Lady Devils topple Lynchburg, next test was Eastern Brown on Monday –
By Mark Carpenter –
With the move up to the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference for the 2017-18 season, the obstacles in the path of Coach Rob Davis and the North Adams Lady Devils securing a seventh consecutive conference title became a lot more challenging. One of those obstacles came to Seaman last Thursday night as the Lynchburg Clay Lady Mustangs presented SHAC challenge number one to the Lady Devils.
The ladies from North Adams proved worthy of this first challenge as they used three players in double figures to handle the Lady Mustangs by a final score of 63-46. The schedule maker did no favors to the Lady Devils, as they had little time to savor this win, as they had to get ready for a Monday night match up with last year’s regional champion Eastern Lady Warriors. (Look for a full report on that game in the upcoming weekend edition of The People’s Defender.)
As for the Lynchburg game, 8-0 runs in the first and third quarters were the impetus for the Lady Devils, as they got double figure scoring performances from Avery Harper, Grace McDowell, and Lakyn Hupp, on their way to the double-digit win.
“Our bench did a solid job for us tonight when we battled some foul trouble,” said Coach Davis in the post game. “It was just an all-around tremendous team effort for us. We took care of the basketball much better tonight, still missed some easy shots, but we’re not going to make them all.”
“We played well inside-out tonight and that allowed us to get some of the three-pointers that we hit. We didn’t force things and were patient on offense.”
The tone for the night was set early in Thursday’s North Adams “W”, with a three-pointer from McDowell opening the scoring. Lynchburg battled back to tie the game at 5, but the Lady Devils then reeled off eight straight, getting back to back threes from Madee Shipley and McDowell to go up 13-5. The Lady Mustangs answered with a 5-0 spurt of their own, but the first quarter closed with Hupp nailing a trey and a bucket inside by Harper that left the home team on top 18-10.
The first three minutes of the second stanza belonged totally to the Lady Mustangs as a Zoe Fittro three-pointer began a 7-0 run that pulled the visitors to within one, but that was as close as they could get the rest of the way. A three from the wing by McDowell halted the Lynchburg run and a basket by Hupp put the home side’s lead back at six points.
The Lady Mustangs have a weapon, though, and junior guard Peyton Scott, who recently reached the 1,000 point mark for her career, scored four straight and combined with a bucket by Fittro, sliced the North Adams lead to 26-23 by halftime.
Any momentum that Lynchburg may have gotten at the end of the first half evaporated quickly as the second half began with an 8-0 Lady Devils run, with the home team scoring on their first four possessions of the third period. A later “basket and one” by Hupp off a nice Avery Harper assist made it 39-27 and Scott soon picked up her fourth foul and had to exit the game and while she was sitting, the Lady Devils ended the third quarter on a 9-2 run , fueled by a Brooklyn Stout three-pointer, and after three quarters, North Adams was firmly in control, leading 50-31.
Stout opened the fourth quarter with another three ball, matched by a Scott three-point play, but the Lady Devils maintained their advantage, getting a later 6-0 run on baskets by Taylor Hesler, McDowell, and Hupp. It was all over but the shouting at this point as the Lady Mustangs scored the game’s final five points but far too late, as the Lady Devils picked up a big early conference win by the final count of 63-46.
It was Avery Harper and Grace McDowell leading the way for North Adams with 16 points apiece, with Lakyn Hupp right behind at 15. It was a double double night for Harper as she also hauled down 13 rebounds. Brooklyn Stout and Madee Shipley added 6 each, both getting pair of three-point goals.
Peyton Scott continued her assault on the Lynchburg record books, leading the Lady Mustangs with 24 points (10-10 from the foul line), with Zoe Fittro adding 10.
“Scott is an amazing player at getting to the basket but I thought we did a nice job of making her work for all her points tonight,” said Coach Davis. “Her getting in foul trouble was a big part of our win too.”
As mentioned before, the Lady Devils, now 3-1 on the season, faced obstacle number two on Monday, Dec. 11 when they made the short trip down Rte. 32 to Brown County and a tough SHAC road match up with the Eastern Brown Lady Warriors. On Thursday, Dec. 14, North Adams will host Whiteoak in conference play.
10 13 8 15 –46
18 8 22 13 –61
Lynchburg (46): Blankenship 2 1-2 5, Fittro 3 2-3 10, Smith 0 0-2 0, Scott 7 10-10 24, Binkley 3 1-3 7, Team 15 14-20 46.
N.Adams (63): Hesler 1 0-2 2, Hupp 5 5-5 15, Stout 2 0-0 6, Shipley 2 0-0 6, McDowell 6 1-2 16, D. Harper 1 0-0 2, A. Harper 7 2-2 16, Team 24 8-11 63.
Lynchburg (2): Fittro 2
N. Adams (7): Stout 2, Shipley 2, McDowell 3