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Girls basketball: Hoover wears down Roane County with deep rotation

FALLING ROCK, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover's youth-laden girls basketball team will most certainly run into a few problems as it navigates its way through the season.

Fatigue will not be one of those problems.

The Huskies (2-1) used 12 players, rotating five players at a time in and out of the lineup, to wear down visiting Roane County (1-3) in a 44-34 win Wednesday night at Herbert Hoover.

Hoover's liberal substitution pattern allowed its guard-oriented lineup to relentlessly pressure the Raiders from start to finish.

Given the team's lack of size, it's a pattern that Huskies opponents had better be prepared for.

"For the most part we've got to pressure because of our height," Hoover Coach Greg Ullman said. "We average probably 5-foot-5, so we're going to try to stay up tempo."

That up-tempo style of play was devastating to Roane, as the Huskies forced 42 turnovers, including 17 in the first quarter.

"They did a good job of putting a lot of pressure on us," Roane Coach Frank Farrar said. "We've got a lot of inexperienced players that aren't used to that kind of pressure in varsity games. We need to go against this type of defense because we can't simulate it in practice.

"We preach it, preach it and preach it, but we just can't simulate that kind of pressure in practice."

Under constant pressure from relentless Huskies defenders, Roane County made just 14 of 57 from the field, including 2 of 17 from 3-point range.

Hoover, however, wasn't able to do much with its extra possessions, shooting just 15 of 69 from the field overall and 5 of 20 from behind the arc.

Hoover also shot a paltry 9 of 27 from the free throw line.

"This was definitely an ugly win," Ullman said. "Defensively, we did fine in forcing a lot of turnovers, unfortunately we didn't convert any of them into baskets. I don't know how many shots we missed inside the lane, but we were really bad shooting the ball."

Despite 26 first-half turnovers for Roane, Hoover led just 18-14 at the break. After an early third quarter bucket trimmed the lead to 18-16, sophomore Caroline Thornburg gave the Huskies some breathing room with back-to-back three pointers in the first 90 seconds of the quarter to stretch the lead to 24-16.

Thornburg led the Huskies with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Hoover sophomore Bailey Aab and senior Jordan Marshall added seven points apiece.

Roane County was led by Cassidy Taylor's 13 points and Kipra Rhodes had eight.

For Ullman, the fact that his team was able pull out the win while dealing with its own turnover and shooting woes, indicates that the program is headed in the right direction.

"I'm pleased," Ullman said of his team, which includes nine freshman and sophomores on its 13-member roster. "I didn't love a lot of the stuff we did tonight but the bottom line is to win the game.

"We forced enough turnovers that there should have been a bigger margin of victory at the end, but I guess if we play bad and still win, it's a new level for the program."

In other girls action:

Valley 67, Charleston Catholic 54 - The Greyhounds (4-0) jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and held on to defeat the Irish (1-2) in Smithers.

Alexis Payne led the way with a game-high 37 points with Kelsy Bird adding 15 for Valley.

Samantha Fletcher had 25 points and Anna Whelan 19 to account for most of Charleston Catholic's offense.


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