HINTON – One of the secrets to success for the Summers County girls basketball team has been its ability to speed teams up and make the game chaotic for the opponent.
Friday night in its opening round game of the Rogers Oil Classic against Montcalm, the formula worked again, sort of.
Forcing 18 first half turnovers, the Lady Bobcats ran out to a 31-13 halftime lead en route to a convincing 54-22 win.
“I thought we were very aggressive. I think we once again sped the game up to the speed that we like,” Summers County head coach Chad Meador said. “We got into a little bit of foul trouble, but I feel like the win was a testimony to our bench play tonight.”
Summers County’s success in getting a fast-paced game came at a price Friday night with some foul trouble. Making things even worse was the fact that the foul trouble involved its two strong inside post players, Maggie Stover and Gracie Harvey.
Both players missed a good portion of the first quarter with two quick fouls and then missed the bigger part of the second quarter when they were each whistled for their third infraction.
A 19-10 lead after the first period, doubled in the next eight minutes when Summers ran out to a 31-13 advantage at the break, keyed by play off the bench.
“I think we got some excellent minutes from not just one, but all of the girls that came off the bench tonight,” Meador said. “I thought Jessie Ward played particularly well tonight for us.”
While the rest of her team was keeping the Generals frustrated with strong defense, Ward dropped in eight of the 12 Summers County points scored in the quarter.
“The more minutes that each one of these girls play in different kinds of moments, the better they are going to be come tournament time,” Meador said.
Harvey made up for lost time with 10 points in the third period and the Lady Bobcats pushed the lead to 32 points by the end of the quarter.
“Gracie is a handful. She can also come out and play on the perimeter some,” Meador said. “She has a nice jump shot, so you have to guard her. She is going to be good one.”
Summers County now faces River View Saturday night in the championship game.
“We are going to be in a dogfight. Led by Coach Justice, the Raiders are the real deal,” Meador said. “They are very physical and they will be the most physical team that we have played so far. We will see how we respond to the physical game. I am looking forward to it.”
Both teams like to move the ball up and down the floor and apply pressure. They just do it in different ways.
“I saw what they did tonight with that nice half-court trap that they play. We will also see how good our guards are Saturday,” Meador said. “That half-court trap is hard to simulate in practice and we won’t have a practice before tomorrow with games going on all day. It is going to be a great championship game and I hope people experience the game in person and fill the house up.”
M: 10 3 3 6 – 22
SC: 19 12 17 6 – 54
Taylor White 5, Makenzie Crews 4, Hayley Kendrick 3, Summers Williams 10. Totals: 9 3-10 22.
Summers County 54
SC: Ashley Cooper 2, Maggie Stover 4, Gracie Harvey 14, Avery Lilly 2, Abby Persinger 6, Liv Meador 5, Sullivan Pivont 10, Jesse Ward 10, Kaylee Jones 1. Totals: 22 10-17 54.
3 pointers – M: 1 (Kendrick); SC: None.