The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


February 23, 2010

Hounds do enough to eliminate Fayetteville

SMITHERS — It wasn’t quite a gold-medal performance, but Valley coach Marshall Murray will settle for it. For now.

With a 46-36 conquest of Fayetteville Monday in the second round of the Class A Region 3, Section 1 girls basketball tournament at Valley High School, Murray’s squad did just enough to advance deeper in postseason play.

Despite a rather lackluster night that saw them shoot 17-of-65 from the field and 15-of-31 from the free throw line, as well as commit 19 turnovers and nearly squander a pair of nine-point leads with five minutes left, the Greyhounds had enough in the tank to get past the Pirates for the second time this season.

“Our shooting was atrocious, and we weren’t being patient and getting what we wanted (on the offensive end),” said Murray. “And we missed defensive assignments.

“I wasn’t happy with the effort we gave.”

Valley claimed leads of 32-23 and 33-24 in the early stages of the final period, then scrappy Fayetteville began to inch closer. Jessica Brown hit a free throw, Kara Evans canned two freebies, and Beth Murphy scored on a lay-in to make it 33-29 at the 3:32 mark.

Valley eventually pushed the cushion back out to eight, 39-31, on consecutive putbacks from Bre’onna Newkirk and Alexis Payne, but the Pirates kept fighting.

Evans netted a deuce, and Fayetteville’s Shandi Myles pulled her team to within three, 39-36, on an uncontested three-pointer with 32.2 seconds left.

But Valley got some timely free throws down the stretch to hold the Pirates at bay.

Harley Abbott and Newkirk each sank one charity toss, then teammate Danielle Grubb contributed two more off an offensive rebound to push the margin to 43-36 with 18.1 ticks left. Abbott then closed the deal with a long three-pointer at the buzzer.

Valley won the game with its interior play, both coaches felt.

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