Raleigh) was held scoreless for 17:47 before Ayreyonia Parris knocked down a 3 from the right corner with 1:13 to play in the third quarter.
“I know with basketball or any other sport it is (about) winning, but winning is not everything, it is (about) establishing friendships,” Liberty (Raleigh) coach Denise Arline said. “Some of these girls didn’t know each other or had nothing to do with each other prior to playing.”
“They played until the end, and I don’t care what the score is,” Arline said. “I told to play and have a good time and I think most of them had a good time.”
Chapmanville was coming off a 67-36 loss at Greenbrier East on Friday night after Gore benched her starters in the second quarter for what lack of intensity on the offensive and defensive end.
“It was a difficult decision to make and one that I hated to do because you never want to hurt the feelings of your players or your kids,” Gore said. “I love these girls as people first well before anytime you pull out a basketball, but I needed them to understand that the level of play wasn’t acceptable, that they are capable of so much more and you saw that this evening and I am hopeful you will see that Friday.”
Kirsten Miller led Liberty (Raleigh) with four points Monday night. Brooke Brown and Parris each had three points for the Lady Raiders, who made just three field goals from the field, and finished the season with a 2-20 record.
“I couldn’t ask for any better kids and I have enjoyed it even though it has been a tough season,” Arline said. “We have a no cut policy at the school and some of these kids have never played basketball before, which is good because it has been really good for the girls win, lose or draw. It teaches them more than just winning.”
Lakin Parks finished with seven points for Chapmanville. Brooke Christian and Hannah Miller each had six points and Chloe Thompson five for the Lady Tigers.
Chapmanville, ranked eighth in Class AA, finished with 32 field goals, six of them coming from the 3-point line and improved to 15-8 on the year.
“I don’t believe that truly we are the ninth or 10th ranked best in double-A like we have been ranked most of the year,” Gore said. “I believe we have just as good of a shot to represent our region in the state tournament.”
Second-seeded Chapmanville advances to Friday’s sectional championship game against top-seeded and second-ranked Mingo Central.
The Lady Miners and Lady Tigers meet for a third time this season. Mingo Central won both of those meetings this season, winning 55-49 at Chapmanville on Dec. 13 and 50-29 on Miner Mountain on Jan. 17.
Last season, Chapmanville defeated Mingo Central twice during the regular season, but when the two teams met for the sectional championship, it was the Lady Miners winning on the Lady Tigers home floor.
“It stung when it happened, it really did because we knew we let one slip away there,” Gore said. “Just like they (Mingo) have had Wyoming East’s number this season, they have had ours here as of late.”
“It has stuck with us, we are hopeful for some redemption, but not just because it is them but because we know what we are capable of and what we are able to do,” Gore said. “For our own identity and our own confidence moving forward, we want to get that monkey off our back for us more than anybody.”
Will history repeat itself? Will the Lady Tigers celebrate on the Lady Miners home floor and host one of two Class AA Region 3 championship games Tuesday night?
Gore hopes so and said the Lady Tigers will be ready for the third meeting.
“We have played them two times and I felt like we haven’t given them out best shot,” Gore said. “Mingo is a really good team; they have had a great season and they have been really consistent this year and that is one thing we haven’t been the whole season through.”
“I think we have shown some of that over the past five or six games, we have gotten better and made some strides,” Gore said. “Hoping we can put a good game plan together, go up there and execute and let the girls show what they are really capable of.”
Chapmanville 74, Liberty (Raleigh) 10
Liberty (Raleigh) (2-20)
Parris 1 0-3 3, Miller 2 0-0 4, Brown 0 3-4 3. Totals: 3 3-7 10.
Fleming 7 2-6 17, Miller 3 0-0 6, Parks 3 0-0 7, Mahon 2 0-0 4, Thompson 2 0-0 5, Smith 1 0-0 2, Christian 3 0-0 6, Parsons 1 1-2 3, Blair 1 0-0 2, Evans 9 1-1 22.
Totals: 32 4-9 74.
Liberty (Raleigh) 0 0 4 6- 10
Chapmanville 27 23 19 5- 74
3-point field goals_Liberty (Raleigh) 1 (Parris), Chapmanville 6 (Fleming, Parks, Thompson, Evans 3).