KEYSER - On a windy Tuesday night in Mineral County West Virginia, the Keyser Golden Tornado girls basketball squad faced a familiar foe from Frostburg, Maryland; the Lady Miners of Mountain Ridge. Fans from both schools packed the stands and they were treated to a back and forth battle which was won by Mountain Ridge 53-48 in their season debut.
KEYSER - On a windy Tuesday night in Mineral County West Virginia, the Keyser girls basketball squad faced a familiar foe from Frostburg, Maryland; the Lady Miners of Mountain Ridge. Fans from both schools packed the stands and they were treated to a back and forth battle which was won by Mountain Ridge 53-48 in their season debut. Mountain Ridge jumped out to an early 23-13 lead as Seairra Ward dropped in 5 field goals for 10 points to pace the Miners offense. Keyser Coach Josh Blowe made a tactical adjustment at the start of the 2nd quarter unleashing a full court press to stall the Mountain Ridge offense. The Lady Tornado played intense physical defense holding Mountain Ridge to just 9 points in the 2nd quarter. Keyser was able to pour in 13 points in the 2nd quarter to trim the lead to 6 points, trailing Mountain Ridge 26-32 at halftime.
At the start of the 2nd half Keyser continued to utilize their press defense which suffocated the Miners offense, holding them to only 6 points in the 3rd quarter. With time winding down in the 3rd quarter, freshman Kaili Crowl possessed the basketball and noticed time was about to expire. Kaili utilized a pump fake then made a nice move towards the basket, and tossed up a shot that went through the rim as the buzzer sounded to give Keyser a 1 point advantage 39-38. Mountain Ridge was able to regroup and gather their composure to start the 4th quarter. Keyser on the other hand struggled to find the bottom of the basket as open shots bounced off the rim. The key to victory for Mountain Ridge was their ability to pull down critical rebounds late in the contest. Those rebounds led to 2nd chance points for the Miners to secure a narrow 53-48 road win over the Lady Tornado.
Kearstin Lucas and Makenna Staggers led the Lady Tornado with 11 points each. Kearstin showed her versatility on the court displaying the ability to score baskets in the paint while also hitting shots from the perimeter. Makenna Staggers was able to draw fouls earning several trips to the foul line. Makenna continued to prove her status as the best free throw shooter in Mineral County by nailing 5 free throws on 5 attempts. Lexi Turner hit a pair of bombs from downtown and finished the game with 9 points. Aubrey Smith was a physical presence in the paint scoring 8 points in the contest. Madi Anderson was instrumental in the offense as well scoring 7 points for the Golden Tornado.
Mountain Ridge had 4 players finish in double digits with Seairra Ward leading the way with 16 points. Alexie Arnold converted 7 of 9 from the charity stripe and finished the game with a total of 15 points. Senior Loren McAlpine dropped in 10 points and her total was matched by PF Kailia Pua’auli, who was perfect from the free throw line to help her crack double digits. Junior PG Morgan Cuthbertson was the pilot in command of the Miner’s offense, creating space and feeding the ball to her open teammates.
Next up for Mountain Ridge (1-0) is a road game today, December 7th, against the Allegany Campers in Cumberland. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30PM. Next up for the Golden Tornado (0-2) is a road game today, December 7th, on the east end of Cumberland against the Fort Hill Sentinels. The JV game will start at 6:00PM and the varsity game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30PM.