St. Marys girls down Wirt County in opener
Blue Devils’ Fox scores 23 in 85-33 win
ELIZABETH — Fifth-ranked Class A St. Marys held host Wirt County to six made field goals in each half here Tuesday night and forced 32 orange and black turnovers as the Blue Devils rolled past the Tigers, 85-33, in the season opener for both Little Kanawha Conference programs.
Jordan Fox’s game-high 23 points led a quartet of double figure scorers for head man Howard Meeks’ Blue Devils, who are off until their home opener on Friday, Dec. 9 versus Tyler Consolidated. Fox also contributed a game-high eight steals to go along with five assists, four boards and a block.
Although Fox didn’t score in the opening stanza, she had six in the second quarter and a dozen in the third. That helped the visitors turn a 32-16 halftime cushion into a commanding 61-26 bulge entering the final eight minutes against Tiger first-year head coach Mike Hughes’ club, which received 17 markers from Cori Hughes.
Taylor Anderson, who finished with eight points, canned a trifecta from a Loden Campbell assist to give the Tigers an early 3-2 lead just 35 seconds in. Campbell later swished in a short jumper and following a Sarah Cunningham bank shot, the Tigers were up 7-4.
That advantage didn’t last long as Kylee Buzzard’s three-point play capped a 6-0 run and put St. Marys ahead 10-7 at the 3:07 mark. Buzzard double-doubled with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Despite getting a left-wing triple from Hughes 15 seconds later via one of Caitlin Cottrell’s team-high four assists, that was the final time the game was tied. Addie Furr knocked down two charity stripe tosses for part of her 13 counters with 1:13 remaining as St. Marys took a 12-10 advantage into the second.
Wirt County, which doesn’t have a junior varsity squad and will play host at 7 p.m. Friday to Roane County, had 10 turnovers in the second quarter. By the time Hughes got a runner to go with 3:31 left in the half, the hosts trailed 22-12.
St. Marys’ 10-0 spurt to open the quarter was led by two baskets each from Fox and Buzzard as well as a Furr deuce.
Jenna Nichols, who had 10 points, a game-high nine assists as well as five steals, got an inbounds pass to Brittney Allen for an easy hoop and a 24-13 SMHS lead. Samantha Maidens then had consecutive field goals. Following a 3-ball by Hughes, which made it 30-16, the Tigers were doubled up at the break thanks to a buzzer-beating bank shot by Allen.
Despite missing all 10 attempts from downtown in the first half, coach Meeks got his team fired up for the second half and the Blue Devils responded by forcing the Tigers into a dozen turnovers in the third quarter. St. Marys started the second half on a 20-2 run to put the game away. The Blue Devils went ahead by 20 for the first time at 38-18 after Whitney Jemison got a putback. Jemison chipped in eight points, seven caroms and pair of blocks. Fox’s steal and pull-up 19-foot jumper in transition that swished in capped the run at the 3:33 mark and put the Tigers in a 52-18 hole.
Bethany Morrison, who scored from a Julia Wilson assist, and Maidens made late buckets to help the Blue Devils enter the final stanza with a 61-26 lead. Maidens came off the bench to score six points and grab as many rebounds.
The Blue Devils finally hit their first 3-pointers early in the fourth as Fox’s deep shot from the left wing made it 66-26. Furr later added two 3s of her own and it was 83-32 after Destiny Scott converted her lone field goal for St. Marys.
Campbell led the orange and black with a trio of steals and joined teammate Morgan Wagner with two blocks.