By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
Three of a kind beats two pair.
Taylor Catron, Haley Christian, and Whitney Saunders refused to fold under pressure and dealt a big Southwest District victory for Tazewell as the Lady Bulldogs held on for a 55-38 triumph over visiting Carroll County Tuesday.
Tazewell (8-6, 1-0) grabbed a 14-point halftime lead but Carroll surged to within five, at 42-37, with just over five minutes to go before the Lady Dogs returned to form and won going away over the cold-shooting Cavaliers (7-6, 1-1).
Catron fired in successive treys, and popped in a first quarter lay, keeping Tazewell even after one, as Michala Hash did the work for Carroll in the early going. The Lady Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead before Tazewell got untracked in the battle between fierce district rivals.
In the second stanza, Christian’s long-range shooting helped propel the Dogs to a 21-7 run, helping to overcome the loss of Saunders, who had to miss some action with foul problems.
That hurt Catron, as well, saddled with four personals early in the second half. With her and Saunders in limited action, the Lady Cavs began to chip into a 15-point Tazewell advantage.
From a 37-22 Tazewell lead at the 1:25 mark of the third quarter, Catron picked up her fourth personal and had to take a seat while Hash & Co. made a determined run and finally cut the margin to just five points, 42-37, in a little less than five minutes.
It was not enough, as Catron and Saunders both came back in to help save the day.
“Coach (Jason) Southworth told me to be patient, stay down on ‘D’ and do my job there in the second half,” grinned Catron, who played with a fever and took cold medicine to take the floor at the beginning of the game. She and Hash tied for game scoring honors with 17 points apiece.
“We have been working on free throws, too,” noted Catron, who finished with a 9-of-11 effort at the line as Tazewell made 19 free throws to help seal the verdict.
“We were all fired up tonight,” said Saunders, who popped in 14 points, “because it has been a long time since we have beaten Carroll County.
“People said we were going to be last in the district so we wanted to come and prove something in this game. We played well as a team and that made the difference.”
In a close contest early on, Christian’s ability to hit the outside shot was a pivotal factor in helping the Lady Dogs to build their lead.
“My teammates found me, and let me have an opportunity while I was in a zone,” she said of her 15-point game. “We made some big free throws, and worked together. Teamwork always makes things better.
Carroll County coach Mark Motley sighed, “We just did not shoot well.
“I know it’s hard to believe but we shot 28 times in the second half, Tazewell had 14 shots, and we got outscored. There is not much else to say.”
Carroll hosts Pulaski tonight and Tazewell entertains Marion Friday in SWD action.
At Tazewell Middle School
CARROLL COUNTY (7-6, 1-1)
Michala Hash 17, Maycee Cain 4, Hayden Caldwell 6,Taylor Martin 5, Rylee Haynes 2, Crysta Guynn 4, Cassidi McCann0, Kaitlan Farmer 0, Rachel Sellers 4, Brittany Willard 0, Sami Reece 0.
TAZEWELL (8-6, 2-2)
Taylor Catron17, Whitney Saunders 14, Haley Christian 15, Kate Snapp 3, Kaley Holloway 0, Essence Brown 6, Bri Sparks 0, Alley Lee 0.
Carroll County.......................13 7 4 14 — 38
Tazewell................................13 21 6 15 — 55
Three-point goals --- C, 3 (Hash – 3). T, 6, (Christian –3, Catron –2,
Saunders –1). Fouled out – Alderman.