KEYSER - After defeating Berkeley Springs on the road Tuesday, Jan. 22, Keyser's Lady Tornado faced Hampshire on the road two days later before hosting Philip Barbour on Saturday.
By Chapin Jewell
KEYSER - After defeating Berkeley Springs on the road Tuesday, Jan. 22, Keyser’s Lady Tornado faced Hampshire on the road two days later before hosting Philip Barbour on Saturday.
Keyser would claim a 55-42 victory over Hampshire at Sunrise Summit, before defeating Phillip Barbour at home 57-42.
The victories elevate the Lady Tornado to a record of 10-5 on the season.
Against Hampshire, Keyser was led by the dynamic play of three players in particular in earning the 55-42 victory. Lexi Turner pulled off the rare “triple double,” scoring 14 points, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists. According to coach Josh Blowe, “Lexi’s triple double was pretty special, I can’t remember another player recording such a feat in the past.”
Turner’s been busy racking up the accolades of late with her 1,000 point career scoring achievement and college signing with Potomac State all within the span of a few days.
Also coming up big for the Lady Tornado were senior Kearstin Lucas and freshman Aly Smith, both of whom actually led Keyser in scoring with 15 points apiece. Lucas is no stranger to leading the way as she operates as one part of Keyser’s senior “dynamic duo” alongside Lexi Turner.
For Aly Smith, however, this serves as a breakout performance of sorts for the freshman. According to Coach Blowe, “Aly Smith had a nice game as well. She did a nice job finding the soft spot in their zones. Her work in practice is paying off.”
Keyser led only 11-10 after a very close first period. Hampshire actually jumped out to a 7-2 early lead before Keyser clawed back to take the 11-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Turner and Lucas scored four each and Kaili Crowl added a three-pointer in giving the Tornado the slight early advantage.
The Golden Tornado outscored the Trojans 16-10 to take a 27-20 halftime lead. It was in the second period that Aly Smith did the bulk of her damage, scoring 10 of her co-game high 15 points. Smith hit four field goals and two foul shots in leading her team in second period scoring.
After halftime, Keyser came out playing lockdown defense in the third period.
“We held them to seven points in the third period and it really helped us create separation. That was one of our better defensive efforts of the season” Blowe recalled. Keyser outscored Hampshire 17-7 in the third period to take a 44-27 lead into the final period.
Hampshire owned the fourth period 15-11 but it was too little too late as Keyser earned the 55-42 victory.
Hampshire narrowly won the junior varsity game.
On Saturday, Keyser defeated Philip Barbour by almost an identical score, 57-42. According to Coach Blowe, “Philip Barbour was another slow start for us, but we really turned up the intensity in the fourth period. I’m not sure if it was the early start or not but we didn’t play with any fire until the fourth.”
“Philip Barbour did a nice job on Lexi (Turner), but Keke (Kearstin Lucas) had 23 points and 15 rebounds. Kaili Crowl did a very nice job guarding their best player and her work at the top of the press was great,” Blowe explained.
Kearstin Lucas did in fact lead Keyser with 23 points, while Lexi Turner was the only other Tornado scoring in double figures with 11. Kaili Crowl and Aubrey Smith added six points apiece while Makenna Staggers added five. Caitlyn Wolfe with four points while Aly Smith added two points to round out the scoring.
In the loss, Philip Barbour was led by Alyssa Hill with 15 points and Emma Kennedy with 14. Bailey Nestor added eight points, Dystonic Simmons six and Micah Harris one point.
Philip Barbour won the junior varsity game 43-34 on the strength of Jadyn Judy’s 17 point performace. Keyser’s junior Tornado were led by Maddy Broadwater’s eight points. Philip Barbour led after all four periods.
With the two wins, Keyser improved their record to 10-5 on the season, with games upcoming against Petersburg at home on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Frankfort on Thursday, Jan. 31, and away at Southern on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The Lady Tornado have now won six of their last seven games, eight of their last ten.
Keyser’s coach Josh Blowe sums up the last two games and looks to the future.
“The past two games we have not been efficient in scoring the ball, but our defense and rebounding have been solid. I hope we can continue to excel in those areas as the playoffs approach.”