Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 16, 2014

Grounded by Bulldogs

Saunders’ 24 leads Tazewell past Falcons

TAZEWELL, Va. — Back-and-forth it went until the final two minutes when the Tazewell Lady Bulldogs retook the lead and held on to defeat the Abingdon Lady Falcons 65-61, Thursday night at Tazewell Middle School.

“This was a big district win for us tonight,” said Tazewell head coach Jason Southworth.

The early moments of the game saw both teams hold the lead and have runs of points before Abingdon tied the game at 12 on a three by Morgan Turner. Tazewell then went on a run, scoring five unanswered on a trey by Ally Lee and a driving basket by Whitney Saunders to make it 17-12. Tazewell would add three more points on Saunders three just before the first quarter buzzer to take a 20-12 lead.

In the second the Lady Dogs went ahead by nine midway through the period, but Abingdon stormed back and pulled to within one and retook the lead with 2:32 on the second quarter clock.

Again Tazewell went on a run. Gracey Cline’s two free throws and Saunders three with eight seconds to go in the half gave the home team a 38-30 halftime lead.

Coming out of the intermission, Abingdon’s press and inside play helped the Lady Falcons cut into the Tazewell lead, but later in the period the Lady Dogs again pulled away to take a 10 point lead. The margin was eight headed into the fourth period.

It was then Abingdon’s turn to make a run. In the first minute and a half of the final stanza the Lady Falcons had drawn even as turnovers plagued Tazewell, and the Falcons eventually took the lead and began to slow the pace and spread the court.

Saunders’ lay up with 2:33 left tied the game at 54 and her free throw gave the Dogs the lead with 1:51 to go.

Following a foul and a technical foul on an Abingdon player, Autumn Hash made two of the four free throws to put Tazewell up by three with 1:22 on the clock. Tazewell maintained the four point margin, finishing the game at the free throw line and gaining the victory.

“After playing a big game against Richlands and putting everything on the floor, I was worried about their intensity and staying with the ball game,” Southworth said. “If we want to compete for conference and district championships, we have to come ready to compete every night. They did a good job tonight.”

Saunders led Tazewell and all scorers with 24 points, Hash added 16 and Lee 10. Audrey Billups led Abingdon with 18 and Taylor Blevins tossed in 15.

At Tazewell Middle School


Newton 0 0-0 0, Hamilton1 1-1 3, Toler 0 0-0 0, Turner 4 1-3 9, Kennedy 1 0-0 2, Greear 1 0-2 2, E. Blevins 1 0-2 2, Taylor Blevins 4 2-2 12, Carnell 0 0-0 0, Audrey Billups 7 4-6 18, Totals 22 15-24 61.


Holloway 0 2-3 2, McNulty 0 0-0 0, Cline 2 5-6 9, Ally Lee 3 2-4 10, Whitney Saunders 8 6-11 24, Sparks 0 0-0 0, Christian 1 2-2 4, Autumn Hash 5 6-12 16, Totals 19 23-38 65.

Abingdon......................12  18  10  21  —  61

Tazewell.........................20  18  10  17  —  65

3-point goals: A 2 (E. Blevins 2); T - 4 (Lee 2, Saunders 2) Fouled out: A - Billups, E. Blevins, Turner; T - None. Technical Fouls: A - Billups; T - bench

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