GRAFTON—Keeping with their busy schedule, playing games with limited practices in between, the Lady Bearcats recently faced off again the Lady Cougars of Lincoln High School and Liberty’s Lady Mountaineers.
The Lady Cats would first meet up with the Lady Cougars. The match up would see both the junior varsity and varsity teams drop the contests.
The JV ladies began the night with only two quarters of action.
During the limited play, the Lady Cats would struggle offensively with their first and only basket of the first quarter coming from freshman Kelsey Massie.
Between the strong defense of the Cougars, a shortened contest and being unable to find an offensive flow, Grafton would only earn six points in the last minutes of play.
Massie continued her scoring efforts into the second quarter, adding three more, while teammate Jodi Keene earned a basket and Emma Johnson sunk a free throw, contributing to the Lady Cats final score of eight, while Lincoln, led by Nix and Bragg with eight points each, took the victory with 35.
Having been handed an action packed schedule that left no time for practice, the varsity team also found themselves in a similar situation.
“After playing our fourth game in a row without a practice, it was definitely not our night,” commented head coach Andrew Moore. “We came out flat and allowed them to get some easy run outs in transition.”
The first quarter of action would only see the Lady Bearcats score seven points, compared to Lincoln’s 18, but refused to let the deficit hinder their effort.
Working to battle their way back, Grafton went into the locker room with a 44-14 disadvantage.
Coming back from the break, the Lady Cats remained determined and hopeful, but it just wasn’t their night.
The team added eight points to their score throughout the third quarter of the contest, but remained scoreless through the final eight minutes of play, dropping the contest to the Lady Cougars 85-22.
However, with the unusual season that it is with the uncertainly that is COVID-19, the team and coaching staff continued to press forward, make adjustments and word hard.
And that hard works paid off for the Lady Bearcats as they finished up their seventh game over 11 days, with a come from behind victory over Liberty.
The Cats came out refusing to lose, and took an early nine point lead over the Lady Mountaineers.
In the second quarter, Grafton’s lead was threatened when Liberty made a run bringing them within three points of the Lady Bearcats at the first half ended.
The run for the Mountaineers continued into the third and the Bearcats found themselves behind for the first time, ending the third quarter down by one point, with the score sitting at 44-45.
With the pressure on in a very competitive matchup, the Lady Cats persevered and took the court by storm for the final minutes of play, moving the ball quickly and precisely, out running Liberty’s defense, and shutting down the Lady Mountaineer’s offense.
After a hard fought battle, Grafton’s Kambree Delaney connected with a three point attempt with just 15 seconds to go, giving her team a five point lead.
This basket by Delaney was a spark of energy that the Lady Cats needed, allowing them to come away with the 60-55 win.
“It was a roller coaster of a win. After we jumped out on front of them early, we allowed Liberty to make a run in the second quarter, and it continued into the third quarter and found ourselves down nine in the middle of the third. It was 45-37 Liberty in the middle of the third before we closed the half on a 7-0 run,” Moore reported.
Leading the way for the Lady Cats was Amber Smith, knocking down three baskets from behind the arch contributing to her 13 point total and five rebounds.
“Amber Smith has really come on strong late in the season and hit some valuable three-pointers for us,” Moore shared.
Lady Bearcat Alyssa Satterfield also gave a solid performance, finishing with 11 points, four assists and seven rebounds.
In additional to Delaney’s big three point play, she added a total of 12 points for her team, and went six for six from the charity stripe, while teammate Eva Jones racked up nine points, and went five for six from the stripe.
Jodi Keene added seven points for the Bearcats, Sydney Friend earned six and Izzy Swiger added two.
“Jodi Keene and Eva Jones did all the dirty work for us tonight,” Moore elaborated. “They don’t get enough credit for the hard work they put in.”
He went on to say that two other players that he doesn’t think receive enough credit are Sydney Friend and Izzy Swiger.
“They are two undersize guards that give it all they have each and every game,” he voiced.
Giving his girls all the credit for the win, and not folding under the intense pressure, Moore noted that he is extremely proud of his team’s work ethic and has a great confidence in their abilities.
“This is a special group of girls that doesn’t get enough credit for how hard they have worked this season. I am proud to be a part of this as we move forward,” he exclaimed.