Southern's Lady Rams showed on Friday night why they entered and left Friday night's contest against Keyser with an undefeated record. While Southern is certainly capable of displaying offensive prowess, on Friday night, defense was most certainly the name of the game in helping Southern dominate Keyser.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
Southern’s Lady Rams showed on Friday night why they entered and left Friday night’s contest against Keyser with an undefeated record.  While Southern is certainly capable of displaying offensive prowess, on Friday night, defense was most certainly the name of the game in helping Southern dominate Keyser.
In the opening frame, Southern scored 14 offensive points and limited Keyser to a mere two points. Both Keyser points were scored on two free throws as Charity Wolfe went two for two at the line. Southern’s defensive pressure forced Keyser to turn over the ball. Southern was led in scoring in the quarter by Brooke Davis with five points.
In the second quarter, Keyser sprung into action with Rebekah Biser and Alexa Shoemaker getting Keyser’s first field goals of the night, followed by four made foul shots from Kaili Crowl and one from Maddy Broadwater.  Keyser’s nine second quarter points matched the nine-point output of Southern, but the Lady Rams held a decided 23-11 advantage at halftime.  Southern was led in the second quarter by Emilee Tasker with three points.
After being held to only two field goals and seven foul shots in the entire first half by Southern’s dominating defensive play, Keyser outperformed the Rams in the third quarter, taking an 11-9 advantage and inching the game much closer. In fact, at one point, after a 16-4 run dating back to the first half, Keyser cut the Southern lead to five points (25-20). Southern outscored Keyser 7-2 the rest of the way in the third quarter to take back a commanding 32-22 lead entering the fourth quarter.
In the final frame, Southern’s dominating 16-6 performance sealed the deal, delivering the 48-28 victory for the Lady Rams. Josilyn Evans led the way in the fourth quarter with six points off two three-pointers, while Laina Holler went a perfect four for four from the foul line.  Keyser was led in the fourth quarter by Kaili Crowl with four points.
In the losing effort, Keyser was led by Kaili Crowl with 12 points coming from two field goals and eight made foul shots as Crowl finished an impressive eight for ten from the line. In addition, Alexa Shoemaker and Maddy Broadwater teamed for six points apiece, while Rebekah Biser and Caitlyn Wolfe netted two points each.
In the victory, Southern was led in scoring by Laina Holler and Josilyn Evans with 10 points apiece, followed by Hannah Owens with nine points and Brooke Davis with eight points. In addition, Emilee Tasker netted four points, McKenzie Wilt three points, and Jordyn Warnick and Harleigh Wildesen two points apiece.
Southern coach Rodger Bowman credited his team’s defensive pressure with getting Keyser to turn the ball over, and getting a total team performance when a few girls got into early foul trouble as the key to the victory.  
Keyser coach Josh Blowe felt his teamed greatly improved their performance after a sub-par first quarter performance, and credited Southern’s defense for Keyser’s biggest problem on the night, the inability to hit shots.
Keyser was victorious in the junior varsity contest, outscoring Southern 57-44 to take the victory. The junior Tornado got off to a hot start, building a 16-7 lead after the first quarter and a 30-15 leading, doubling Southern up, at the half.  After intermission, the two teams each scored 16 points apiece in the third frame and Southern edged Keyser 13-11 in the final quarter, but it was too little, too late.  When the final buzzer sounded, Keyser had earned the 57-44 victory.
Leading the way for the junior Tornado in victory was Morgan Pratt with a team-high 14 points, followed by Maddie Harvey and Alyvia Idleman with nine points each.  In addition, Averi Everline netted eight points, Sydney Taylor seven points, and Charity Wolfe and Janiah Layton four points each.  Finally, Rylee Lyons contributed two points.
In the loss for the junior Rams, Madelyn Artice led the way with a game-high 16 points, followed by Lauryn Bishoff with 12 points, and Maggie Nickel with seven points.
With the varsity victory, Southern’s Lady Rams propel their record to an impressive and undefeated 14-0 on the season. With the loss but then subsequent win on Saturday at Berkeley Springs, Keyser’s varsity record goes to 9-7 on the season. The Lady Tornado then hosted Berkeley Springs again on Monday for Senior Night. The Lady Tornado will next host Hampshire on Thursday, Jan. 30, in junior varsity and varsity action. The junior varsity will play at 6 p.m., followed by varsity action tipping off at 7:30 p.m.