Lady Tornado dominates Bishop Walsh 59-29

Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
Keyser's Maddy Broadwater moves the ball down court against Bishop Walsh on Monday.  Broadwater finished with a game-high 21 points and added five steals and four rebounds.

CUMBERLAND - After a seven day stretch of no games, the Keyser Lady Tornado finally sprung back into action in a recently thrown together game at Bishop Walsh in Cumberland.  It took one period of play to dust away the cobwebs, but Keyser picked up the pace in the second period and never looked back en route to a 30-point, 59-29 victory.

“We moved the ball well enough to get some really good shots tonight, and we made some free throws which was nice, I’ll be able to sleep tonight now. We made some free throws, I think we were 18 for 23, which is awesome. That’s a good sign,” Keyser coach Josh Blowe stated.

According to Blowe, “I was very happy. That’s a very good team win. Everybody got to play and I think almost everybody got to score again. I’m very pleased.”

As expected when coming back from a long layoff, things started somewhat slow for Keyser, Bishop Walsh too. At the conclusion of the first period, Keyser clung to only a four-point lead (10-6), with six of those opening period points coming from Maddy Broadwater.

The second period, however, could not have played out any differently. Keyser opened the second frame on an explosive 16-0 run to balloon their lead to 20 points (26-6). Broadwater was responsible for seven of those points, Alexa Shoemaker contributed five points in that run. Bishop Walsh, however, did close out the second period on a 6-0 run of their own to close the halftime gap to 14 points (26-12).

What was the difference between the sluggish first period and the explosive second? According to Blowe, energy and effort, helped along by a spirited talk in between the two frames.

“If you noticed in the first period, our energy level, they were out-hustling us to loose balls, they were rebounding, we were getting balls going off our hands and out of bounds a lot.  Mainly, it was energy and effort. The energy and effort was not there at the beginning,” Blowe explained.

According to Blowe, “I don’t know if it was rust from the seven-day layoff, I’m not sure. But, it was good to turn it on.  We did that at Hampshire the other night as well when we went on an 11-0 to start the third. I told them in between quarters that it wasn’t a good look to get out-hustled for fifty-fifty balls constantly in that first period. It was a good change, and when we play with energy and make shots, we’re really tough to beat.

The second half was all Keyser. The Lady Tornado first outscored Bishop Walsh 16-9 in the third frame to expand their lead to 21 points (42-21) heading into the game’s final period.  In that final stanza, Keyser outpaced the Lady Spartans, more than doubling them up in scoring (17-8) to produce the 59-29 victory.

In the victory, the Lady Tornado was led by Maddy Broadwater with 21 points coming off seven field goals, and a perfect seven for seven from the free throw line. Broadwater also added five steals and four rebounds. Next for Keyser in scoring was Alexa Shoemaker and Kaili Crowl, each with 10 points apiece.  Shoemaker added rebounds, one assist and one steal. Crowl added five rebounds and two steals.

Also contributing for Keyser was Averi Everline with six points, four rebounds and one assists, and Rebekah Biser and Aly Smith with three points apiece. Biser added four rebounds and two assists, while Smith tallied five rebounds and one assist. Maddie Harvey, Summer Reid and Alyvia Idleman contributed two points each. Harvey added seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Reid tallied five rebounds, two assists and two steals.  

“She (Maddy Broadwater) played really well. She played really well against Hampshire as well, she had 15 over there. The first four games of the season she was kind of trending in the wrong direction, but we knew what kind of player she was, she just wasn’t playing up to her potential. Now, she’s starting to see it and feel it, and hopefully that carries on for the rest of the season. She’s definitely an x-factor for us.”

While Broadwater was the leading scorer this night, Blowe stressed the balance the 2021 version of Lady Tornado brings to the game.

“I don’t think any team I’ve ever coached, and any team around this area that I’ve ever coached against, is as balanced in scoring as this one. We have eight girls who have scored in double figures this year. That’s almost unheard of, you don’t ever hear that hardly ever,” Blowe explained. “Some teams have 20 and 30 point scorers and that’s good also, but it’s also good to have that balance on the bench.  We know that when we sub, we’re not losing anything.    

In the loss, the Lady Spartans were led by Sarah Wharton with 12 points, followed by Autumn Hoppert with seven points, Grace Bearinger with five points, and Maddi Brown with three points.  Haleigh Cromwell rounded out the scoring with two points for Bishop Walsh.  

Keyser (4-3) will next play at Frankfort in a varsity only contest at 6 p.m. on Friday.  In the first meeting between the two county-rivals, Frankfort edged the Lady Tornado 50-47. Blowe was asked his thoughts on both the first meeting, and the upcoming matchup.

“We did miss a lot of foul shots, but I attribute it more to, we had a slow start, they built a big lead, and we had to really exert a lot of energy getting back into it. Maybe that was part of our missed free throws. But, I like to stay tight early and often, and just play our game like we’ve been doing. Practice hard every day and bring the energy from the tip, and just get after it, that’s all you can ask. I think we can play with everybody if we execute,” Blowe stated.