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Defense leads Lady Mustangs past Lady Lions

Lead Summary

     LEESBURG – As both the Lynchburg Clay Lady Mustangs and Fairfield Lady Lions combined for just 10 points in the first quarter, it was the Lady Mustangs who put together enough offense to go with their stellar defense to gain the Southern Hills League win 51-34 at Grandle Gymnasium Thursday night.

     “We were real inconsistent scoring tonight,” Lynchburg-Clay head coach Linda Hatten said. “We are showing a lot more patience offensively with our passing, but there are still times where we rush it.”

     What L-C may have lacked on the offensive side in the first quarter, they made up with defensively by allowing the Lady Lions just seven points.

     L-C sophomore Brooke Hertlein made the first bucket of the game, but after the initial two points by L-C with 7:49 they would be shut out until the 28.2 second mark of the first.

     While L-C struggled, the Lady Lions, even though not shooting their best at times, took the lead with a bucket by junior Megan Sword at the 7:30 mark, along with a 3-pointer by senior Lauren Bowman at the 3:27 mark of the first for a 5-2 advantage. Sword scored a total of eight points to go along with three steals and three rebounds.

     FHS junior Chelsey Riddle added two points for the 7-2 lead with 2:36 left in the quarter. L-C senior Lindsey Hawk broke the scoring drought of the Lady Mustangs with a free throw.

     Fairfield senior Gabby Boone added to the lead with a put back bucket to start the second quarter. Her points were quickly followed with a steal, fast break and layup from Sword to give the Lady Lions an 11-3 lead.

     At the 6:37 mark of the second Hawk sank a 3-pointer to bring L-C within five points of FHS. Hawk finished with a game-high 14 points. The senior was 5 of 8 from the free-throw line.

     Hertlein and senior Cali Hatten scored points within 37 seconds of each other to bring the Lady Mustangs within three points of the Lady Lions.

     FHS senior Sadie Jones sank a jumper of an offensive rebound to put the Lady Lions back up by five points.

     “Sadie did a good job on defense for us,” Fairfield head coach Matt Hodson said. “She stepped up her game.”

     L-C came back with a fury as Hannah Blankenship, Lillian Blankenship and Hawk went on a 6-0 run to put the Lady Mustangs ahead at 16-15.

     Jones answered with two points for FHS, but it was L-C who ended the half with Meredith Fittro connecting from beyond the arc at the buzzer to give L-C the lead.

     Riddle tied the game at 19 to start the third, but Hatten and Hertlein scored points to give L-C a 23-19 advantage with 6:55 remaining in the quarter.

     Both teams went back-and-forth in the scoring column, but a fast break basket by Hawk, along with buckets from Laney Lewis and Hatten gave the Lady Mustangs a 10-point lead at 33-23.

     The run by L-C continued with a layup from Hannah Blankenship. Still keeping FHS from scoring at the beginning of the fourth with points from Hatten, it was Riddle who scored for the Lady Lions at the 7:12 mark of the final quarter. Riddle had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The junior also had three blocks and three steals.

     L-C held FHS scoreless a total of 5:56 of game time during the scoring run.

     FHS came back with baskets from Bowman, Boone and Sword for a total of nine straight points to make the score 38-34 with 3:42 left in the game.

     Hawk broke up the run by knocking down a two-point bucket. Fittro followed with a 3-pointer to increase the L-C lead to 43-34.

     As the Lady Lions were forced to foul the Lady Mustangs for a final chance to make a comeback, L-C was solid from the foul line, extending their lead to 51-34 by making 9 of their final 10 free throw attempts in a span of 1:54. Making the free throws in the time frame were Hawk, Lillian Blankenship and Hatten.

     “We just got outmuscled underneath the basket,” Hodson said. “(Cali) Hatten and (Brooke) Hertlein played especially well for Lynchburg-Clay. We didn’t defend well.”

     Hatten ended the game with 12 points, going 4 of 4 from the foul line. Hatten also gained seven rebounds.

     Lillian Blankenship had eight of the 21 steals by L-C. Lillian Blankenship and Fittro each had three assists. Hertlein led L-C with eight boards.

     “Lillian played especially well defensively,” Hatten said. “She is fast and is quick with her hands.”

     FHS (2-3, 1-2) will host Whiteoak Monday evening with JV starting at 6 p.m. L-C (3-2, 2-1) will play their first home game of the season Monday as they will host Huntington at 6 p.m.




LCHS – 3 16 16 16 – 51

FHS – 7 10 6 11 – 34



LCHS (51)

H.Blankenship 1 2-2 4, L.Blankenship 1 3-4 5, M.Fittro 9 (2) 6, L.Lewis 0 2-2 2, C.Hatten 4 4-4 12, B.Hertlein 4 8, L.Hawk 3 (1) 5-8 14. TOTALS: 13 (3) 16-20 51.


FHS (34)

M.Sword 4 0-1 8, S.Jones 2 0-1 4, L.Bowman 1 (1) 5, C.Riddle 5 2-2 12, G.Boone 2 1-2 5. TOTALS: 14 (1) 3-8 34.

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