By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The PikeView Lady Panthers came out of the starting blocks faster than Usain Bolt at the London Olympics, rolling out to a 18-3 lead and holding on to beat the Bluefield Lady Beavers 55-45 in a physical game that saw the officials whistle 49 fouls.
“To start out like we did was really great and we needed that real bad,” said PikeView head coach Karen Miller. “Our girls played hard and played all the way to the end. It was a good team effort.”
Bluefield head coach Tony Malamacci said, “The kids played hard, they never quit. You can’t be too disappointed when kids give it all they’ve got.”
The Lady Panthers scored the first eight ponts of the game before Bluefield’s Sheila Hopkins made one-of-two free throws. PikeView then embarked on a 10-0 run and led 18-3 before Kaitlyn Thompson got Bluefield’s first basket of the game with 1:04 to play in the quarter.
Using their full court press and a tough man-to-man defense, PikeView forced numerous Bluefield turnovers and led 18-5 after the first eight minutes of action.
Bluefield began shooting the bonus with only 14 seconds elapsed in the second quarter, but it did not help the Lady Beavers as in the first half they made only 9-of-20 charity tosses.
PikeView was in the bonus with just over five minutes left in the quarter and did take advantage of their free throw opportunities as they made 6-of-8. Alexis May provided the offense for the Lady Panthers in the period, making five free throws and scoring a bucket.
PikeView went into halftime holding a 32-21 lead.
The Beavers came out determined in the third period and cut into PikeView’s lead. closing to within eight before the Lady Panthers found Lyndsay Hatfield down low.
Hatfield scored three baskets in the paint and added two free throws in the third and helped stake her team out to a 46-28 lead headed into the final eight minutes.
Bluefield finally began to make field goals in the fourth period, though their free throw troubles continued. Destiney Sims had two threes and a pair of baskets and Tyra Jackson scored a couple of buckets to help bring Bluefield again to within eight. But the Lady Beavers made only 1-of-9 free throws in the final eight minutes. PikeView scored only two baskets from the field in the fourth stanza and made 5-of-13 free throws to maintain its lead and gain the victory.
“We got down 18-1 and against a good team like PikeView it’s hard to come back when you get that far in the hole. We spent the whole game trying to get it back,” Malamacci said.
“We just made too many turnovers. We had people playing out of position, forgetting where to go. We’d come down, have a wide-open lay up, we’d pull up and shoot a 10-foot jump shot instead of taking it to the basket. And the free throws were horrendous. In a 10-point game that’s vital.”
Bluefield connected on only 11-of 31 free throws.
Hatfield led all scorers with 16 points and Hope Nester added 10 for PikeView. Three Lady Panthers fouled out of the game, while one Lady Beaver made an early exit. Sims led Bluefield with 14 points and Jackson added 10.
“We like to press and our defense is really the key and our offense is coming along,” Miller said. “If we put both package deals together there is no telling what these girls will do.”
PikeView improved to 4-5 and will host Scott this afternoon at 4 p.m. The PikeView JV takes on Princeton at 2 o’clock.
PikeView will honor military past and present at the games.
Bluefield fell to 7-5 and will host James Monroe at the Brushfork Armory on Monday at 6 p.m.
At PikeView High School
Kaitlyn Thompson 2 2-2 4, Jessica Lester 0 0-0 0, Jesslyn Fullerton 0 0-0 0, Tyra Jackson 3 4-7 10, Jessica Hayden 1 0-2 2, Dazia Edwards 2 0-5 4, Abby Atwell 1 0-0 2, Destiney Sims 5 2-9 14, Khadijah Brown 0 0-0 0, Sheila Hopkins 2 3-8 7, Totals 16 11-31 45.
Laura Hill 1 2-2 4, Bethany Bryant 0 0-0 0, Hope Nester 3 4-8 10, Madison May 1 2-2 4, Lauryn Hatfield 1 1-2 3, Alexis May 1 5-8 7, Lyndsay Hatfield 7 2-4 16, Courtney White 1 2-4 4, Savanah Runion 3 0-0 6, Totals 18 18-30 55.
Bluefield................................5 16 7 17 — 45
PikeView.............................18 14 14 9 — 55
3-point goals: BLF - Sims 2, PV - None. Fouled out: BLF - Hopkins; PV - Hill, Nester, White. Technical fouls: None.