Summer prep for next season continues –
By Mark Carpenter –
The varsity girls basketball Monday Night League continued this past Monday night at North Adams High School with the Lady Devils playing host to the Williamsburg Lady Wildcats from the SBAAC and as a last-minute surprise, the West Union Lady Dragons. The schedule called for the Hillsboro Lady Indians to be on hand, but when they reported that they would not be there, Coach J.R. Kirker and his Lady Dragons jumped in to fill the spot.
In a very muggy and warm NAHS gymnasium, the Lady Dragons were seeing their first competitive action of the summer and as might be expected, they were a bit rusty. Coach Kirker has a unique, but unwanted, situation in his high school program-his players are all either seniors or freshmen, no sophomores or juniors to be found. On top of that, his senior class has been decimated by injuries throughout their entire careers, and on Monday night, two potential starters, Harley Silvia and MacKenzie Bickett were still out, neither cleared to play after knee injuries.
With all those factors in play, the Lady Dragons opened the evening’s play matched up with Coach Rob Davis and the host Lady Devils, who were at full strength with their roster. With the youth of the West Union squad struggling in their first varsity exposure, the Lady Dragons only managed 18 points in the two 20-minute halves and fell to North Adams by a final count of 67-18.
With no rest for the weary, the Lady Dragons stepped right back to the court to face Williamsburg in the night’s second match up. The Lady Cats had no juniors or seniors on hand Monday night, but have a much-heralded sophomore class that should make some noise in the next three seasons. After the first 20 minutes, the Lady Cats held a 27-18 advantage. West Union’s Kiersten Rowe scored the first basket of the second half to trim the deficit to seven, but the “Burg” then went on a 20-0 run to cruise to a 51-29 victory.
The final battle of the night saw Williamsburg facing off with North Adams, two pretty talented squads in an anticipated summer duel. The Lady Cats jumped to a quick 6-0 lead, but North Adams answered with an 11-0 run and then rode the hot hand of sharp-shooting senior Grace McDowell to a 31-19 halftime advantage. The Lady Devils held that margin in the second half and remained unbeaten at 6-0 in the Monday Night League, downing the Lady Cats by a final score of 53-42.
“I was pleased with our play tonight,” said Coach Davis. “We looked pretty good at times.”
The previous Friday (June 15) the Lady Devils had participated in a shootout at Eastern Pike and had another successful day. In their Friday opener, they fell to Milford 30-26, but bounced back to top Goshen 42-30, then fell to the host team 47-37. North Adams won the day’s overtime tournament, downing Eastern Pike 48-43, Alexander 50-46, and Goshen 49-44.
The final night of the Monday Night league for the North Adams girls will be on June 25 at Blanchester High School, where the Lady Devils will face the host school at 6 p.m. and then fellow SHAC member Whitoeak at 7 p.m.