The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 16, 2014

Indy girls fall under pressure

River View uses relentless press to defeat Lady Patriots

In 1981, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers David Bowie and Queen teamed up to record the hit record “Under Pressure.”

Thirty-three years later, Independence girls basketball coach Richard Meece could have been singing the same song.

Thursday night, the River View Lady Raiders came to Coal City and walked away with their bounty, a 63-36 victory over Independence, to improve to 4-6 on the season.

River View utilized tight full-court pressure for all four quarters, squashing the Patriots’ offensive hopes before they could even reach the basket.

“The problem with pressure is we can’t really simulate it in practice,” Meece said. “We don’t have enough players capable of doing it at game speed. The thing about it was, we get past the first line. If we’re giving it up, we’re giving it up at half-court and not giving them 2-foot layups.”

River View opened up the game on a 9-0 run and went several minutes into the first quarter before allowing the Patriots to get their first field goal of the game.

It’s that type of defensive performance River View coach Gehrig Justice hopes will be his team’s trademark.

“In the past, we’ve been known for that,” he said. “We start two freshmen and play four. We’re young right now, and we’re still learning stuff. We’re not real big, but we’re all decent speed.

“Skill wise, we’re not bad,” he continued. “Youth wise, we’re struggling. We have 15- and 16-year-olds playing with 17- and 18-year-olds. That’s a big difference. I think we’ll continue to get better, we’ve just got to grow. They were all great middle school players. They’ve just got to get used to the high school game.”

It wasn’t all defense for the Lady Raiders, however, as they worked the ball around, finishing the game with three girls in double-figures, led by 5-4 junior Kiersten Dority, who had 23 points.

“Dority has been one of our leading scorers all year,” River View coach Justice said. “If we can get her to make her lay-ups, she’s going to be good for us.”

Sophomore Rebeckah Christian had 16, which came as a surprise to Justice.

“That’s the first scoring game Christian’s ever had,” he said. “I’m pleased she’s finally started scoring a bit.”

Independence had a sophomore of its own making an impact. Chloe Layne, who moved to Coal City from Mooresville, N.C. this school year, scored 15 of the Lady Patriots’ 36 points.

“She’s still trying to get used to everybody,” Meece said. “She’s doing really well. She’s getting a little more comfortable and improved as the year’s gone on.”

 While the Lady Patriots are quickly falling behind with a 1-9 record, Meece is pleased with his team’s growth, given the lack of practices it’s had.

“The snow really killed us,” he said. “It was Christmas and then it came at the weekend. We had the snow at the wrong time. It backed us up. Everybody else has the same problem we do, it just seems like its hurt us a little more.”

But even though his team fell to River View, he did have something to praise.

“They gave good effort and played hard,” he said. “They didn’t give up.”

River View will welcome James Monroe on Saturday, while Independence will travel to Clear Fork to take on Class AA No. 1 Westside Monday.

— E-mail: jrollins and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

River View 63, Independence 36

River View (4-6)

Savannah Anglin 0 0-0 0, Lindsey Meade 3 0-0 6,  Kiersten Dority 8 7-8 23, Summer Bailey 0 0-0 0, Gabi Blevins 0 0-0 0, Ellamae Johnson 2 0-0 4, Rebeckah Christian 7 2-5 16, Raven Kennedy 0 0-0 0, Paige Cooper 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Dobbs 5 3-9 14, Kaitlin Hunley 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 12-22 63.

Independence (1-9)

Jordan Hall 2 0-0 4, Leanne Aliff 1 1-2 3, Brittany Wrenn 1 0-2 2, Chloe Layne 5 2-2 15, Kaitlyn Stowers 1 0-2 2, Jessica Lilly 2 1-3 5, Faith Fortner 0 5-8 5, Kasey Hart 0 0-0 0.. Totals: 12 9-19 36.

RV    17    18    14    14    —    63

I    6    7    11    12    —    36

3-point goals — RV: 1 (Dobbs). ; I: 3 (Layne 3). Fouled out — None.ꆱ

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