By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
LEBANON, Va. —
Curiosity may have been bad for the cat but it was quickness that did the deed against the Lady Dogs Tuesday in season-opening action.
Kati Simmons pumped in 21 points including five three-pointers and Elizabeth Johnson added 16 to pace Lebanon to a 51-42 triumph over Tazewell.
The Lady Pioneers jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Whitney Saunders dropped in a soft one-hander from the lane with 6:21 to go in the opening stanza and then added a bucket and free throw for the Lady Bulldogs’ first six points.
Sizzling outside shooting from the Pioneers Kati Simmons, who popped in a pair of quick treys, ignited Lebanon. It was Elizabeth Johnson’s steady scoring, with a quartet of first half buckets, that maintained the pace and enabled LHS to grab a 24-17 halftime advantage.
Autumn Hash, battling hard under the Bulldog boards, came down and hit an early hook shot from the left side but Lebanon kept pace, moving away to a 16-10 lead in the final minute of the first frame.
Lebanon consistently kept Tazewell out of rhythm in the first half, notching several key steals above the lane, and only inconsistent shooting prevented the Lady Pioneers from extending their lead.
Hash had four blocked shots before halftime and Kate Snapp pulled in five first-half rebounds for the Lady Dogs.
Essence Brown put up an offensive rebound, cutting the margin to 16-12 as the Pioneers kept missing shots. Taylor Catron’s steal and score trimmed the lead to a single bucket, 16-14, with 7:10 to go in the first half before Johnson again answered with a Pioneer score.
Saunders and Hash took team scoring honors with 11 points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs. Taylor Catron added 8 and Haley Christian popped in a pair of threes.
Simmons and Johnson coolly maintained the floor plan for the patient Pioneers.
Lebanon was right back on the attack in the third stanza, piling up 16 points and racing away to an 18-point lead, the game’s largest, at 40-22 with :33 left. Kelly Arrington’s basket provided the margin. Catron got a bucket and Haley Christian drilled a trey for THS late in the quarter.
Hash then put in a three-pointer before Lebanon answered again as the final period began. Saunders nailed a freebie and Hash made three lay-ups in traffic as the big Lebanon lead began to erode in the final five minutes.
The Pioneers held court, however, and did yield the margin. Lebanon was 6-of-16 from the line and Tazewell hit 10-21 at the stripe.
Tazewell takes on Graham Tuesday at Tazewell Middle School.
At Lebanon High School
Tazewell.................................10 7 8 17 — 42
Lebanon................................16 8 16 11 — 51
Taylor Catron 8, Whitney Saunders 11, Brienna Sparks 2, Haley Christian 6, Autumn Hash 11, Essence Brown 4
Kati Simmons 21, Elizabeth Johnson 16, Lindsey Stinson 2, Kelly Arrington 3, Delaney Stone 2, Hannah Cox 7
Three-point goals – L, 6 –Simmons (5), Johnson (1) T, 2 Christian (2)
Fouled out – none