By Steve Swick
HAMBLETON - Two ranked Potomac Valley Conference girls basketball teams met Thursday as fourth-ranked Tucker County hosted the eighth-ranked Bulldogs from Tygarts Valley.
The Inter-Moutain photo by Steve Swick
Tucker County's Elizabeth Nichols drives in for a layup in Thursday's 62-22 win over Tygarts Valley
The match-up turned out to be no contest though, with the Mountain Lions posting a convincing 62-22 victory.
With two minutes elapsed and the score sitting at 3-2, Tucker County went on a roll.
Two layups by Aiyanna Kachmarek and a steal by Stephanie Betler that led to another score put the Mountain Lions up 11-2.
The Bulldogs were able to secure multiple offensive rebounds but never seemed to get a good shot. That, coupled with constant pressure in the passing lanes, let the hosts pull away.
Tucker County pushed the lead to 10 points at 14-4 with three minutes to go in the first quarter, and closed out the stanza at 17-5.
The Mountain Lions began the second quarter on a 7-0 run before the Bulldog's Paige Pritt stopped the streak with a free throw and then a layup, trying to keep the visitors within contact.
Tygarts Valley continued to hold their own on the boards, but when they missed it was lethal as the Mountain Lions slashed through for layups time after time.
Everyone on the team seemed to get into the act and the hosts held a 40-15 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, only seven points were scored in the first six minutes before the layup drill started again, and Tucker County had its first 30-point lead at 48-18.
Madison Mullenax hit a trey with 10 seconds showing to close out the quarter 51-18.
Substitutes started to come onto the floor for both teams in the final stanza and play faltered, but the Mountain Lions still went on a 6-0 roll.
Morgan Daniels provided the last highlight for the Bulldogs when she had a coast-to-coast layup, but the night belonged to the home team and Olivia Miller put up the last shot just before the buzzer for the 62-22 final score and the largest lead of the evening.
The Mountain Lions featured balanced scoring and did not have a single player in double-digits.
Kachmarek and Elizabeth Nichols led the way with nine points apiece.
Mullenax chipped in seven points along with Savannah Ambrose, who also had six blocked shots.
Pritt was the high scorer for the Bulldogs, with eight points, and Emily Pingley and Kelsey Wyss pulled down 10 and seven boards respectively.
"We have a very deep bench. We can go nine or more deep with this year's team," said Tucker County coach Jim Ambsose, explaining his squad's balanced scoring. "It's hard for another team to guard everyone and that's our strength."
"Overall, we played well and our defense stepped up, but we still have things to work on, rebounding being one of them."
Tygarts Valley coach Mike DiPasquale said simply, "We just didn't play well, a 40-point loss is not indicative of our team.
"But this may be a sign that we, as a coaching staff, need to look at how we're doing things. There maybe changes in our process."
Tucker County (2-0, 1-0 PVC) will travel to Petersburg on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. game. Tygarts Valley (3-1, 2-1) plays at Highland County, Va. on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.
Pendleton County 49, Moorefield 41
MOOREFIELD Pendleton County's Evan Arrington and Logan Cooper each poured in 14 points and Hayden Fox pulled down 11 rebounds as the Warriors came back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to defeat conference foe Moorefield Thursday.
Moorefield had trouble hitting their foul shots and did not score a single field goal in the fourth quarter.
Aaron Cole and Tyler Smith were high scorers for the Yellow Jackets with 15 and 14 points respectively, and the hosts were out-rebounded by 37-23.