By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
Numbers added up Friday at the Lady Dog House.
The new scorer’s table got a warm welcome from THS standouts Taylor Catron and Whitney Saunders as Southworth District-leading Tazewell ran past Marion 63-53 in what Coach Jason Southwest happily described a “continuation of the intensity we started to bring together within the past couple of games.”
Catron poured in 24 points, had six steals, and controlled the Lady Dog (9-6, 2-0) offense in her most emphatic effort of the campaign.
Sharp shooting Jordan Williams had a sizzling effort and led Marion (3-9, 0-2) with 17 points, a basket ahead of Kate Pennington and Williams shot home five three-pointers.
Williams and Pennington wasted little time attacking from inside and outside as the Scarlet Hurricane jumped out to a nine point lead in the first frame.
Catron and Saunders, however, led a relentless assault as Tazewell roared into the lead with help from Kaley Holloway, whose inside rebounding and defense gave the offense a much-needed boost.
Hard play inside from the Lady Dogs’ Kate Snapp proved crucial, as well, along with the steady play of Bri Sparks.
“We knew we couldn’t be cocky coming in against Marion,” said Saunders who fired in 14 points, added five steals and six rebounds, and consistently got a hand on Marion passes.
Tazewell pulled ahead and lost leads, yet maintained the advantage throughout the second half.
Saunders, a junior, said, “We are playing together as family right now and it’s paying off. We just have to keep doing this.”
Catron was consistent all game long, despite battling flu-like symptoms all week long. In the end, she made her opponents feel bad after hitting four treys, dropping in 4-for-at the line and playing steady all evening.
“We were talking before the game. We knew we had to play hard and more importantly, play together. We look for each other and help each other,” she said.
Tazewell moved into a 29-25 advantage at the break and outscored the Hurricane just enough in the second half to maintain the momentum.
Haley Christian found the range in the second half, draining successive treys to push THS to a 12-point lead with less than five minutes remaining and that proved to be the winning points.
Holloway noted, “We are hustling as a team. As for me, especially, my job is to go after rebounds inside. I have to help out.”
Pennington scored 15, and Laura Lincoln popped in 10 more.
Tazewell was 11-of-19 at the line but Marion made none in four free throw tries.
“It’s good to see the girls play team ball like this,” noted Southworth. “For us to win we have to do that. Taylor played a great game, and so did Whitney but everybody stepped up. Kate Snapp worked hard inside all night, too.
“It takes everybody doing her part to get a victory. I am proud of our attitude right now.”
Christian added 11 for Tazewell, which hosts Abingdon Tuesday at 6 p.m.
At Tazewell Middle School
MARION (3-9, 0-2)
Bethany Richardson 2, Bailey Ratliff 6, Ali Moore 3, Jordan Williams 17, Kate Pennington 15, Laura Lincoln 10.
TAZEWELL (9-6, 2-0)
Whitney Saunders 14, Essence Brown 5, Taylor Catron 24, Haley Christian 11.
Marion.............................19 6 18 10 — 53
Tazewell..........................10 19 16 18 — 63
Three-point goals – MAR 7 (Williams 5, Moore 1, Pennington 1); TAZ 8 (Catron 4, Christian 3, Saunders 1). Fouled out – none.