Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

January 4, 2014

Lebanon Pioneers ambush Richlands, take a pair of games

LEBANON, Va. — The Lady Pioneers ended a three-game losing skid with a 55-45 Southwest District win over Richlands at Charles C. Long Gymnasium on Friday. It was the first win for Lebanon (7-4, 1-0) since they defeated Richlands in the championship game of the Virginia High tournament on December 14. The Lady Pioneers haven’t had an easy schedule losing to John Battle, Honaker and Gate City.

Both teams struggled early. Hannah Cox scored on a put-back and was fouled in the process, making the free throw to give the Lady Pioneers a 13-12 lead at the end of the first period. Lebanon was only 4-of-16 from the floor making only 25 percent of their shots in the first eight minutes.

They found the range in the second stanza, scoring their first six possessions. They made 8-of-15 field goal attempts, shooting 53 percent as they extended their lead to 34-23 at halftime. Richlands was hurt by eight first half turnovers, which enabled Lebanon to put up 11 more shots than the Lady Blue Tornado.

“We’re having trouble scoring right now,” said Richlands coach Dennis Palmer. “When you’re having trouble scoring you can’t give up second and third chance points. We didn’t box out, gave up too many offensive rebounds and had too many turnovers. When you do those two things, you’re going to have trouble winning games.”

Lebanon led by as many as 12 points after a bucket by Lyndsey Stinson early in the fourth quarter. It was too big an obstacle to overcome. Richlands fought back going on an 8-1 run to cut the Lady Pioneer lead to 46-41 with just over four minutes to play.

“We got in a hole,” Palmer said. “Right now we’re not very good at getting out of a hole, because we’re struggling to score.”

Cox finished with 15 points. Elizabeth Johnson led all scorers with 17 points for the Lady Pioneers. Taylor Woodlief had 12 points coming from four treys.

Sarah Compton had a double-double for the Blues with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany Allen led Richlands with 15 points.

“Sarah has been playing real well the last few games,” commented Palmer. “She has been playing good defense and rebounding. She will box you out and rebound, Sarah has also scored some points for us down in the post.”

Richlands will host Abingdon in another SWD contest on Tuesday.

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