By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
Perhaps it was just too cold for a Maroon Tide.
The Graham defense had a something to do with it too.
Emaleigh Gallinger scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the second half, and the Graham G-Girls defeated Galax, the co-leaders in the Mountain Empire District, 42-29 on Thursday night at Graham Middle School.
Graham (9-7, 3-2) snapped a two-game losing skid, holding the Maroon Tide to 25.6 percent (11-43) from the field, and the G-Girls never trailed in knocking off what had been one of three teams tied with just one loss in the MED.
“I think our group was determined, we went through a lot of adversity behind the scenes that people haven’t seen,” Graham head coach Tracy Raban said. “We just felt with it tonight, we came together as a team.
“They stuck to the game plan, they kept their focus for four quarters, we haven’t been able to put four quarters of focus together the whole year. I felt like tonight we did that, and they were just a determined bunch of girls tonight.”
Karly Morgan added eight points for Graham, while Erin Wilson provided seven points off the bench for the G-Girls, who led 23-14 at the break before Galax’s Sydney Lindsey went on a 10-point surge in the third quarter to move the Maroon Tide to within 26-22 with 5:59 on the clock.
“I was like ‘here we go again’ but we were able to get a timeout and regroup and they pulled together,” Raban said. “They were that determined tonight, not that it was any different than any other night, they wanted it tonight.
“That is the team I felt like I have had all year and I just hope we can continue doing it.”
Galax would score just two more points in the period, and didn’t get on the board in the final quarter until Susan Davis canned a 3 with 2:01 left in the game, cutting the G-Girls’ lead to 38-27.
“We played great defense and we limited them to one or two shots and done,” Raban said. “Not that we rebounded great, but we limited them and we were able to get good looks and for the most part knock down what we needed.”
Lindsey’s basket at the buzzer cut the margin to 32-24 going into the final period, but Gallinger scored eight fourth quarter points, including 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Gallinger, who left late in the game with cramps, but returned to finish the game, was 9 for 11 from the charity stripe. The G-Girls were 14 for 21 from the free throw line, while the Maroon Tide was 5 for 13.
“She has struggled the last couple of games and we came in today and watched some game film,” Raban said. “I think they benefited from that and she was able to see what she was doing and she fixed it tonight and brought the game that I know she can play.”
Galax (10-7, 4-2), which had defeated Narrows 64-15 on Wednesday, was held in the 20s for the third time this season. Lindsey scored 17 of the Maroon Tide’s 29 points.
Graham will host Grayson County on Tuesday, and Raban is looking for the same effort from the G-Girls against the Blue Devils, who were tied at the top of the MED with Fort Chiswell prior to their scheduled meeting tonight.
“I am not getting cocky at all, but if we come and play like we did tonight as a team, all 11 of them, I feel like we can play with anybody on any night,” Raban said. “They just have to come determined and motivated that they feel like they can come and do it.”
—Contact Brian Woodson
at Graham Middle School
GALAX (10-7, 4-2)
Susan Davis 2 0-0 5, Paige Hanks 1 0-0 2, Carolyn Vaughan 1 0-0 3, Holly Cassell 1 0-2 2, Sydney Lindsey 6 5-11 17, Laura Garvey 0 0-0 0, Lindsey Ayers 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 5-13 29.
GRAHAM (9-7, 3-2)
Karly Morgan 3 2-2 8, Emaleigh Gallinger 3 9-11 15, Liz Workman 2 0-0 4, Bethany Evans 1 0-0 2, Ashley Moretto 1 0-1 2, Bailee Poe 1 2-4 4, Erin Wilson 3 1-3 7, Alysia Leung 0 0-0 0, Taylor Williams 0 0-0 0, Casey Spencer 0 0-0 0, Ashley Rasnake 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-21 42
Galax...............................5 ..9 10 5 — 29
Graham..........................12 11 9 10 — 42
3-point goals: GX 2 (Davis 1, Vaughan 1); GR 0. Total fouls: GX 20; GR 15. Fouled out: Hanks. Technicals: none.