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Guard Nikki Lam led the Trailblazers on a pair of big scoring runs to eliminate the Cougars.
JASON LENHART | Harrisonburg Daily News-Record
Patrick County’s Hannah Helbert (left), who had 11 points, drives to the basket against Spotswood’s McKenzie Jenkins.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
HARRISONBURG — The Spotswood Trailblazers were just too fast and too good for Patrick County on Saturday night as the Cougars fell, 83-42 in the quarterfinals of the Group AA Girls Division 3 state basketball championships at James Madison University.
The ’Blazers (27-1) — who placed four players in double figures — were quite the match for the Region IV runner-ups.
“I’m really proud of these kids,” Patrick County coach Glenn Burnett said. “We weren’t given much of a chance to compete in our district, but here we were, playing in the state. We probably played the best team in the state tonight. It might have been different had we been paired up with a different team.”
Early on, the Cougars (17-10) showed Spotswood they came to play.
Patrick County jumped out to a 7-2 lead, hitting its first two buckets. Karleigh Wilkinson drove the lane for a three-point play, Hannah Helbert canned a jumper from the wing and Anna Shough came off the bench and scored on a stick-back to set the early pace.
Spotswood came roaring back with a 13-0 run led by Nikki Lam. The junior guard scored a career-high 24 points, eight of them in the spurt.
T’Keyah Hines hit a lay-up to halt the Cougars’ two-and-a-half-minute scoring drought and cut the Trailblazers lead to six, 15-9, at the 2:33 mark of the first quarter.
But Spotswood’s man-to-man defense held Patrick County in check the rest of the quarter as the top seed jumped to a 22-9 lead. The ’Blazers forced 10 Cougar turnovers in the frame as the backcourt pressure proved too much for the young Cougars.
“We started out playing really well,” Burnett said. “But Spotswood got us out of our rhythm. They do a really good job with that press.”
The up-tempo game played right into the hands of Spotswood, the Valley District and Region III champions. The winners shot 42 percent in the first half, hitting several fast-break lay-ups.
The two teams played fairly evenly in the second quarter as Shough and Ebony Reynolds combined for 10 points in the paint for the Cougars. Bailey Williams held the hot hand for Spotswood, hitting for eight points in each of the first two periods.
Spotswood put the game away in the third quarter as Lam scored on five consecutive trips down the floor in the final two minutes of the period. With the ’Blazers holding an 18-point lead, 50-32, Lam hit a 3-pointer from the key, followed up a steal with a lay-up, hit three-of-four free throws and finished with a lay-in off another Spotswood steal as the Trailblazers led 62-32 after three.
Helbert was the only bright spot for the Cougars, scoring all nine of Patrick County’s points.
Spotswood continued to pour it on in the final quarter and its defense limited the Cougars to just one bucket in the first six minutes of the fourth. Patrick County finished the night with 32 turnovers — most of them caused by the full-court pressure.
Helbert, who was playing in her final game, fouled out with 5:43 left in the contest. But her play set an example for her squad.
“I think the younger players always look to the older ones for leadership. I just tried to guide them as best I could,” Helbert said. “But I do expect great things from this team next year.”
Helbert led the Cougars with 11 points while Shough added nine.
For Spotswood, who will play Monticello at the Siegel Center on Tuesday, Lam led the way, while Williams had 23, Taylor Dodson scored 14 and Elizabeth Dofflemyer added 13.
PATRICK COUNTY (19-10)
Shough 4 1-2 9, Hines 1 0-2 2, Dodson 2 0-0 5, Reynolds 2 0-0 4, Wilkinson 1 3-3 5, Helbert 5 1-5 11, Scales 2 0-0 4, Thomas 1 0-1 2. Totals 18 5-13 42.
Patterson 1 2-2 4, Jenkins 1 0-0 2, Williams 4 13-16 23, Lindsay 0 2-2 2, Dofflemyer 5 0-0 12, Lam 7 7-10 24, Dobson 5 4-8 14, Delaney 0 2-2 2. Totals 23 30-40 83.
Patrick County 9 14 9 10 – 42
Spotswood 22 18 22 21 – 83
3-point-goals — Patrick County 1 (Dodson), Spotswood 7 (Williams 2, Dofflemyer 2, Lam 3). Total fouls — Patrick County 23, Spotswood 15. Fouled out — Helbert.
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