Keyser girls go to 3-1 with wins over Union and Washington

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Keyser's Kaili Crowl and Maddie Harvey fight for the ball against Washington.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

Since dropping their season opener to a quality Petersburg squad, the Keyser Lady Tornado have been on a roll. It started with a 71-30 thrashing of Berkeley Springs, continued with a 50-13 taming of the Union Tigers on Monday, and then came a 45-31 victory over AAAA Washington on Wednesday.

Of the Berkeley Springs win that kicked the win streak off, Keyser coach Josh Blowe stated the following, “It was nice to get back in the win column, especially giving the girls some confidence moving forward. We did some things really well that we worked on in practice. We’re getting better, a lot of girls stepped up. I think we had four girls in double figures which is great.”

According to Blowe, “I think it was the second game in a row where everyone that stepped on the court scored a basket. That was awesome to see, we were showing our depth and that our bench can do great things as well.”

In the win against Union, Keyser jumped out to a decisive 27-3 advantage at halftime. The Lady Tornado then outscored the Tigers 23-10 in the second half to earn the convincing 50-13 victory.

“I thought that defensively we played very well, we held them to three points at the half. We rebounded well, we’ve been rebounding the ball very well early in the season. We only turned it over eight times against Union, which is awesome,” Blowe stated.

According to Blowe, “Again, I think almost every girl but one that stepped on the floor tonight scored, which is almost unreal. There’s not much drop off from starter to bench and everyone is getting a lot of minutes. Hopefully, we can continue to build.”

Averi Everline was the lone member of the Black and Gold to score in double figures with a game high 11 points. Maddie Harvey was next with eight points, Summer Reid and Alexa Shoemaker contributed seven points each, and Maddy Broadwater and Kaili Crowl six points each. Aly Smith and Rebekah Biser scored two points apiece.

In total, eight Keyser players entered the scoring column.

Oliva Bomboy led the way for Union with three points, while Bridgette Knapp, Alison Streets and Clarissa Chapman added two points apiece.  Victoria Seabolt contributed one point.

On Wednesday, Keyser welcomed the AAAA Washington Patriots to KHS for the first ever matchup between the two programs. Keyser jumped all over Washington in the game’s first and second periods. At the end of one period of play, the Lady Tornado held a commanding 18-4 lead. By halftime, the lead had grown to 20 points, 29-9.

Washington came on strong in the second half, outscoring Keyser 22-16, but, it was too little, too late. The Lady Tornado led 38-24 after three periods and earned the 45-31 victory once the final buzzer sounded.

“I was finally happy to see a nice start, we jumped out to a 29-9 lead. Defensively, we’ve been playing very well so far. We outrebounded them tonight, which was great. Our pressure really bothered them at the beginning,” Blowe explained.

“I was very happy with the defense. And I tell the girls, with the press, you don’t have to get a steal to be successful. Turnovers, travels, balls out of bounds, we’ll take anything that gets us the ball back,” Blowe stated. “The steal is a bonus, but if we can turn them over in any way, even if you don’t get the steal, just making them work a little bit, that’s crucial.”

Overall, in a week that will end with Keyser hosting county-rival Frankfort on Friday, Blowe was very happy with the play of his team.

According to Blowe, “I thought the energy was great and the hustle was great and I hope that continues.  It’s coming, we’re definitely not a finished product by any stretch, but we’re steadily getting better.”

Kaili Crowl led the way with 12 points, while Rebekah Biser and Maddie Harvey each tallied 11 points apiece.  Alexa Shoemaker was next with five points, Summer Reid added four points, and Maddy Broadwater two points in the victory.

Rebekah Biser excelled not only offensively, but particularly defensively, especially in Keyser’s big first half, and displayed great leadership along the way.

“When Rebekah is under control, she’s very, very solid, and she’s been that way for a couple years now, even when she was on jv. When she’s under control, offensively and defensively, she can do a lot of great things for us,” Blowe explained

According to Blowe, “In the first half, she was really, really good, in the second half, we talked about some things we’ll clean up later. But, she was awesome, her leadership out there when things broke down, she was quick to get the ball and make sure we got reset and in position. It was awesome to see also, because we really need someone on our team to do that, and she did it.”

Washington was led by Olivia Sanders with 13 points and Addison Skinner with nine points.

Keyser dominated the junior varsity contest, winning by a final margin of 49-9.

Keyser (3-1) will host Frankfort on Friday.  Junior varsity action tips off at 6 p.m., with varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.