After slow start, North Adams rolls to 84-43 victory –
By Mark Carpenter –
As the high school basketball regular season has wound to a close, one last order of business at each venue is the annual recognition known to all as “Senior Night”. One such ceremony took place at North Adams High School on Thursday, Feb. 8 as the Lady Devils of NAHS hosted the West Union Lady Dragons in Southern Hills Athletic Conference play.
Before the varsity contest on Thursday, 11 girls total were recognized, eight from North Adams and three from West Union. From North Adams, the seniors honored were: Jordan Slack, Brooklyn Wylie, Taylor Hesler, Lakyn Hupp, Brooklyn Stout, Madee Shipley, McKayla Raines, and Avery Harper. From West Union, it was the twins Kaley and Haley Daniels, along with Sianna Mills.
“Our seniors are a pretty special bunch of girls,” said North Adams head coach Rob Davis. “Seven of them have come all the way through our system, but they are all special on and off the court. I couldn’t ask for any more than we have gotten from them. We never have any trouble out of them and they will be missed.”
“Our three seniors were certainly a big part of our team this year, especially stepping up after all the injuries we had,” said West Union head coach J.R. Kirker. “I hated that they couldn’t go out with more wins, but they are all good kids and I wish them all the luck in the world. The all have big hearts and I really can’t say enough about them.”
As far as Thursday night’s basketball game, that went pretty much as expected as after a slow start, the Lady Devils put together a huge 30-0 first half run and then another run of 17 straight in the second half to topple the Lady Dragons by a final score of 84-43, though there may have been more than a few North Adams fans sweating after a sluggish first quarter for the home team.
Riding the hot hand of Sianna Mills, the Lady Dragons actually led by a point after the first eight minutes. After North Adams opened the game with back to back three -pointers from Madee Shipley and Brooklyn Stout, West Union scored the next six to tie the game and went up 8-7 on a basket by Kiersten Rowe at the 3:56 mark. Two more baskets by Mills gave the visiting Lady Dragons a 12-11 lead after one period.
“We got off to a little bit of a slow start,” said Coach Davis. “But once we got all the ceremonies and stuff out of our system, we picked up the intensity.”
“Picked up the intensity” might have been an understatement by the Lady Devils head coach as his team did much more than that in the second quarter. After a three-point goal by Kaley Daniels gave West Union a 15-4 advantage, the North Adams squad woke up and caught fire, scoring the game’s next 30 points over a span of six minutes of play. In that run, the home team drilled four from beyond the arc, two by Madee Shipley and one each for Taylor Hesler, and Lakyn Hupp, as a one-point deficit turned into a 29-point lead.
Another trey by Daniels broke the North Adams run, but the first half finished with a pair of Delaney Harper buckets that gave the home side a commanding 48-18 margin.
It was more of the same as the third period began with North Adams tallying 10 of the first 12 points put on the board and then later when leading 60-26, the Lady Devils reeled off a 17-0 spurt that spanned from the third quarter into the fourth, getting threes from Grace McDowell and Avery Harper, plus an old-fashioned three-point play from Brooklyn Wylie.
Give credit to the Lady Dragons, who drilled a quarter of three-point shots in the game’s final four minutes- getting one each from Kaley and Haley Daniels, another from Rowe, and one from point guard McKenzie Kirker. The final basket of the night came from North Adams’ Alaina Eiterman in what turned out to be the 17th win of the season for the Lady Devils, by the count of 84-43.
Two seniors led the scoring for North Adams, with Hupp tossing in 24 and Avery Harper 15. Freshman Delaney Harper also hit double figures with 10 points, with Madee Shipley adding 9, Grace McDowell 7, and Taylor Hesler 6.
West Union was paced by the Daniels duo, with Kaley chalking up 14 points and Haley adding 10, Sianna Mills and Kiersten Rowe scored 8 apiece for the Lady Dragons, who dropped to 4-16 for the season.
The two teams combined to sink 17 three-pointers in the contest.
For North Adams, one more regular season game remained, a very important conference game at Lynchburg on Monday, Feb. 12. The Lady Devils clinched a share of their seventh consecutive SHAC title with a 45-42 win over the Lady Mustangs. (Look for a report on that game in the upcoming weekend edition of The People’s Defender.)
The Lady Dragons began sectional tournament play on Thursday, Feb. 15, traveling to Lucasville Valley High School for an 8 p.m. match up with that aforementioned Lynchburg squad, the second consecutive season that the two teams have met in the Division III sectionals.
12 6 8 17 –43
11 37 20 16 –84
W. Union (43): K. Daniels 14, Mills 8, Rowe 8, H. Daniels 10, Kirker 3
N. Adams (84): M. Shipley 9, Stout 3, Hupp 24, A. Harper 15, Hesler 6, McDowell 7, Wylie 5, D. Harper 10, Raines 2, Eiterman 3
W. Union (8): K. Daniels 4, Rowe 1, H. Daniels 2, Kirker 1
N. Adams (9): M. Shipley 3, Stout 1, Hesler 2, Hupp 1, McDowell 1, A. Harper 1