Spring Mills defeats Lady Tornado 81-57

Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
Keyser's Kaili Crowl (30) and Aly Smith (32) reach for the ball against Spring Mills. Smith scored 14 points to help lead Keyser in the loss, Crowl added four points.
Keyser's Alexa Shoemaker drives to the basket against Spring Mills.  Shoemaker scored 14 points to help lead Keyser in the loss.

KEYSER - Fourteen hours after leaving it all on the court against Frankfort in Short Gap, the Keyser Lady Tornado were back in action again. This time, however, they would be playing at home, and not against a county rival but rather against AAAA Spring Mills.

Unfortunately for Keyser, Spring Mills employed a ferocious offensive attack that included a barrage of three pointer after three pointer, and just as deadly, a roster that allowed them to substitute five in and five out with regularity, ensuring at all times a stable of fresh legs throughout the game’s 32 minutes.

How much did Spring Mills’ barrage of three pointers and stable of fresh legs affect the game? According to Keyser coach Josh Blowe, a lot.

“It was a shocker to me, and kind of surprising, but credit to them for making shots. They had eight days to prepare, they were definitely ready, and this was a make-up game for us, scheduled the day after a tough rival game last night. So, credit to them, they played well, we didn’t play well,” Blowe stated.

According to Blowe, “It was a tough game at Frankfort last night, and they’re mentally, physically and emotionally spent. I’m sure that had something to do with it. But, in a shortened season, I just figured we should get in as many games as we can, especially early,” Blowe explained.

The two teams got off to a blistering pace in the first period, combining for 46 points as Spring Mills stood with a 31-15 lead at the end of the first period. Spring Mills connected on six three-point shots, five two-point field goals, and three free throws in the opening frame. Keyser, by contrast, hit three two-point goals and nine free throws to account for their 15 first period points.

Keyser scored 16 points in the second period but Spring Mills countered with 21 points. In the second frame, the Cardinals connected on four field goals and four more three-point shots to tally a toral for the first half. For the Lady Tornado, eight free throws accounted for half of their points with the other eight coming from four field goals. At the conclusion of the second quarter, visiting Spring Mills led host Keyser 52-31.

In the third period, the visiting Cardinals continued their offensive production, tallying 17 points in the third frame and limiting Keyser to 13 points. At the conclusion of three periods of play, Spring Mills held a 25-point, 69-44 advantage.

Spring Mills’ offensive onslaught finally slowed somewhat in the fourth period. In fact, the Lady Tornado won the final stanza by an advantage of 13 points to 12. As such, the final advantage for the Cardinals was reduced from 25 points to 24, with a final score of 81-57 in favor of the visitors from Berkeley County.

In the victory, Spring Mills employed 11 separate scorers, and were led in double figures by Taylor McIntyre with 17 points, and Keleigh Pownall and Mya Griffin with 14 points apiece. In addition, Brianna Birdsong tallied nine points, Ashiya Domer eight points, and Chloe Irving six points.  Finally, Faith Bush and Tory Henry each contributed four points, Levian Cole and Emily Cole two points apiece, and Ella Jones one point.

In the loss, Keyser was led by Alexa Shoemaker and Aly Smith in double figures with 14 points apiece. Maddie Harvey and Averi Everline tallied six points apiece, Maddy Broadwater, Janiah Layton and Kaili Crowl added four point each, Summer Reid three points, and Rebekah Biser two points.    

Keyser (4-5) will next host Hampshire on Monday for Senior Night, with junior varsity action inbounding at 6 p.m., and varsity action to follow at 7:30 p.m. In junior varsity only action, the junior Tornado will travel to Frankfort on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. action.

“It’s frustrating, but hopefully, it’s just a game where we were a little tired. We weren’t there today, but hopefully, we can get it back for Monday, it’s a big sectional game, it’s Senior Night. It’s a big game, we want to win it for our seniors, and it’s big for sectional seeding. It’s also a big game for us moving forward the rest of the season,” Blowe explained.