Lady Devils rout West Union for historic ‘W’ –
By Mark Carpenter –
As the longest active tenured varsity basketball coach in Adams County, the list of accolades for North Adams Lady Devils head coach Rob Davis is long and impressive. Add another one to the list.
With his team’s 62-27 win over West Union on Jan. 25, Davis, already the winningest coach in North Adams girls basketball history, reached another milestone, picking up win number 250 in his 19 years as head man of the Lady Devils.
“I didn’t even realize that this was number 250,” Davis told The Defender after another historic victory. “It just means I’ve been around here a long time and I couldn’t have done it without all the kids and family support. To coach this long, you have to have support and backing and I definitely have that with my family.
“If I didn’t really love what I am doing and all these kids, I wouldn’t have been around for 250.”
As for the game itself on Thursday night, it all went pretty much by the expected script as the heavily favored Lady Devils easily handled the injury-ridden West Union squad, riding the hot hand of Avery Harper to a 21-5 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Devils are known for their defensive prowess and that showed when they blanked the Lady Dragons in the second quarter and a three-pointer at the buzzer by Lakyn Hupp sent them to the intermission with a commanding 47-5 advantage.
A bright spot appeared for the Lady Dragons in the second half in the form of junior Kiersten Rowe, who found her range from long distance in the fourth period, firing in four three-pointers as part of a 19-point second half for #22. The margin was far too much for the West Union squad to overcome, however, and the Lady Devils improved to 14-2 on the year and claimed their 11th consecutive win by the final count of 62-27.
Eight different North Adams players dented the scoring column, led by 18 points from Hupp, with Avery Harper adding 12 and senior point guard Taylor Hesler chipped in with her best offensive output of the season, also scoring 12. Grace McDowell tallied 7 points with Delaney Harper tossing in 6. The Lady Devils fired in eight three-point goals in the win.
Rowe easily led the Lady Dragons with her 19 points.
Besides the 250 wins, Coach Davis and the Lady Devils are also in the hunt for their seventh consecutive Southern Hills Athletic Conference title, though this one would be different, coming with the move this season to the conference’s big school division. The Lady Devils are currently tied with Eastern Brown at the top of the standings with one loss apiece, and have three conference games remaining, beginning with a trip to Ripley on Thursday, Feb. 1. Before that, North Adams faced a tough non-conference foe when they hosted Washington Court House on Monday night.
The Lady Dragons bounced back from Thursday’s loss to pick up their fourth win of the season on Saturday, hosting and defeating the Western Lady Indians by a final score of 52-47. Coach J.R. Kirker and his squad faced a tough week in the SHAC with road games at Eastern Brown on Monday and then a trip to Fairfield on Thursday, then a non-conference trip to Greenfield on Saturday.
21 26 11 4 –62
5 0 8 14 –27
N. Adams (62): Hesler 5 0-0 12, W. Shipley 1 0-0 3, Hupp 7 2-2 18, M. Shipley 1 0-0 3, McDowell 2 1-2 7, Raines 0 1-2 1, D. Harper 3 0-0 6, A. Harper 5 2-2 12, Team 24 6-8 62.
W. Union (27): Kirker 1 0-0 3, Rowe 6 3-3 19, H. Daniels 1 0-0 3, K. Daniels 1 0-0 2, Team 9 3-3 27.
N. Adams (8): Hesler 2, W. Shipley 1, Hupp 2, M. Shipley 1, McDowell 2
W. Union (6): Kirker 1, Rowe 4, H. Daniels 1