By Dan Stillwell
For three quarters, PikeView’s fast-break offense was missing in action.
But like most good teams, the Panthers saved the best for last.
Keyed by strong boardwork, 15th-ranked PikeView finally ran Shady Spring off its own floor in the fourth quarter to take a 68-55 victory in the opening game of the season for both teams.
Guard Laken Coburn scored 12 of her game-high 33 points in the final period, taking passes from the Panthers’ tall front line and racing downcourt for easy layups.
“Laken and the whole team picked it up,” coach Karen Miller said. “We changed a few things defensively and our kids started fast-breaking.”
Six-foot-two Trista Thomas and her six-foot sister, Samantha, finished with eight and five rebounds before fouling out. The real surprise, however, was guard Rachel Weatherly, who had 10 boards to go along with nine points.
Going into the final period, the Tigers had outrebounded and outhustled the Panthers. They trailed by just two points, 44-42.
But while Miller ran players in and out of her lineup all evening, Shady Spring’s John Davis played just six until the closing minutes.
Fatigue took its toll, Davis said
“We outplayed them in the first half, but the simple fact is we ran out of gas and were outmanned in the post,” he said. “And once we got down three or four points, we had a few sloppy turnovers.”
Shady led 31-27 at halftime and was up for much of the third quarter. PikeView scored off a couple of steals and made a late 5-0 run to finally gain the momentum.
“We started trying to get it all back at one time instead of staying patient,” Davis said.
Weatherly and both Thomases finished with nine points. Coburn added five steals.
“The first half didn’t look pretty, but it was our first game and they were trying to get used to everybody,” Miller said.
The Tigers got 24 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Emily Daniel, 12 points and 12 rebounds from senior forward Hillary Smith and 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals from freshman transfer Lydia Honaker.
Daniel, who averaged 22 points last season for Shady, and Honaker, who played at Trap Hill Middle School, showed good chemistry in their first game together.
“Where Lydia came from she had to do most of the gut work, and of course Emily had to (at Shady),” Davis said. “Now they don’t have to do that anymore.
“They can depend on each other, and once they get that down pat, they’ll be hard to guard.”
Both Shady and PikeView face fifth-ranked Summers County in their next games. The Tigers host the Bobcats Friday, while the Panthers will meet them Monday in Charleston in the Hoops Classic.
Laken Coburn 14 5-10 33, Leah Cook 0 0-0 0, Rachel Weatherly 3 3-4 9, Samantha Thomas 3 1-5 9, Trista Thomas 5 0-0 9, Amanda Shrewsbury 0 0-2 0, Garbrielle Begovich 4 0-1 8, Courtney Shrader 0 0-0 0, Jamice Cooper 0 0-0 0, Krystal Davis 0 0-0 0, Susanna Jennings 0 0-0 0, Danielle Carr 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 9-22 68.
Shady Spring (0-1)
Shelley Walton 1 0-0 2, Lydia Honaker 5 3-4 13, Emily Daniel 7 11-16 24, Hillary Smith 4 4-10 12, Kayla Maiy 0 4-8 4, Jenny Long 0 0-0 0, Cati Stover 0 0-0 0, Emily Osborne 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 22-38 55.
P 14 13 17 24 — 68
SS 11 20 11 13 — 55
Three-point goals: P: 1 (T. Thomas); SS: None; Fouled out: P: T. Thomas, S. Thomas.