By Steve Keenan
For The Register-Herald
Fayetteville’s girls basketball game with Fayette County rival Meadow Bridge Tuesday was important, primarily, for section tournament seeding purposes.
But, if they didn’t already realize it, the Pirates also discovered that they could dig a little deeper when faced with some adversity.
Playing without sick point guard Maddie Pritt and her 12.5 points per game, Fayetteville proved it has enough other weapons in its arsenal, getting solid contributions from several players to glide by the 15-win Wildcats 52-30 at the Fayette County Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building
The victory was one the Pirates really craved, said senior guard Avina Sedlock, who finished with 17 points to share team scoring honors with freshman Kendall Malay.
“It was actually a real big game for us,” Sedlock said. “It was more of a respect game.”
Sedlock, who pointed out that the win allowed FHS to remain unbeaten against Fayette County schools, felt the reason for her team coming out on top was simple.
“I think we hustled more and we wanted it more,” she said.
Sedlock played a big part in the key spurt that allowed the Pirates to gain control as the opening half wound down. After Meadow Bridge’s Micah Farr netted a par of free throws off an offensive rebound to tie it at 12-12 with 3:45 left in the second, Fayetteville turned up the defensive intensity.
Malay scored off an assist in transition by Kaitlyn Sisler, and teammate Hannah Samples canned the first shot of a one-and-one to make it 15-12. Sedlock followed with a deuce after making a backdoor cut on the baseline and taking a nice feed from Kathryn Peelish, then Sedlock converted a steal into two points at the other end for a 19-12 Fayetteville lead with 2:33 left.
After a Meadow Bridge timeout, Malay netted a free throw on the heels of a Meadow Bridge turnover, and the freshman followed with another freebie with 33 ticks left to cap a 9-0 run.
Meadow Bridge, 15-2 and winners of 10 of its last 11 games entering the Fayetteville matchup, never established much of a rhythm offensively. While the Wildcats trimmed the deficit to six, 24-18, early in the third period and later trailed 28-20, the Pirates used a 6-0 spurt — featuring a Kaylee Wood putback and a pair of two-pointers by Sedlock — to assume a 34-20 spread with 1:30 left in the third.
The Wildcats cut it to 10, 36-26, on a Farr charity toss about a minute into the final frame, but they never really recovered.
“The ball’s been bouncing our way all year long, but it didn’t bounce our way tonight,” said Meadow Bridge coach Steve Taylor. “We didn’t hit the shots, and we have to hit our shots on the perimeter. Fayetteville did a good job defensively.
“Hats off to them.”
Taylor felt his team’s offense suffered when interior presence Felicia Pomeroy was injured during an in-game collision and was held out of the remainder of the contest as a precaution. “That hurt us in the post.”
Fayetteville coach John Mark Kincaid said his squad had to adjust to Pritt’s absence from the lineup.
“We missed Maddie; that affected our offense,” he said. “That’s the first time in three years she hasn’t been on the floor handling the ball for us.” He also said Pritt’s “lock-down defense” was missed.
Fayetteville, 12-5 and winners of nine of its last 11 contests, overcame a ‘sluggish’ start because of its depth and defensive pressure, Kincaid said. “We’re a little deeper. We really came together as a team. After the second quarter, we played pretty strong.”
“This was such a big game,” he added. “It’s a good win for us
“He (Taylor) takes pride in his team, and he does a great job.”
Wood chipped in 10 points to the FHS effort.
Caitlin White led the Wildcats with 10 points and Farr tossed in eight.
Meadow Bridge hosts Valley Thursday. Fayetteville visits Greenbrier West the same night.
Meadow Bridge (15-3)
Ally Redden 1 2-3 5, Courtney Mullins 0 1-4 1, Caitlin White 2 5-9 10, Felicia Pomeroy 0 0-0 0, Sheyla Harless 2 2-5 6, Micah Farr 2 3-4 8, Erica Pugh 0 0-0 0, Sam Adkins 0 0-0 0, Hayley Wingerd 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7 13-25 30.
Avina Sedlock 8 1-4 17, Kathryn Peelish 1 0-0 2, Faith Norris 2 0-0 4, Kaitlyn Sisler 0 1-4 1, Kendall Malay 6 5-10 17, Hannah Samples 0 1-2 1, Kaylee Wood 5 0-0 10, Emily Reeves 0 0-0 0, Rachel Mankins 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 8-20 52.
MB 5 7 11 7 — 30
F 5 16 13 18 — 52
3-point goals — MB: 3 (White, Redden Farr); F: none. Fouled out — none.