By Mark Carpenter
Still battling for a title in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, Coach Tony Williams and his 8th grade North Adams Lady Devils faced a tough challenge last Saturday morning with a road trip to one of the league’s toughest venues and a match up with the Fairfield Lady Lions. Trailing after three quarters, the Lady Devils rallied in the final six minutes to pull off a huge road win, knocking off the Lady Lions 33-26.
“This was an incredible game for us,” said Coach Williams. “We struggled early getting into our half court offense and we knew with Fairfield’s speed that we would have to play good half court defense and not allow them to get into transition.”
Those early offensive struggles that Coach Williams referred to led to just a 4-point first quarter for the Lady Devils, baskets by Lakyn Hupp and Avery Harper.In the second period, North Adams cut the Fairfield lead to 11-10 on a steal and layup by Charlee Louden but the Lady Lions extended their lead before halftime by hitting a “prayer” three right before the buzzer.
In the third quarter, the Lady Devils’ play was still sluggish as the home team moved out to a lead of 8 points. North Adams remained withing striking distance with a trey by Brooklyn Stout and two more Harper buckets and had sliced that deficit in half by the third period’s end, down just 22-18 with six minutes to go and their tie for first place on the line.
Good teams step up in the face of adversity and that is just what the Lady Devils did in the final quarter on Saturday. North Adams began the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run to turn a 4-point deficit into a 32-23 advantage. That run proved to be enough as the Lady Devils held on and picked up their tenth win of the season by a final score of 33-26.
“We switched to a 3-2 zone in the fourth quarter and that gave Fairfield some problems,” said Williams. “We were able to force them to take some bad shots and we did an excellent job of boxing out and limiting them to one shot. Several of our girls hit big shots to push us ahead. Everyone stepped up to earn us a great win over the defending league champions.”
Avery Harper and Brooklyn Stout led the winners with 9 points each, with Lakyn Hupp adding 6 and Charlee Louden 4.
The win improved the Lady Devils to 10-1 on the year and they pushed that to 11-1 on Wednesday night with a win over West Union. (Look for that game report in next week’s issue of The People’ Defender). That sets up a weather permitting showdown on Saturday that could be for “all the marbles” in the SHAC league race. North Adams hosts Eastern Brown on Saturday, the only team that has defeated the Lady Devils. Both teams have one league loss and will be hungry for a title with the Lady Devils having home court advantage.
“We just have to remain focused now to continue to give ourselves a chance to reach our goals,” added Williams.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
4 6 8 15 —33
7 7 8 4 —26
N. Adams (33): Wright 1 1-4 3, Louden 1 2-2 4, Stout 2 3-4 9, Shipley 0 2-2 2, Hupp 3 0-0 6, Harper 4 1-3 9,
Team 11 9-15 33.
Fairfield (26): Turner 1 1-2 4, McKinnley 2 1-2 5, Shope 1 1-4 3, Adams 2 1-4 5, Barber 4 0-0 9, Team 10 4-12 26.
Three-Point Goals: N. Adams- Stout 2
Farifield- Turner 1, Barber 1