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Bluefield’s Aprylle Buford pulls down a rebound against Graham’s Stephanie Smith on Tuesday night at Graham Middle School. Stephanie Wallace (12) looks on.

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Sometimes the quickest way to get over a big loss is to get a big win.

Bluefield did just that on Tuesday night, using a 15-0 second half run to defeat crosstown rival Graham 40-30 in a girls basketball game at Graham Middle School.

“This is a great feeling,” Bluefield senior Aiesha DeWitt said. “We wanted to come out and we wanted to beat them.”

DeWitt scored seven of her game-high 12 points in a third quarter that saw the Beavers turn a 15-14 halftime deficit into a 28-18 lead. Bluefield used pressure defense to force numerous turnovers and then turned those into transition baskets on the other end.

“We went away from our gameplan in the second half, Bluefield got in us and we panicked a little bit,” Graham head coach Tracy Wyatt said. “We didn’t finish in the second half. We played two strong quarters to start the game out with and then let up a little bit in the second half and they didn’t.

“They wanted it a little bit more than we did in the second half.”

Bluefield (1-1) head coach Tony Mallamaci wasn’t sure what to expect from his Beavers after they were swatted by 35 on Monday in their season opener against Oak Hill Academy.

“I thought everybody played well and played hard,” Mallamaci said. “I was worried about them being downhearted after getting beat so bad last night.

“I tried to tell them, that’s a pretty good team we played last night, there was nothing to be down about after that.”

After three lead changes in the third quarter, the Beavers scored the final nine points of the period, and added two more fourth quarter baskets before the G-Girls got on the board again. Graham went nearly eight minutes between field goals to fall behind by 14 and could never get any closer than 10. Stephanie Wallace scored eight of her 11 points in the final quarter.

“Our 3-2 zone was working, we were communicating and talking to each other and in the second half we just went away from it,” Wyatt said. “We quit executing our gameplan and they just attacked us more and we just sat back and let them do it.

“They wanted it more. They were hustling on the floor, black jerseys on the floor, not white ones. We just have to learn how to finish.”

Bluefield, which will play St. Joe’s Thursday in the Hoops Classic, received six points apiece from former G-Girl Tiara Carper and Cynthia Ramsey. Carper was instrumental in the Beavers’ win, pulling down rebounds and getting the ball out in transition.

“”We just started out kind of slow, we came in at halftime and talked about it and came out and we were ready to go,” DeWitt said. “I think we were just working harder in the second half.

“We were playing harder than what we were, and going out there and playing our best.”

Graham (1-3), which travels to Marion on Friday, received eight points from Stephanie Smith and seven by Mercer Christian transfer Hannah Lawrence.

“Our record doesn’t say much about us as far as how well we’ve been playing, but we’ve been in every game we’ve played,” said Wyatt, a former player at MCA. “We’re heading in the right direction.

“It’s going to take us a couple of more games to get there, but maybe that will happen later on the down the line when the games start counting for district.”



at Graham Middle School

Bluefield (1-1)........................6 8 14 12 — 40

Graham (1-3)..........................5 10 3 12 — 30

BLUEFIELD (1-1)

Buford 0 0-0 0, Stephanie Wallace 5 1-5 11, Bailey 2 0-2 4, Aiesha DeWitt 5 0-2 12, Carper 2 2-2 6, Tolliver 0 1-2 1, Ramsey 2 1-4 6. Totals. 16 6-17 40.

GRAHAM (1-3)

Landreth 0 0-0 0, Lawrence 2 3-6 7, Mercke 1 1-2 3, Galligher 1 0-0 2, Smith 2 4-8 8, Ka.Roberts 2 1-4 5, Kr.Roberts 0 1-4 1, Jones 2 0-0 4. Totals 10 10-24 30.

3-point goals: BF 2 (DeWitt 1, Ramsey 1); GR 0. Total fouls: BF 16; GR 16. Fouled out: none. Technicals: Lawrence. JV—BF 36-11.

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