Just like neither rain nor sleet nor snow can stop the mailman, a Level Two Snow Emergency cannot stop the passion for basketball in Adams County. Never was that more evident than last Thursday night at Peebles High School when the only game in the county during the midst of a winter storm was a rematch that fans needed only to wait a week for.
Just five nights earlier the finals of the McDonald’s Classic had been another chapter in the storied rivalry between the girls basketball programs at North Adams and Peebles and that result ended up in favor of the Lady Indians. On Thursday night, the Lady Devils traveled to Peebles looking to avenge that loss and more importantly, looking to take over sole possession of first place in the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
It turned out to be a fruitful trip for North Adams as they achieved both those goals by taking down the Lady Indians in Peebles by a final score of 46-37.
“I thought we rebounded the ball extremely well tonight and last week we didn’t,”said North Adams head coach Rob Davis. “We mixed it up a little and went with the full court man pressure tonight and it helped us get off to a better start.”
“Our three-point shooting kept us in the game tonight but we have still got to start finishing around the basket.”
In their first meeting, it had been Peebles jumping out to an early advantage but those tables turned Thursday as the Lady Devils used some intense full court pressure to rattle the home team. Baskets by Mikayla Jodrey and Sara Dinsmore plus a Taylor Gast three-pointer gave North Adams a 7-0 lead. Peebles did not get on the board until the halfway point of the first quarter on a Brooke Justice trey, but the visitors matched that and doubled it with back to back threes from the Dinsmore sisters, Sara first and then a bank job by Staci to make it 13-3.
Peebles got a free throw from Baylee Wallace but the quarter closed with the North Adams defense producing a steal and easy lay-in for Staci Dinsmore and a 15-4 North Adams lead.
The Peebles girls did not come into this game undefeated for no reason and they showed their grit by firing off the first six points of the second quarter, capitalizing this time on North Adams turnovers to get two baskets from Wallace and one from Sidney Pell. North Adams got on the board in a big way as Sara Dinsmore drilled a three but Peebles freshman Jessica Sowards answered that with three the old-fashioned way then a jumper to cut the Lady Devils’ lead to 18-15.
When Justice stepped beyond the arc to drain her second three of the game, the comeback was complete with the game tied at 18, but only for a matter of seconds as North Adams came right back down and got treys from Gast and Rylee Copas to take a six-point lead with 3:10 left in the half. Those were the last points that the visitors could put up in the second quarter as the Lady Indians squandered a huge opportunity to take control and momentum into halftime. As it was, all they managed was a bucket by Wallace in that span and the half ended with North Adams up 24-20.
If the halftime break was meant to recharge the offenses of these two teams, it failed miserably as the two teams put on a third period offensive show that they both hope will soon be forgotten, combining for just 9 points. The first six of those belonged to Peebles as they got a three from Sowards on their first possession and a later basket from Pell to take their first lead of the game at 25-24. Also in this span, the Lady Devils again lost their snake bitten point guard Taylor Gast, who suffered an eye injury and did not return.
With 3:15 left in the third, a Wallace free throw gave Peebles a two-point lead and it wasn’t until the 2:30 mark that the Lady Devils scored their only points of the period, a Brittany Stout three that put them back in front 27-26. A period marked by poor shooting and numerous turnovers and a combined 3 for 20 shooting stat ended with North Adams still clinging to that one-point advantage.
“Sometimes we get in the habit of just standing around against a zone instead of trying to find the gaps,” said Coach Davis of his team’s offensive struggles.
The offenses came back to life in the final eight minutes and it was North Adams first as the nimble Staci Dinsmore got another steal and layup followed by a Karly Boerger free throw to move their lead to four. A later basket “and one” from Jodrey stretched the lead to 33-28 and a Copas three made it 36-30 with under five to play.
Staci Dinsmore rebounded her own miss and put it back in to give the Lady Devils an eight point margin as they slowly began to take control. Sowards hit a pair from the stripe to pull Peebles within 38-33 with three minutes left, but the Lady Devils had an answer, getting a three-point play from Sara Dinsmore, 10-second call in the back court on the Indians, a Boerger free throw, and a bucket by Copas to lead 44-33 with just a minute left.
That lead was too much for the Lady Indians to overcome and the Lady Devils had picked up a big SHAC road victory, knocking off the home team by a final count of 46-37.
Continuing her impressive senior season coming back from a knee injury, Sara Dinsmore led the Lady Devils and all scorers in the game with 13 points, the only North Adams player to hit double figures. Sister Staci Dinsmore had 9 points as the pair combined for nearly half the Lady Devils’ points. Rylee Copas scored 8 and Taylor Gast had 6 before being forced to leave the game. The Lady Devils were helped considerably by the fact that they made 8 three-pointers in the game.
For Peebles, two players reached double figures as Sidney Pell had 10 as did Jessica Sowards. Baylee Wallace had 8 and Brooke Justice 6 for the Lady Indians.
With the win, the Lady Devils improved to 8-2 on the year, 6-0 in the SHAC. North Adams is scheduled to travel to Portsmouth West tonight or a non-league contest and then to Eastern Brown tomorrow in a return to SHAC action.
The Lady Indians bounced back nicely from this loss to defeat Portsmouth West on Saturday 62-39, leaving them at 9-1 on the season, 4-1 in the SHAC. After having Monday’s trip to Lynchburg cancelled by the bitter cold weather conditions, they will be back in SHAC play tomorrow night with a very tough task, a road trip to play the unbeaten Fayetteville Lady Rockets.
Peebles and North Adams will meet again in a game that could very well decide a league title. That match up occurs Jan. 27 at North Adams High School.
“This league is a battle every year, but that’s what makes it fun,” said Davis. “You have to come out and compete every night and these two teams are rivals and fun to watch play.”
North Adams was also a winner in the JV contest, 46-21.
15 9 3 19 —46
4 16 6 11 —37
N. Adams (46): Staci Dinsmore 4 0-1 9, Gast 2 0-0 6, Copas 3 0-0 8, Stout 1 0-0 3, Boerger 0 2-4 2, Baker 0 0-2 0,
Jodrey 2 1-1 5, Sara Dinsmore 4 3-3 13, Team 16 6-11 46.
Peebles (37): Toller 1 1-2 3, Sowards 3 3-3 10, Justice 2 0-1 6, Pell 3 4-5 10, Wallace 3 2-4 8, Team 12 10-15 37.
Three-Point Goals: N. Adams- Staci Dinsmore 1, Gast 2, Copas 2, Stout 1, Sara Dinsmore 2
Peebles- Justice 2, Sowards 1