GRAFTON—With the weather taking a turn for the worse on Friday and school in most counties being delayed or cancelled, the Grafton Lady Cats’ basketball team didn’t let that stop them from heading to the eastern panhandle this past weekend for games against Berkeley Springs on Friday and Hedgesville on Saturday.
The Lady Cats cruised to a 70-19 win over the Indians on Friday, and then braved the storm against the Eagles on Saturday, hanging on for a 48-41 victory to run their record to 12-5 on the season.
Sophomore Meredith Maier had a big day at the office against Berkeley Springs, scoring 18 points and accounting for five assists, nine rebounds, and eight steals, while senior Bailey Toothman notched a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the victory. In all, the Lady Bearcats recorded 52 rebounds in the contest, 30 on the offensive end alone.
It was this kind of defensive effort that head coach Andrew Moore continues to stress heading into the latter part of the season.
“After getting off to a somewhat slow start, we found our groove offensively which allowed us to get a sizeable lead into halftime,” Moore said after the game. “Our defense did a great job all night, only allowing Berkeley Springs to score six field goals the entire game.”
In addition to Maier and Toothman’s big night, many other Lady Cats were instrumental in the dominant 51-point win over the Indians.
“Meredith got things going offensively but picked up some quick fouls early in the first half,” Moore explained. “Bria and Bailey really asserted themselves offensively. Jocelyn (Countryman) also had a nice game to finish with eight points and four rebounds. It was great to get this sectional win, especially on the road.”
The next day, Grafton would head over to Berkeley County to face off against the Hedgesville Eagles, who were coming into the game having lost eight of their previous ten games.
The JV squads would start off the evening, and the Lady Cats would fall to the Eagles by the score of 36-26. Amber Smith was the high scorer for Grafton with 11 points, followed by Eva Jones with six points. Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Cats were Taylor Minard (3), Katie Scherzinger (2), Sydney Friend (2), and Izzy Swiger (2).
In the varsity matchup, Maier and Toothman again would have a solid showing, as Toothman picked up her second-straight double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, while Maier picked up a double-double of her own with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Each player also added a steal on the defensive end.
The Eagles actually led at halftime by the score of 34-32 but Grafton would get stronger as the game progressed to pull out the seven-point win.
“After our big win against Berkeley Springs the night before and the fact that we stayed overnight down there, I was worried about us coming out a little flat,” said a concerned Moore. “Although we played relatively good at times, we could never really put them away. Hedgesville played extremely hard today. In fact, they made 11 three-pointers in the game. After a quick defensive adjustment heading in to the fourth quarter, we were able to hold them to just two baskets in that final period.”
Moore went on to detail how they were able to swing the momentum away from Hedgesville and back towards his team to close out the game and get the crucial win.
“Bria (Jacobs), Fred (Maloley), and Hailey (Skiles) did a great job making the defensive adjustment as we started the fourth quarter. It was something we never worked on in practice and I just had to draw it on the board. I am proud of the way they responded and executed it.”
Moore was also proud of the effort that his players gave him in the second of two games in two days, both on the road and a long way from home.
“Meredith again led the charge and Bailey was a beast on the offensive glass,” Moore went on to say. “Megan Kisner also had a solid game for us to finish with seven points. This was one of those game that we would have lost last year but they found a way to come away with the victory, which now has us on a five-game winning streak for the second time this season.”
#10 Grafton (12-5) will be back in action on Thursday, February 13th as they host Lincoln at 7:30pm at Scotty Hamilton Gymnasium at GHS, with the JV’s to play first at 5:45pm.