North Adams. Lynchburg finish off summer activities –
Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
The end of the month of June also signifies the end of summer basketball action as teams now enter their dead period before the onset of the 2017-18 school year. One of the summer events for local girls’ basketball squads was the annual Monday Night League which concluded on June 26 in three different sites, one of them North Adams High School, where the Lady Devils welcomed in the Western Brown Lady Broncos and fellow SHAC member, the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs.
The opening match up of the night saw North Adams roll past Western Brown 45-28, and next up Lynchburg also topped Western by a score of 48-20. The final game of the night, with games being two 20-minute halves, was an early peek at two of the top teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference’s big school division, with North Adams moving up to the big school for the 17-18 season.
The Lady Mustangs will have a different look this season, a bit lower in numbers and missing the graduated Binkley twins, but they still return perhaps the top player in the conference in junior Peyton Scott and Scott was on hand to face the Lady Devils, who were down two starters with Taylor Hesler and Grace McDowell on a school trip.
The first half of the LC-NA match up was a defensive struggle, with scoring at a premium on both sides. A three-pointer by Brooklyn Wylie put North Adams up 15-11 at the 2:30 mark, but Lynchburg rallied to tie before a basket in transition by Avery Harper gave the Lady Devils a 17-17 halftime lead.
The scoring picked up a bit in the second half with a layup by Alaina Eiterman and a three by Lakyn Hupp putting North Adams up 24-20. The hard-to-stop Scott then led a Lynchburg run of 13-3 that gave the advantage back to the visitors at 33-27. Another Harper bucket cut the North Adams deficit to four, but Scott penetrated for a bucket off the glass to make it 35-29.
Scores by Harper and Hupp pulled the Lady Devils within two with 36 seconds left but the Lady Mustangs sealed the win at the free throw line, winning the summer finale 37-33.
Despite the loss, North Adams head coach Rob Davis was still pleased with the progress his team has made in their summer play and the improvement by some of his underclassmen.
“Overall we have had a good summer,” said Davis. “We’ve had close to 28 kids involved at the high school level which is good. A lot of our freshman and sophomores got a lot of minutes at the varsity level and that can only make them better. We have a lot to look forward to if we just keep working at it.”
“We have a lot of depth with all these young and athletic kids and I tried a lot of different combinations this summer and we got good minutes from everyone tonight and all summer. Next year should really be a fun year, but it won’t be easy with the move up to the division with Lynchburg and Eastern Brown. With just two sectionals next year, that is going to be a lot tougher.”