Gallery by Heather Belcher
New Richmond – The good news if you’re a PikeView Panther fan is they held Wyoming East to three points in the fourth quarter of Monday’s matchup between the two girls basketball squads.
The bad news is they were facing a 26-point deficit through three quarters.
The Lady Warriors forced 26 turnovers in New Richmond, kicking the Ryan Davison era off with a 56-40 victory over the Panthers.
Davidson, who took over for Angie Boninsegna this fall, stuck to the defensive philosophy that’s produced two state titles since 2021 for the reigning state champs and it worked like a charm.
“When we played Bluefield last week we had 26 turnovers then and I challenged them,” PikeView head coach Tracy Raban said. “I told them we cannot come down here and have 26 turnovers because if we do it’s gonna be a 40 or 50-point ballgame. But I attribute a lot of those turnovers to their pressure. I thought Cat (Farmer) did about all she could do with no help and no relief.”
The Lady Warriors turned the heat up early forcing seven turnovers in the opening frame en route to a 15-8 lead. While PikeView lost its combo guard Jocelynn Hall to an injury halfway through the quarter, Wyoming East’s own, Cadee Blackburn, caught fire and never cooled off.
The junior scored 12 of East’s 15 first-quarter points, finishing with 25 points on 9 of 20 shooting, canning five 3-pointers. Her first trey drew first blood in the game. After PikeView answered and took an 8-6 lead later in the quarter on a Brooke Craft free throw, Blackburn gave East the lead for good, springing free for a pair of 3s to make it a 12-8 game.
“I thought she played really well and I thought they did a good job finding her, especially off our flare stuff,” Davidson said. “She’s doing a much better job of relocating without the ball. In the past I thought she stood around some and it made it easy to guard her. Now she’s moving to open spots, relocating and we’re doing a good job finding her. She got tired late and again, I think that was because I subbed everyone else but she was hot so we went with it. In the future, I’ll probably make sure she gets a little rest.”
PikeView stayed the course early in the second, trailing 16-11 after Riley Meadows split a pair of free throws. The door slammed shortly afterwards. All-stater Maddie Clark’s first bucket of the contest sparked a 15-1 run that wasn’t quelled until Riley Meadows nailed a 3 near the end of the half.
A pair of free throws from the Haley Justice out of the break cut the deficit to 14 but the bombardment from deep continued.
Kyndal Lusk stroked the first of two 3s and Blackburn added another. The latter’s final trey of the game came at the end of the frame, pushing the advantage to a game-high 26 points.
“I was happy with the first three quarters,” Davidson said. “And then after that, I think we just really got complacent. Some of it’s probably my fault, because I went with some substitutions that probably don’t work together, but we’ll learn. We put it on film. And you get that way in your first game, especially when we hadn’t scrimmaged anyone, so I can live with that.”
“I’m not pleased, I mean I’m disappointed that we lost but I felt like it could have easily been a 40 of 50-point ball game the way it was looking. So I challenged them in the fourth quarter to play for that name across their chest and the thing beating in their chest and I felt like they did and kept it to a 16 point ball game.”
Clark joined Blackburn in double figures with 11 points while Haley Justice led PikeView with 11.
East (1-0) will travel to Morgantown this weekend for the Vision Homes Invitational where it will face Ravenswood and Parkersburg. PikeView (1-1) will host Westside on Thursday.
PV: 8 7 12 13 – 40
WE: 15 16 22 3 – 56
Hannah Harden 7, Brooke Craft 7, Cat Farmer 4, Tylar Burks 2, Haley Justice 11, Riley Meadows 9
Maddie Clark 11, Cadee Blackburn 25, Alivia Monroe 2, Gabby Cameron 2, Kyndal Lusk 8, Charleigh Price 2, Kenna Price 4, Michaela Brooks 2