Girls basketball: Hurricane edges Ripley in OT
HURRICANE, W.Va. - It had to happen.
Sooner or later, coaches were going to look at boxscores from Hurricane High School girls basketball games and notice Abby Watson.
The sophomore is the Mountain State Athletic Conference's second-leading scorer, averaging 23.2 points and is the team's only player scoring in double figures.
Ripley threw the first junk defense at Watson on Wednesday night, holding her to a season-low 10 points. It was not enough, though, as Hurricane rallied for a 47-43 overtime victory at home.
"It wasn't a box and one," Redskins Coach Austin Lowe said. "It was more of a three-one-and-one but whatever it was they did good with it."
Regardless of where the rest of the Vikings were, one of them - usually Ali Cunningham - followed Watson wherever she went. The strategy worked to near perfection in the first half as Watson went scoreless and Ripley (0-9) trailed just 17-16.
Watson and Hurricane (4-2) became more frustrated in the second half with Watson picking up a technical for her fourth foul.
"I was very frustrated," she said. "She was very touchy and I don't like that."
Aggravating the situation was the fact that her teammates were having a poor shooting night against the hustling Ripley defense. Watson made the lone basket in the third quarter as the Redskins shot 1-of-2 from the field to open the second half. Hurricane made 5-of-23 attempts in the first half.
The Vikings took advantage to pull away to a 25-20 lead. They still held a 39-35 advantage with a minute to play when Hurricane finally seemed to wake up.
Watson hit a bucket and Taneisha Sturdavent sank two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to tie the game.
"I was under a lot of pressure," Sturdavent said. "The girl behind whispered 'Don't miss' just before I shot and that made me want to make it even more."
The Redskins scored the first four points of the overtime period and the Vikings never recovered.
Watson ended up with 10 points along with seven rebounds, four steals, two blocked shots and a pair of assists.
"Never, never, never," Lowe kept repeating of what he would have thought of his team's chances if he knew Watson would be held to 10 points. "In a million years would I have thought we would have won that."
Now that Lowe has received a glimpse at what to expect the rest of the season, the Redskins will work on developing some options.
Of course the easiest will be for the rest of the Redskins to hit open shots.
"We don't usually shoot that bad," Lowe said. "It will get better."
Hurricane ended up making just 15-of-67 shot attempts, while the Vikings made only 13-of-44 from the floor.
Sturdavent paced Hurricane with 13 points, while Chelsey Hager also had 13 to lead Ripley.
Ripley (0-9) FG 3PT FT PTS
Kelli Poling 1-5 0-0 5-7 7
Jillian Mullins 2-9 0-2 3-7 7
Chelsey Hager 4-14 1-1 4-4 13
Sarah Williams 3-10 0-0 2-2 8
Mikayla Parsley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0
Ali Cunningham 2-3 0-0 2-4 6
Kaci Whitney 1-3 0-0 0-0 2
Totals 13-44 1-3 16-24 43
Percentages .318 .333 .667
Hurricane (4-2) FG 3PT FT PTS
Abby Watson 4-13 0-0 2-5 10
Audrey Barber 2-18 0-6 3-3 7
Brooke Crompton 2-8 0-0 1-4 5
Callie McClanahan 4-17 2-4 1-2 11
Taneisha Sturdavent 3-7 0-0 7-11 13
Cassi Sargent 0-3 0-0 0-0 0
Hannah Thompson 0-1 0-0 1-2 1
Totals 15-67 2-10 15-25 47
Percentages .223 .200 .600
Ripley 12 4 9 14 4-43
Hurricane 12 5 3 19 8-47
Rebounds: Ripley 31 (Poling 7, Hager 7), Hurricane 44 (Sturdavent 14, Crompton 14).
Turnovers: Ripley 28, Hurricane 12.