By Mark Carpenter
With their share of first place in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference still on the line, Coach Tony Williams and his his eighth grade North Adams Lady Devils entertained an ever-improving group of West Union Lady Dragons last Wednesday night. To make it to a championship showdown game with Eastern, the Lady Devils had to get past West Union and though it was a struggle for most of the night, North Adams pulled away to post a 33-24 win.
The first quarter belonged to West Union, as they outplayed the home team and led by twins Haley and Kaley Daniels, surprised the Lady Devils and grabbed an 11-7 advantage.
As the second period opened, the Lady Devils fought back with baskets on their first two possessions to tie the game, first a basket by Lakyn Hupp and then a baseline jumper from Madee Shipley. West Union took the lead right back with a “3” by Baylee Welch, which was followed by a bucket in the paint by North Adams’ Avery Harper that kept the game tight.
The Lady Devils took the lead back on a basket by Taylor Hesler, but the visitors responded with deuces from Welch and Haley Daniels to go up 18-15. In the final minute of the first half, North Adams battled back to forge a halftime tie with a Harper free throw and a basket by Brooklyn Stout. The two county rivals headed to intermission deadlocked at 18.
The third quarter began with West Union getting a free throw from Caitlyn Cooper but they would not change the scoreboard again until the buzzer sounded to end the period. In the meantime, the Lady Devils finally woke up and took control of a game that they desperately needed to win, scoring 12 points in a row, beginning with baskets by Hupp and Harper on back to back possessions and ending with a long distance show of three pointers by Stout, who hit a pair from beyond the arc, the last coming with just 10 seconds left in the quarter to give her team a 30-19 lead. West Union got a Haley Daniels free throw when she was fouled at the buzzer and sank one of two, but headed to the final six minutes, the Lady Devils had taken control, in front 30-20.
It was a good thing that the home side had built a cushion in the third quarter because the final six minutes of this contest became an offensive crawl on both sides, with the two teams combining for just 7 points. The Lady Devils only managed one field goal, that by Hupp, while the Lady Dragons got two, one from Welch and one from Haley Daniels. The low-scoring fourth quarter was good for North Adams as it allowed them to maintain their lead and post a 33-24 win, in a game much tougher than a 9-point spread at the end might indicate.
For the winners, Avery Harper led the way with 11 points, with Brooklyn Stout getting 8 and Lakyn Hupp 6. West union was paced by 9 points from Haley Daniels, 7 from Baylee Welch, and 5 from Kaley Daniels.
The win sets up a “winner take all” SHAC match up tonight for the Lady Devils.North Adams, now 11-1 on the year, will host the Eastern Lady Warriors, the only team to defeat them this season. The winner will take the 8th Grade Girls SHAC regular season title. Tip off is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
11 7 2 4 —24
7 11 12 3 —33
W. Union (24): Welch 3 0-0 7, Cooper 1 1-2 3, H. Daniels 4 1-4 9, K. Daniels 2 0-0 5, Team 10 2-6 24.
N. Adams (33): Wright 0 1-2 1, Campton 0 0-1 0, Stout 3 0-0 8, Shipley 2 1-2 5, Hupp 3 0-1 6, Hesler 1 0-2 2,
Harper 3 5-12 11, Team 12 7-20 33.
Three-Point Goals: W. Union - Welch 1, K. Daniels 1
N. Adams- Stout 2