By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The opening game of the Class AA Region III, Section 2 tournament saw the PikeView Panthers pull away from the James Monroe Lady Mavericks in the second half and claim a 53-42 victory, Tuesday night at Princeton High School.
The Lady Panthers will take on the Bluefield Beavers on Thursday night for the sectional championship.
“I knew James Monroe was going to come in here and play hard,” said PikeView head coach Karen Miller. “Their record doesn’t indicate what kind of team they have. They played a hard schedule and I knew they were going to come in here and play us hard. They did.”
PikeView jumped out to a 6-0 lead and it was more than midway through the opening period when Rebecca Sparks scored James Monroe’s first bucket. Key, however was the Lady Mavs getting into early foul trouble as senior Carter Shiflet picked up her third foul with 18 seconds left in the opening stanza.
Things picked up for James Monroe in the second. Laine Shiflet’s jumper midway through the quarter made it a two-point game and seconds later she made one-of-two free throws to pull the Lady Mavs to within a point of tying the game.
PikeView forged back ahead by five, but again James Monroe mounted a challenge and Megan Bailey’s basket with just over a minute to play before halftime tied the game at 22. The Lady Panthers scored the final three points of the half to take a 25-22 lead into the intermission.
PikeView took control in the third, coming out of the break and scoring the first seven points of the half o go up by 10.
Defense was key for the Lady Panthers in the quarter as they allowed only three James Monroe field goals and eight points. PikeView led 44-30 as the ball was put into play for the final eight minutes.
James Monroe battled back and closed to within eight on Mikiala Moran’s basket midway through the fourth and the Lady Mavs defense was strong. The Lady Panthers’ only field goal of the quarter came with 2:33 to play on a putback by Madison May.
“The third quarter is what really killed us,” said James Monroe head coach Becca Ballengee. “We got down by 10 and just could not come back from it.”
Madison May led the Lady Panthers and all scorers with 19 points, Lyndsay Hatfield tallied 15 and White 12.
“I thought we played a lot better the second half than the first half,” Miller said. “I guess maybe first tournament game jitters... I am proud of the girls and we live to play another day.”
Laine Shiflet paced James Monroe with 15 points.
“We had a very good season...not a good winning season,” Ballengee said. “It wasn’t like we were blown out. We played with everybody that we lost to. We had a tough schedule.”
PikeView takes on Bluefield, Thursday night and both teams will advance to regional play next week with the winner hosting the Secton 1 runner-up and the loser visiting the Section 1 champion.
At Princeton Senior High School
JAMES MONROE (3-16)
Jordan Ballangee 0 0-0 0, Carter Shiflet 0 0-0 0, Mikaila Moran 2 2-2 6, Holly Huffman 1 0-0 2, Megan Bailey 4 0-0 9, Rebecca Sparks 4 0-0 8, Whitney Ogle 0 0-2 0, Laine Shiflet 7 1-3 15, Lauren Throckmorton 1 0-0 2, Abbie Paige 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 3-7 42.
Brittany Moore 0 0-0 0, Madison May 8 2-7 19, Hailee Fralin 0 0-0 0, Lauryn Hatfield 0 3-4 3, Crysta Meekins 1 2-3 4, Alexis May 0 0-1 0, Lyndsay Hatfield 4 7-10 15, Courtney White 5 2-5 12, Totals 18 14-20 53.
James Monroe..................8 14 8 12 — 42
PikeView..........................12 13 19 9 — 53
3-point goals: JM - 1 (Bailey); PV - 1 (M. May)
Fouled out: JM - C. Shiflet, Sparks; PV - None. Technical fouls: None