|Lady Indians top Lewis in opener
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
A year older, a year wiser and a year physically stronger, the Montgomery County High School girls’ basketball team showed signs of that growth Monday night as they rallied to beat Lewis County, 64-60, at the MCHS Arena.
Former Montgomery County boys’ assistant coach Dustin High, making his debut as a head coach with the Lady Indians, saw his team control the game for two and a half quarters, building a 36-22 lead.
Then the Lady Lions of Coach Jay Fite caught fire and out-scored Montgomery County 37-19 over a large portion of the second half to take a 59-55 lead into the closing two and a half minutes of the game.
The Lady Indians used an 11-1 run to end the game to get their first win of the season.
Eighth-grader Beth Barrier scored 20 points, nine of them in the final period, to lead the Lady Indians’ rally. She had plenty of help in securing the win from her other young teammates. There were times in the second half when High had three eighth-graders and two freshmen on the floor.
Montgomery County also went into those final minutes without starters Shae Harris, who fouled out with 4:19 to play, and Allie Dillon, who went down with an ankle sprain at the 3:03 mark.
“We really needed to win this game, not just play well,” High said. “With a young team, another loss would have left them saying, ‘Well, here we go again.’
“I’m really proud of the way we battled through some adversity and came out on top.”
All five starters scored in the opening quarter as Montgomery County jumped on top 9-1 and then settled for a 13-8 advantage at the end of the period.
Barrier, who had been held in check through most of the first half, scored the final six points of the half on a three-point play following a steal and then a three-point field goal from the top of the key as the Lady Indians stretched the lead out to 29-18 at the end of the half.
In the third quarter, freshman forward Shae Harris scored 10 of her 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers, as Montgomery County moved out to their 36-22 lead and then dropped back to just a 44-39 lead at the end of the period.
“Shae just took over the game and then got in foul trouble,” High noted. “She’s really strong with the ball and she also made a couple of great passes in the first half to set up her teammates.”
Cheyenne Dsouza, a 5’10” sophomore, started the Lewis County comeback, scoring nine of her 17 points in the third period and then freshman Sara Paige Weddington, a 5’10” forward, scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the final period .
The third key for Lewis County’s comeback was senior guard Mary Lewis who came off the bench to hit four three-pointers.
With Lewis County leading 59-55, freshman point guard Ella Routt, making her first varsity start, hit a three-pointer from the right wing that went in, popped out and then fell back through the basket.
Weddington hit one of a pair of free throws to make it 60-58 Lewis County, with two minutes to play.
Barrier hit a pair of free throws with 1:38 to play, then came up with a steal and hit two more free throws at the 1:15 mark to push the Lady Indians back into the lead.
The second set of free throws gave the Lady Indians the lead at 62-60 and then eighth grader Reaghan Oney hit a pair of charity tosses with just :15 to play to put the game on ice.
Oney was playing in her first varsity game and she went four of four from the free throw line in the final period.
“She’s been a starter on the varsity softball team and I think playing in that environment makes a difference for her,” High said. “She’s not going to be rattled because she’s been in those situations before.”
The two teams will meet again this season.
The Lady Lions are scheduled to play in the Gateway Holiday Classic here in December and will be Montgomery County’s opponent in the opening round.
The Lady Indians play at Ludlow Saturday night.
Lewis County (60) — Sara Paige Weddington 8-16 5-8 21, Aliyah Horsley 2-7 0-0 5, Cheyenne Dsouza 6-10 4-5 17, Liv Campbell 0-8 4-5 4, Payton McGlone 0-4 1-2 1, Mary Lewis 4-8 0-0 12, Hannah Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, Alana Puente 0-2 0-0 0, Jaisa Adams 0-1 0-0 0, Maddie Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Team 20-56 14-20 60.
MCHS (64) — Hayden Barrier 4-8 11-13 20, Ella Routt 3-7 0-1 7, Allie Dillon 2-4 0-0 6, Shae Harris 5-8 1-2 13, Savana Parker 2-5 2-3 6, Reaghan Oney 0-3 6-8 6, Emily Williams 2-4 0-2 4, Adrienne Tuttle 1-1 0-0 2, Elana Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Maddie Zeek 0-0 0-0 0. Team 19-39 6-12 20-29 64.
Lewis 8 10 21 21—60
MCHS 13 16 15 20—64
Three-point field goals — Lewis County 6-16 (Horsley 1-6, Dsouza 1-2, Lewis 4-7); MCHS 6-12 (Barrier 1-2, Dillon 2-3, Harris 2-3). Rebounds — Lewis County 42 (Weddington 15, Dsouza 10); MCHS 29 (Em. Williams 5, Harris 4). Assists — MCHS 9 (Barrier 4, Harris 3, Parker 1, Routt 1). Steals — MCHS (8 (Barrier 3, Harris 2, Oney 2, Routt 1). Turnovers — Lewis County 21, Montgomery County 14. Total fouls — Lewis County 24, MCHS 17. Fouled out — Weddington, Horsley, Harris. Technical fouls — None.