GRAFTON—Despite missing three varsity players and getting into early foul trouble, the Grafton Lady Cats basketball team prevailed at home on Saturday with a hard-fought 57-41 victory over the visiting Preston Knights.
The Lady Cats had to sit many of their starters early and rely on their bench to provide quality play in the first half, and they did so effectively, helping the team shoot for a combined 54% from the field to offset the many whistles being blown by the officials.
“Foul trouble really plagued us in the first half as we had trouble adjusting to how the game was being called,” said Grafton head coach Andrew Moore. “Bria (Jacobs), Alyssa (Satterfield), Jocelyn (Countryman), and Meredith (Maier) all had first half foul trouble. However, they are smart players and found ways to contribute in the second half without picking up costly fouls.”
The two teams played extremely close in the first half, with Grafton leading 16-15 after one period of play and 27-25 at the half.
The third period, however, is where the Lady Cats would impose their will, scoring 19 points in the quarter while limiting Preston to just six points and taking a 46-31 lead into the final period.
The teams would play evenly in the fourth, although Grafton had built up a big enough lead to pull out the 16-point victory to move to 14-6 on the season.
Moore also went on to single out a few players who made the victory possible as the game was much closer than the final score indicated.
“Tori Jackson played one of her best games yet,” Moore stated. “She stayed out of foul trouble and finished 4-for-4 in the game with 10 points. Bailey Toothman also played a nice game to finish with 11 points and six rebounds. Meredith had another monster game as she finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Hailey Skiles, Madison Summers, and Alyssa did a nice job coming in and providing big minutes, giving us 10 points combined.”
Grafton was led by Maier’s 17 points, followed by Toothman with 11. Rounding out the scoring were Jackson (10), Skiles (7), Jacobs (6), Satterfield (3), and Countryman (3).
Moore also admits that when it comes to stats, the numbers sometimes don’t tell the whole story and there is another player who doesn’t get the credit she deserves.
“Although the stats sheet doesn’t show this, Bria Jacobs is the reason why we get our offense into gear,” he explained. “She is a great floor general out there, putting people where they need to be and helping break all of the pressure.”
Kylie Felton scored 17 for Preston in the loss, while eight other Knights scored eight points or less.
The varsity game followed the JV contest, which saw the Lady Cats jump out to a 28-19 first half lead and hold on for a 47-43 victory. Eva Jones (13), Leah Jackson (12), and Sydney Friend (11) led the way on offense, followed by Katie Scherzinger (3), Izzy Swiger (2), Taylor Minard (2), and Jordan Niggemyer (2).
Preston was led by Dalaynie Myers and Emma Burns, each with 10 points.
Grafton will be back in action tomorrow as they travel to East Fairmont for a 7:30pm matchup. The next day they will host Frankfort in their regular-season finale.
Both contests will begin with a 5:45 JV tipoff and a 7:30pm varsity tipoff.