Gallery by Tina Laney
Hinton – When PikeView and Summers County met on Jan. 22, a 44-42 Lady Bobcats win, there was a question as to whether or not it would be replicable.
The Class AAA Panthers were coming off a lengthy quarantine with the rust showing.
The Lady Bobcats proved it was no fluke.
Gracie Harvey scored 18 points and hauled in 15 rebounds as Class AA No. 6 Summers County defeated Class AAA No. 10 PikeView 43-38 Tuesday in Hinton.
Another low-scoring affair, the Lady Bobcats were able to dictate the tempo for much of the contest, never trailing by more than a possession.
“The one thing this team is starting to do is fulfill their roles,” Summers head coach Chad Meador said. “We had two freshmen and their job was to defend Hannah Perdue – a first-team all-state triple-A point guard. That’s a huge challenge. Jesse Ward comes off the bench and scores six points. That’s her role and she fulfilled that. Sullivan (Pivont) and Liv (Meador), their job is to take care of the basketball. Then you have Gracie and Maggie (Stover) who are controlling the boards. Everybody is doing their role and that’s a key component coming down the stretch.”
Perdue, the engine for the Panthers, had historically had success against Summers, scoring a career-high 40 points against the Lady Bobcats last season. Despite knowing that, Meador chose not to follow the blueprint most teams have laid in double, and occasionally, triple-teaming her. He instead asked Liv Meador and Avery Lilly to step in and guard her.
After Summers took a 6-0 lead Perdue followed a Riley Meadows free throw with back-to-back scores to make it 6-5, setting the stage for another career night from the all-stater.
She was instead held to 4 of 14 shooting from the field the rest of the way, never quite finding a rhythm.
“Our game plan was to get the ball out of her hands,” Meador said. “We wanted to guard her 94 feet. We didn’t want her to get the ball when they inbounded it. We thought if we could limit her from dribbling it up the floor that might throw the other team off a little bit. We’re not good enough to double her and they’re too good. For us playing them, if we double them they find the open man. We thought ‘lets get the ball out of her hands and play defense and see what happens,’ and listen, we put a 14-year old freshmen on her. I told her I didn’t care if she scored or if she fouled within reason. Wreak havoc.”
The teams were evenly matched across the board for most of the night with neither leading by more than seven.
A bucket late in the third from Cat Farmer gave PikeView a 28-27 lead that would seemingly carry over to the fourth but a Jesse Ward offensive rebound led to a foul, sending the junior to the charity stripe with no time left in the frame.
Ward converted on both but giving up the crucial offensive board proved to be a troubling trend for the Panthers. Midway through the fourth a pair of Harvey free throws staked the hosts to a 39-32 lead – the largest of the game – but the responding charge came immediately. Meadows converted on a pair of free throws and Perdue nailed a baseline floater to trim the deficit back to three.
Sullivan Pivont tried to nail the coffin on the next trip but her 3-pointer was off the mark. Fortunately Harvey was there for rebound and putback. Perdue again made it a three-point game, forcing PikeView, with under a minutes left, to foul in order to regain possession. The Panthers got their intended outcome when the front end on a one-and-one was missed but Harvey roared in to grab the offensive board.
“She was the Lootpress Player of the Week a few weeks ago and she’s kind of flown under the radar early but now people know who she is,” Meador said of Harvey. “She’s becoming more physical and that’s something we’ve been challenging her with – rip those rebounds. I thought she actually had a coming-out game at PikeView with a similar performance. I think she had 12 or 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. That was the week she was Player of the Week and she had another worthy performance.
“She played big. She’s only a sophomore and these kinds of games grow you up. What better time to grow up than right before the tournament?”
For the Panthers it was another miserable night from the field. After failing to shoot above 30 percent from the field in two of their last four games, that trend continued as they converted at a 26 percent clip (14 of 54) in Hinton.
“We’ve talked about that a lot,” Assistant coach Bobby Wyatt, who was filling in for his daughter and head coach Tracy Raban who was out due to an illness, said. “You’ve got to get in the gym and shoot. From game to game you don’t have that much time. We had Monday but came off from playing Friday and Saturday and that’s about all we did Monday – shoot. We’ve got to find a way to put those two-footers in the basket.”
Perdue scored 17 points to lead PikeView while Brooke Craft scored five to go along with 12 rebounds. Harvey led Summers with 18 while Sullivan Pivont pitched in 12.
Summers finishes the regular season with a 14-6 record and will host Bluefield on Saturday in the opening round of the Region 3, Section 1 tournament.
PikeView falls to 10-7 and will travel to Midland Trail on Wednesday.
PV: 5 10 13 10 – 38
SC: 8 9 12 14 – 43
Hannah Harden 4, Brooke Craft 5, Cat Farmer 3, Hannah Perdue 17, Riley Meadows 9
Gracie Harvey 18, Avery Lilly 2, Liv Meador 3, Sullivan Pivont 12, Abby Persinger 2, Jesse Ward 6
3-point goals – PV: 0; SC: 2 (Pivont 2)