There are not too many game in high school basketball, especially at the girls’ JV level, where a team falls behind 17-0 in the first half and then somehow rallies to win. Fans in attendance at West Union High School were witness to just that on Jan. 21 as they saw the JV Lady Dragons pull off a miracle comeback after facing that huge deficit in the first half, rallying in the second half to overtake and defeat the North Adams Lady Devils JV girls by a final score of 35-31.
Anyone watching the first quarter of last Thursday’s game, especially West Union fans, may have thought it was a good time to make a trip to the concession stand or just have a chat with friends because the action was totally dominated by the visiting Lady Devils. Firing off some long-distance bombs, North Adams hit a quartet of three-pointers in the first period, one each by Brooklyn Wylie, Charlee Louden, Brooklyn Stout, and Caitlin Young. The Lady Devils’ defense pitched a shutout for the first six minutes and held a seemingly comfortable 15-0 lead.
After being blanked in the opening stanza, the Lady Dragons finally got some offense in the second period, getting two baskets from Ashley Reed and another from Kaley Daniels, plus in an omen of things to come, three free throws. Stout kept the hot hand for North Adams in the second quarter, adding 8 more points to her total and at the halftime break, the Lady Devils still held a nice advantage, up 25-9.
Whatever happened to the two teams during the 10-minute break, the second half was the absolute opposite of the first. The Lady Dragons came out of the intermission with a renewed fire and a new intensity on defense as they held the Lady Devils to just one basket in the third quarter. In the meantime, the West Union comeback began with Kaley Daniels hitting a three, Jaycee Baldwin getting 5 in the period, and as the two sides moved to the fourth quarter, the Lady Dragons had sliced the gap down to 27-20, with all the momentum on their side.
The offensive struggles continued in the final six minutes for the Lady Devils, as their only field goal was a three-pointer by Madee Shipley and they went a dismal 1 for 7 from the free throw line. The exact opposite was true for West Union as they lived at the charity stripe in the quarter, hitting 10 or 17 attempts, making their comeback at the line with the clock stopped. A free throw by Kaylee Welch gave the Lady Dragons the lead for the first time and two from the line by Sianna Mills sealed the deal as the home team pulled off the miracle and picked up their 10th win of the season, topping the stunned Lady Devils 35-31.
“We went into the half with the knowledge that we only lost the second quarter by a point after a terrible first quarter,” said West Union head coach Ted Pennington. “The girls just believed and we played great defense and executed.”
“To come back like that and to have Kaylee and Sianna hit those pressure free throws was just awesome.”
In the win, West Union was led in scoring by Kaylee Welch with 10 points, 8 of those coming from the free throw line. Kaley Daniels added 8, with Jaycee Baldwin getting 5 and Ashley Reed and Haley Daniels 4 apiece.
North Adams was led by 11 points from Brooklyn Stout, all in the first half, and 7 from Brooklyn Wylie. In the game, the Lady Devils actually made more three-point goals (6) than they did two-point shots (4).
Both teams were victorious in their next outings on Jan. 25, with the Lady Dragons topping Ripley 20-10 in two quarters and the Lady Devils improving to 12-4 with a 37-30 win over Washington.
NAHS 15 10 2 4 — 31
WUHS 0 9 11 15 —35
NAHS (31): Wylie 2 2-4 7, Wright 0 0-1 0, Louden 1 0-5 3, Stout 3 3-4 11, Shipley 1 0-0 3, Young 1 0-0 3, Harper 2 0-0 4, Team 10 5-14 31.
WUHS (35): Welch 1 8-16 10, Baldwin 1 3-4 5, Rowe 1 0-2 2, Mills 0 2-2 2, Reed 2 0-0 4, H. Daniels 1 2-6 4, K. Daniels 3 1-2 8, Team 9 16-32 35.
NAHS- Wylie 1, Louden 1, Stout 2, Shipley 1, Young 1
WUHS- K. Daniels 1