Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 6, 2013

Summers County shoots past Shady Spring in opening game

By DAN STILLWELL
for the Daily Telegraph

SHADY SPRING — A trio of freshmen showed good things are ahead for the Summers County and Shady Spring girls basketball teams.

But for Summers senior center Brandi Morrison, the future is now.

Morrison ignited for 31 points, 11 rebounds and 7 steals Thursday as the Lady Bobcats opened their season with an 83-33 road win.

“It was a good opening night for Brandi,” coach Wayne Ryan said. “She’s our only senior and we expect leadership from her, on and off the court.”

The 5-11 Morrison stole the ball and drove it home to stop a quick 4-1 Shady Spring run. She then added three more baskets and several rebounds in an 18-0 Lady Bobcats run .

“Brandi is a really hard worker, year-round in the weight room,” Ryan said. “She doesn’t have a lot of mass, but pound-for-pound she’s pretty strong.”

Morrison’s stellar play in the paint overshadowed the long-awaited debut of the Justice twins, forward Brittney and guard Whittney.

The freshmen looked right at home on the court, whether scoring, playmaking or doing thievery on defense.

Brittney, who’s 5-foot-7, scored 8 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had seven assists and three steals.

The 5-6 Whitney chipped in 7 points, 9 steals and 4 rebounds.

“They’re going to be very good once they used to the intensity and pace, and the defensive system we run,” Ryan said. “Brittany plays all five positions, and Whitney is a point guard-wing type of player. They bring a lot to the table, and we expect a lot out of both of them.”

But despite the solid individual numbers, it was very much a team effort for the Lady Bobcats on both sides of the ball. They combined for 32 steals, and, surprisingly, tallied 83 points despite having just one scorer in double figures. Of their 12 players, 11 got into the scorebook.

Avery Pivont and backup guard Nayla Bond had 8 and 7 points, and speedy sophomore guard Brennah Davis came off the bench for 5 points, 5 assists and 5 steals.

“We were a little sluggish at the start, and when Brennah came into the game, the whole tempo changed,” Ryan said. “She gave us a spark.”

Summers led 47-12 at halftime. Shady never could get on track despite some strong play by Abby Gwinn, its own promising freshman.

The 5-9 center scored 16 points and led her team with 10 rebounds.

“Abby looks a little more developed than a freshman in her skill set,” coach Brandon Bennett said. “She can do everything on the floor, and she showed it tonight.”

Makenzie Severt scored 5 points and had seven rebounds, while junior guard Morgan Hylton made just one of her trademark 3-point shots and scored 4 points.

“Morgan is such a great shooter, but she was off, and it hurt us,” Bennett said. “Summers’ speed got to us. They’re extremely quick, and our foul trouble killed us. We had to sit Abby and (point guard) Brooklyn Meador) early. That was from their quickness.”

Shady Spring (0-1) returns to action Monday at Princeton. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday.

Summers County plays at James Monroe Tuesday.

— E-mail: dstillwell@register-herald.com



Summers County (1-0)

Avory Pivont 4 0-0 8, Abby Taylor 2 1-4 5, Brittany Justice 4 0-0 8, Brandi Morrison 15 1-3 31, Whitney Justice 1 5-6 7, Brennah Davis 2 1-3 5, Audrey Holley 2 0-0 4, Kaitlynn Thomas 1 0-2 2, Nayla Bond 3 1-4 7, Morgan Miller 1 1-2 4, Megan Morrison 0 0-0 0, Marggie Richmond 1 0-0 2. Totals: 36 10-24 83.

Shady Spring (0-2)

Morgan Hylton 1 1-2 4, Brooklyn Meador 0 2-2 2, Kelsey Collins 0 0-0 0, Makenzie Severt 1 3-4 5, Abby Gwinn 8 0-1 16, Keyla Chitwood 0 0-2 0, Emma Albright 1 0-2 2, Morgan Brown 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Rhudy 0 2-2 2, Haley Harold 1 0-0 2, Bri Bevil 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 8-15 33.

Summers County................23 25 12 24 — 83

Shady Spring........................ 6   6 11 10 — 33

3-point goals — SC: 1 (Miller); SS: 1 (Hylton). Fouled out — Meador, Gwinn.