PHILIPPI— The Lady Knights basketball program had a busy Saturday that ended with a clean sweep over both the varsity and JV Lady Bulldog squads.
The team began their day with a tour of the WVU women’s basketball practice facility, got to meet the Mountaineer and then packed the stands of the colosseum to cheer on WVU as they hosted Baylor.
From there, the teams made the trip to Philippi Middle School (PMS) for contests of their own.
The JV Lady Knights took to the court first, putting up points from the tip with a bucket by Paislee Freeman.
Following the quick basket, the Lady Knights brought full court pressure against the JV Lady Bulldogs and forced them to turn the ball over on a ten second call, as they were unable to beat the press and bring the ball past half court.
The JV PMS would commit two additional turnovers, which the JV Lady Knights would capitalize on to take the early 6-0 lead.
The JV Lady Bulldogs connected on just one field goal in the first quarter, while the pressure from the young Lady Knights forced them to make seven turnovers in the frame.
With a 13-2 advantage going into the second, the Lady Knights continued to have a strong defensive presence.
Lydia Wildrout would record three steals before the half, which she took coast to coast recording the basket each time.
Bailey Satterfield added another steal for the Lady Knights just before the break, giving Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) the 27-2 lead at the half.
While PMS committed a dozen turnovers in the first half, the JV Lady Knights started the second with a few mishandles of their own with two consecutive turnovers.
The JV Lady Bulldogs found the bottom of the net once more with 50 seconds remaining in the third, bringing the score to 31-4.
Wildrout’s assist to Peyton Stevens rounded out the scoring for the third, with the JV Lady Knights on top 35-4.
This score would carry through to the final buzzer, as both teams found trouble around the rim to close out play, however, early scoring from TCMS gave them the 31-point victory.
Wildrout led scoring for TCMS in the match up recording six, while Ciarra Spring added five.
The varsity squad would go to work next battling for the W.
The elder Lady Knights squad also got off to a quick start with ball movement that found Ashlynne Bolyard on the block, putting the ball on the glass for the first basket of the game.
Bolyard would continue working the paint throughout the contest, taking it up again on the next possession, just missing the mark but drawing the foul on her way up.
At the time she went 1 for 2, putting the varsity Lady Knights ahead of the varsity Lady Bulldogs 3-2.
Kenna Keener would spread the lead with a drive to the basket on the offensive end, followed by a defensive block, which was converted into another TCMS basket that gave the Lady Knights a five-point advantage with 3:39 remaining in the first.
Sophia Austin, Alyssa Jackson and Keener rounded out scoring for the opening frame, and TCMS entered the second quarter with a comfortable 11-point lead.
The varsity Lady Bulldogs picked up their intensity to start the second quarter, forcing the Lady Knights to mishandle the ball, and breaking up passes to the block to cut the lead to just six with 3:56 left before halftime.
PMS put full court pressure on the Lady Knights forcing two more turnovers. Although the physical defense of the Lady Bulldogs sent the Lady Knights to the line a couple of time, they were not able to connect on their attempts.
With the score holding steady at 17-11, Jeri Wolford went to battle for the rebound off a missed Lady Bulldog free throw, causing the jump ball to be called and giving the Lady Knights possession.
With 1:48 left to play before the break, Keener ended TCMS’s scoring drought, and Maddie Fryer added to the streak at the free throw line.
The Lady Knights carried a seven-point lead into the halftime break.
Out of the break PMS knocked down a two, working to cut into the TCMS lead, just a mid-range floater from Kaylee Cross kept the Lady Bulldogs at bay.
Unfortunately, the Lady knights would once again see a series of turnovers, which allowed the Lady Bulldogs to close the gap to 25-21 with 1:57 remaining in the third.
Cross once again advanced the Lady Knights with a jumper that found the bottom of the net, but PMS cut into the lead on the other end, draining the only three of the game.
The third would come to an end with the Lady Knights holding on to a four-point advantage.
A fast break lay in executed by guard Natalie Beltner extended the lead for TCMS once more.
While the remaining minutes were a back-and-forth battle, in the end, the Lady Knights held on to secure the 35-26 victory.
Keener led the way in scoring for TCMS with 16.
Back at home on Monday night, the varsity Lady Knights found themselves in a close contest against the Central Preston Wildcats.
After an intense first half of play, TCMS had just a one-point advantage going into the locker room with the score sitting at 10-9.
During the third, Camdyn Matheny tallied seven for the Lady Wildcats, while Keener also recorded seven for the Lady Knights, and with additional buckets by Bolyard and Jackson, along with a free throw from Beltner, TCMS managed to extend their lead to five going into the final frame.
While it wasn’t the prettiest of wins, the Lady Knights outscored the Lady Wildcats by one to close out play, holding on in a close contest, securing the 29-23 win, and moving to 9-1 on the season.
Keener once again led scoring for the Lady Knights with 12, while Bolyard added eight.
The JV Lady Knights also met up with Central Preston’s JV squad on Monday night.
The TCMS team would also secure the home win against the JV Lady Wildcats.
Paislee Freeman led the way in the 34-19 victory with eight, while Arabella Jones contributed six.