Kicking it up a notch: Janiah Layton leads Keyser over Moorefield
MOOREFIELD - You might say that Keyser’s game at Moorefield on Saturday was a bit of a coming out party for Keyser senior Janiah Layton. No stranger to being a solid contributor, particularly on defense, Layton seemed to kick it up a notch offensively, equaling Moorefield’s Amber Williams with a game-high 15 points to lead the Lady Tornado to a 55-35 victory.
It was a game in which Keyser amassed a 13-point, 20-7 lead in the first quarter, and then never looked back, keeping the homestanding Yellow Jackets at arms-length the rest of the way. By halftime, Keyser had exactly doubled up Moorefield 30-15.
That lead extended to 19 points, 44-25 entering the fourth quarter. In that final frame, the Lady Tornado bested Moorefield 11-10 in earning the final, 20-point, 55-35 advantage.
Layton started hot for Keyser, scoring nine of her 15 points in the opening quarter, hitting two field goals and going five for five from the charity stripe. Layton didn’t score in the second quarter, but was two for two on foul shots in the third frame. In the fourth quarter, Layton hit another field goal, and was two for two again on foul shots.
If you’re keeping track, that’s three field goals and a perfect nine for nine for Layton from the free throw line as Keyser earned the win.
Amber Williams of Moorefield matched Layton’s performance with 15 points of her own.
Layton’s performance was noticed, drew some post-game chatter from those in attendance, and garnered praise from Keyser coach Josh Blowe. Blowe has previously touted Layton as his best defender, but on this day, her game was much more complete.
“I was very pleased with Janiah Layton today, not even the points, but what she brought to the table. She’s always been one of our best defensive players, but now, she’s really taken it upon herself to be better offensive minded,” Blowe explained.
According to Blowe, “She has a really good shot with good form. You saw today, she was perfect from the foul line, going nine for nine.”
While Layton led the way with 15 points, also scoring in double figures to help lead Keyser to victory was Alexa Shoemaker with 11 points, and close behind, Maddy Broadwater with nine points.
Averi Everline and Summer Reid each contributed six points, Aly Smith had four points, and Maddie Harvey rounded out the scoring for the Black and Gold with three points.
For Moorefield, outside of Amber Williams’ 15 points, Mckenna Crites was next with 11 points, with Sterling Kump following at six points. Kaleigh Hunt and Korbin Keplinger contributed two points each, and Abby Thorn one point for the Yellow Jackets.
For Josh Blowe, while satisfied with the win, there are some things to clean up, “I don’t like sloppy, and that’s pretty much what I saw for four quarters, sloppy. We did a lot of good things. We didn’t get rewarded for some of the good things we did.”
Blowe points to a lengthy layoff after the tournament in Orlando, Florida as a possible contributor to the overall lack of sharpness.
“It feels good to be back home. We’re looking to get back in the rhythm of playing games. Like I said, it’s been ten days so there was a bit of a lull there. I felt like we were in a bit of a daze out there today,” Blowe explained.
According to Blowe, “We’ll get it back. We play Monday and Thursday next week so we have to get back into the groove of things. Still, a 20-point win is nothing to shake your head about.”
With the victory, Keyser elevates their record to 5-4 overall, staying above .500. Excluding tournament play in Florida where they went 1-2, the Lady Tornado have a record of 4-2 against regular competition.