By Mark Carpenter
Sometimes no matter what you do, it’s just not your night. That had to be the way Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams Lady Devils felt last Thursday night as they faced off with a very talented South Webster Lady Jeeps squad in a district semi-final contest at Jackson High School. After seeing their county counterpart Peebles fall in overtime in the opening game, the Lady Devils hoped to salvage one win for Adams County but that was not in the script.
Not on top of their game from the beginning, the Lady Devils dug themselves a deep first quarter hole by making just 1 of 13 shots, and they could just never dig out as they were downed by the Lady Jeeps by a final score of 50-39.
“South Webster is a very quick team and we thought we could handle them a little bit,” said Davis. “After the first quarter, I thought our zone did a pretty good job of stopping their quick guards. We just didn’t shoot the ball early and had to battle back all night but just couldn’t get that big bucket when we needed it.”
“I told them before the game that we couldn’t afford to come out flat again. If you aren’t going to have energy for 32 minutes in a district semi, you never will have energy. We watched plenty of film on South Webster and thought we were ready.”
The first quarter on this night may have been the worst performance of the season in an eight minute span for the North Adams girls as they manged just three points, a Rylee Copas basket at the 6:13 mark and a Taylor Gast free throw with 4:47 left. The rest of the period was a total blank for the Lady Devils’ offense as the Lady Jeeps pulled away early. A three-point play by South Webster’s Kacie Hall with 1:08 left were the final points of the opening period and they capped a 9-0 run that gave the Lady Jeeps a 14-3 advantage.
The Lady Devils got a pair of free throws from Mikayla Jodrey on their opening possession of the second stanza but the Lady Jeeps quickly answered with back to back baskets from Taylor Shonkwiler. A “3” by Courtney Blanton culminated a 8-2 South Webster run and the Lady Devils were staring at a 22-6 deficit.
North Adams began to show some signs of life midway through the second quarter as a bucket by Brittany Stout and two more by Copas made it 24-12. Later scores from Jodrey and Copas again gave the North Adams faithful something to hope for as the South Webster halftime lead was sliced to 26-16.
That momentum that closed the first half carried over into the second for the Lady Devils as they made their biggest run of the game in the third quarter. When Sara Dinsmore rebounded her own miss, scored, was fouled, and hit the free throw, followed by a Jodrey put back, the Lady Devils began a 13-4 run that got them closer than they had been since the three-minute mark of the first quarter,
With 47.6 seconds left in the period, Copas hit a scoop shot in the lane to make it 34-29 South Webster. The Lady Devils then had numerous opportunities to cut the gap even more, but could just get nothing to fall. North Adams’ Karly Boerger was fouled as the buzzer sounded and all alone at the line, hit two free throws and the third period ended with the Lady Jeeps on top 38-31.
Gast nailed a three out of the corner two minutes into the final quarter to keep the deficit at five but that was before the Lady Jeeps reeled off six straight that for all practical purposes, nailed the coffin shut on the Lady Devils. Trailing now 45-34, North Adams got a trey from Copas with 3:20 left but every time the Lady Devils scored, South Webster seemed to quickly have an answer as the green and gold could not get anything resembling a defensive stop at crunch time.
The final North Adams basket of the 2013-14 season came from Jodrey but it was as the cliche says, too little,too late, as the Lady Jeeps (19-3) claimed the 50-39 win and moved on to the district championship game where they will have the chance to avenge a loss there last year to the same Waterford team they will match up with tomorrow night.
For the Lady Devils, another successful season came to a close with a 19-4 record and a share of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference big school title, as they finished 11-2 in the league.
In the final game, North Adams was led by 15 points by Rylee Copas, who will return next year for her senior season. The Lady Devils bid farewell to four seniors, one of them, Mikayla Jodrey also hit double figures with 10 points. Fellow seniors Taylor Gast, Brittany Stout, and Sara Dinsmore all were integral parts in the success of the 2013 -14 North Adams squad.
“We lose four great seniors, but we have JV and eighth grade kids ready to step in and play,” said Coach Davis. “We want to promote a family atmosphere, everyone playing for each other.”
The advancing Lady Jeeps were paced by 19 points from sophomore guard Kacie Hall, with Shonkwiler adding 11.
“She’s got the ability that doesn’t come around too often,” South Webster head coach Kristie Johnson said of Hall. “She’s got a ton of heart and she’s got a high basketball IQ.”
Waterford and South Webster will tip off tomorrow night at 6:15 p.m. for the district championship and a trip to the regional tournament.
“It’s sweet because we have wanted this chance since last year,” said Coach Johnson. “Our goal was to get back here and possibly face them again.”
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
3 13 15 8 —39
14 12 12 12 —50
N. Adams (39): Gast 1 2-4 5, Copas 6 2-2 15, Stout 1 0-3 2, Boerger 1 2-2 4, Jodrey 4 2-4 10, Sara Dinsmore 1 1-1 3,
Team 14 7-16 39.
S. Webster (50): Blanton 1 3-6 6, Shonkwiler 5 0-1 11, Hall 8 3-6 19, Johnson 0 2-4 2, Weakley 2 0-0 5,
Potters 3 1-2 7, Team 19 9-19 50.
Three-Point Goals: N. Adams- Gast 1, Copas 1
S. Webster- Blanton 1, Shonkwiler 1, Weakley 1