Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 17, 2013

Tazewell girls edge Grundy in OT

By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — For Tazewell, a wing and a prayer worked quite nicely as a Saunders and Christian combination.

Whitney Saunders, who led all scorers with 20 points, had a key steal and score and then dished to Haley Christian for a clutch baseline jumper with 10 seconds left as the Lady Dogs overcame tenacious Grundy for 54-48 overtime win Monday.

Autumn Hash and Saunders ignited THS to an 18-7 first period lead but Morgan Hall teamed with Shelby Yates and Autumn Sperry as the Lady Golden Wave continued to chip away.

With Morgan Hall and Shelby Yates clearing the way inside as Autumn Sperry worked the perimeter, the Lady Wave closed to 38-34 after three quarters.

Yates finally gave Grundy the lead at 41-40 with 5:50 to go in regulation before Gracie Cline tied it again with a free throw.

Yates scored and Saunders answered in the final minute as the fourth period ended at 45-all. In the extra session, Tazewell jumped away 9-3 with six of those points coming inside the last minute.

“Our fast break worked tonight,” said Saunders, “and free throws (she was 7-of-8) make a big difference. As much as I drive inside, I figure to draw fouls. So, before the game tonight I shot about 50 free throws in practice and a lot at halftime. Whatever it takes for us to win. I’m happy we won our first home game of the season.”

Grundy didn’t make it easy.

Hall drilled a baseline jumper quickly in the overtime and a couple of minutes later Saunders hit a pair of freebies to tie the score.

“It was great to get that home win, it seems like we’ve been on the road for so long,” beamed Christian, who along with Autumn Hash, finished with 11 points.

“I was glad to be in position, but I wouldn’t have minded if Whitney had taken that last shot. It (shot) felt good coming off my hand and I though it would go, but as long as we win I don’t care who scores.”

Hash nailed a pair of early baskets to ignite Tazewell to a 10-5 lead. Good defense by Whitney Saunders and Kaley Holloway maintained the Lady Dog offensive intensity and Holloway’s score – she paced the Dogs with 9 rebounds — in the final minute of the opening stanza increased the margin to 18-5 before Hall blazed in for a lay up before the buzzer for Grundy.

Hall sparkled early for Grundy, piling up the first five points on a pair of buckets including a tray in the first four minutes. She drilled in 18 points including three treys.

Yates also nailed three downtown and put in 16 for Grundy (2-4) while Sperry added 8 and two three-pointers for Coach Craig Plymal’s ladies.

Emily Lane said for Grundy, “We talked at halftime and we wanted to come out and win this game. We had a slow first half – just like we did against Unaka, Tenn., recently and we almost made it (win) happen again.”

Tazewell coach Jason Southworth noted, “Grundy did a good job with the press. We got some good stops in the fourth quarter when we really needed them. Not all of our open shots fell but our defense picked it up. A game like this can be a season-changer for a team.”

The Lady Dogs hit 10-of-15 at the line while Grundy made 2 of just six foul shots but the Wave canned 8 three-pointers.

Grundy hosts Union tonight while Tazewell plays Chilhowie Wednesday in the George Wythe tournament.

 

At Tazewell Middle School

GRUNDY (2-3)

Morgan Hall 18, Autumn Sperry 8, Emily Lane 2, Shelby Yates 16, Dana Sneed 2

TAZEWELL (2-4)

Whitney Saunders 20, Kaley Holloway 2, Autumn Hash 1, Haley Christian 11, Ally Lee 3, Gracie Cline 7.

Grundy...........7   12  15   11   9  —  48

Tazewell.......18     9   11    7   3  —  54

3-point goals – Gru 8 (Hall 3, S. Yates 3, Sperry 2). Taz 3 (Saunders 1, Christian 1, Lee 1). Fouled out–none.