PRUNTYTOWN— The Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) Lady Knights Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity teams took to their home court Monday night, opening their season against the West Fairmont Middle School Cubs (WFMS).
JV action was first to tip on the evening and would be a back and forth battle until the end.
The defensive efforts of the Lady Knights held the Cubs to just four points in the first half of action, sending TCMS into the locker room with a seven-point lead.
The Lady Knights came out from the break looking to build their lead, however, the Cubs came out with a new energy, adding a quick four points to their side of the board. The Knights continued the battle, making their way into the paint to retain the lead bringing the score to 13-8, with 1:43 left in the third period.
As the competition progressed, the defensive pressure of the Cubs made it difficult for the Lady Knights to make it down the court and they found themselves committing multiple turnovers.
Feeding off of that momentum, WFMS sunk a three-pointer with just seconds to spare in the third, bringing them within one. And it was another shot from behind the arch that put the Lady Cubs on top with a score of 17-15, to start the fourth period.
The final minutes of the game saw fast pace action from both teams, as the Cubs continued to connect with long range shot attempts, and the Lady Knights pushed to regain the lead.
With just 21.8 seconds of play remaining, Ruth Horne found the bottom of the net with a much needed layup making it a two-possession game, with a score of 24-20.
Horne earned a trip to charity stripe on her made layup, but was unable to connect.
Although they put up a good fight, the Lady Knights fell short, dropping the contest with a final score of 24-22.
During Varsity action, the Lady Knights found themselves in a physical competition, as the aggressive defense of the Lady Cubs would send the Lady Knights to the free throw line a total of 36 times.
Throughout the first eight minutes of play, neither team allowed the other many opportunities at the glass, and would end the period with a low scoring tie of 5-5.
The aggressive play continued into the second period, putting the Lady Knights in a one-and-one situation with more than five minutes still to go in the second, and entered the double bonus for the rest of the half with 4:39 remaining on the clock.
After failing to connect on most of their shots, the Knights finally found their rhythm on both the defensive and offense ends of the court, keeping the Lady Cubs out of the paint, and forcing them to take the long range jumpers.
The Lady Knights headed into the break with a comfortable 22-12 lead, and kept it going into the second half of play.
Despite several missed layups and only sinking nine of the 36 free throw attempts, the Knights defense held the Cubs at bay.
Hadley Horne led the team with 17 points, and Jennah Charlton added eight points of her own on the night, while Regan Knight crashed the boards with seven rebounds, contributing to the 43-20 win over the Cubs.
“With the misses at the foul line and the missed layups, we definitely have corrections that need to be made, or we may find ourselves in trouble later in the season,” commented head coach Bobby Beltner. “The effort was there, the execution was not. We know where improvements and adjustments need made and will work on those.”
The TCMS Varsity girls were back in action Tuesday evening at Bruceton School. The results of that game will be in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Statesman.