RICHLANDS, Va. —
Too many weapons.
The Warriors of Wise Central got 19 points from the heralded Logan Reynolds, but also got scoring from 10 of her teammates, to defeat Richlands on its own floor 60-47 on Tuesday evening in the 2A West Region quarterfinals.
The result ended Richlands' season, and its three-year string of state-level playoff appearances.
Richlands seniors Brittany Allen and Sarah Compton scored 18 and 17 points apiece in their final game for the Blues.
The Blues lost the lead with 5:23 gone in the contest, and never got it back. The Warriors scored the last 11 points of the first quarter, hitting three 3-pointers in the run, to forge a 21-8 advantage. Richlands made 3 of 12 field-goal tries in the first period and Wise Central was 8 for 14.
Richlands head coach Dennis Palmer said, “They had some girls step up and hit some threes, and we didn't rebound very well in the first quarter. When you dig yourself a (13)-point hole like that, it's hard to dig out of it.”
On the other sideline, the Warriors' spirits got a needed boost on the heels of their loss in the Clinch Mountain Conference championship game to Gate City.
Wise Central head coach Robin Dotson said, “That good start really gave us some confidence after the other night. … We got the confidence back up in the first quarter, then weathered the storm when they made a run at us in the third.”
In the second quarter, Richlands went five minutes without a field goal, but Wise Central was 0 for 5 in the final 90 seconds of the half and Richlands pulled within 30-17.
Early in the second half, the Blues turned defensive rebounds into points at the other end. Compton had four field goals inside and Allen added eight points to rally to within six points, 40-34 with 1:04 left in the third quarter, as the home crowd cheered wildly.
Palmer said, “We did battle back, and that's a testament to how hard these girls work, and how hard they play. They could easily have folded at halftime.”
He said that the Warriors were “playing out front. We weren't getting a lot of movement, and we couldn't hit our cuts and we couldn't get anything outside, so we just decided to go down inside … .”
“Sarah basically got us back in the game, and that opened it up a little bit for Brittany on some drives and some shots.”
Led by Reynolds, Wise Central then went on a 17 to 6 run that essentially iced the game. Late in that span, Compton fouled out and the Richlands scheme was never the same.
Palmer said about Compton, “This year she averaged a double-double. When she was in the game, we could get rebounds, and when she wasn't in the game, we had trouble rebounding.”
Dotson said, “The second half, they got the ball down inside pretty good. Compton had a good game.”
Richlands' Montana Hearl scored the game's last field goal with two minutes left on the clock. Allen wrapped up her school-record point total by making 5 of 6 free throws after that. The Warriors were 4 out of 8 at the line in the stretch run.
For the game, Wise Central made 21 of 47 field-goal tries and their hosts were 17 for 44.
Dotson said, “We've got a lot of girls that can contribute, and a lot did tonight. Sometimes it was just finding the right combination in there. Everybody that we played, played well at times, and did some good things for us.”
“Logan is what makes us go, but we've got other people that … can knock down shots and make some plays.”
Reynolds said, “Everybody contributes. You can't win off one player, you can't win off of two. But if the whole team competes and cooperates, I think we come together as one, and play really well.”
She said Richlands is “a great team. They're very passionate. They have great players. They don't back down, even when we had them quite a bit down in the first half, they came back in the second half and kept going.”
Allen said about the Warriors, “They are a good team. We came in thinking we've got to shut Logan down, but honestly, I think they had too many weapons for us.”
Compton said, “They were kind of double-teaming me at first, but they kind of laid back and my teammates got me the ball real (well) and I was able to get some points down inside.”
“You've got to give them credit. They have shooters, they rebound, they play good defense. I wish them the best.”
Palmer said, “There's no bad teams right now. When you get to this point in the season, all the teams are good.”
After an emotional postgame talk in the locker room, Allen and Compton talked about their high school playing days.
Compton said, “I've loved it. We've all worked really hard, since we were young, and we all played together. I hate to see it end this early, but I know we did our best.”
Allen said playing for Richlands “was great. I'm going to miss everything, but I'm ready to play college basketball. Like my coach said, it is an ending but it's also a new beginning.”
“I'm really proud of my team, though. We had a great year and we're young. I know they're going to do great in a couple of years. They work hard. It's just unlimited. I wish them the best.”
Compton said, “It's a great group of girls. They're young, but they're very good.”
Palmer said, “We'll work in the off-season, and they're only going to get better and better.”
— Contact Tom Bone
At Richlands Middle School
Anna Albage 1 0-0 2, Eliza Mullins 1 1-2 4, Logan Reynolds 7 4-7 19, Corinna Flaskamp 2 0-0 4, Kayla Mulkey 2 3-3 8, Annie Church 0 1-1 1, Reagan Davis 2 0-0 6, Khelsea Salyers 2 0-0 5, Carrie Cantrell 2 0-02 4, Sophie Mullins 1 0-0 2, Rion Caldwell 1 3-4 5, Totals 21 12-19 60.
Montana Hearl 3 0-0 7, Nadia Ashiq 1 0-0 2, Brittany Allen 4 10-13 18, Olivia Harmon 1 1-2 3, Sarah Compton 8 1-1 17. Totals 17 12-16 47.
Wise Central.................21 9 12 18 — 60
Richlands........................8 9 17 13 — 47
3-point goals – WC 6 (E. Mullins 1, Reynolds 1, Mulkey 1, Davis 2, Salyers 1); RHS 1 (Hearl). Fouled out – RHS, Compton. Total fouls – WC 16, RHS 15. Technical fouls – none.