Bobcats come up short in shootout
The lead was on the line in the 1AAA Conference races on Tuesday night when the Berryville Bobcats traveled to play the Elkins Elks.
Coach Matt Carter's Lady Bobcats were in first place with a previous win over the Lady Elks, but after a titanic defensive struggle Elkins got a 36-31 win to tie for the conference lead.
Berryville fell to 16-6, 9-2, while Elkins improved to 17-4, 9-2. Both teams have been ranked in the Top Ten in Class AAA this season.
Coach Brett Conner's senior boys were shorthanded, as senior Joey Curtis was out with strep throat and inside player Stevin Williams was recovering from a hard fall that broke several teeth last Friday.
Without their full firepower, all the Bobcats could do was stay close in a 72-64 loss. They fell to 15-6, 8-3, but were still in second place behind Gentry, who is now two games ahead.
BERRYVILLE VS ELKINS
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Senior High Boys
15-19, 27-30, 39-50, 64-72
Elkins took advantage of a strength and speed edge and pounded the boards, then fired outlet passes for fast breaks that got behind the Bobcat defense all night.
"We didn't get into our rhythm and the pace was not what we wanted," Coach Compton said. "Our two seniors stepped up, but we needed another one."
Drew Ray scored 30 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had 3 assists, while teammate Josh Kriesel hit three 3-pointers on the way to 29 points and 5 rebounds.
"Drew attacked the basket, but no one rotated back on defense," Compton pointed out. "Elkins was healthy and playing at home and hit some threes and their free throws. Drew and Josh did everything they could do every time down the floor."
With 5:57 to play in the fourth quarter, Elkins led 56-45, then Kriesel went to work. He made a driving layup at 3:31, then canned two straight jumpers in a row with under two minutes to go and pulled the team to within two, 65-63, with 1:42 to play.
But an exhausted Bobcat team gave up two layups and some free throws after that, and Elkins had the upset win, 72-64.
Scoring- BV- Ray- 30, 8R, 3 S; Kriesel- 29, 3 3s, 5R; 2's- Doug Marley, Brent Moore, 4R; Nathan Mahan, 1, 5R; Gared Jennings- 4R; Jon Marley- 3R. Team- 9/11 Fts. ELK- Josh Finkus- 24; Zack White- 14, 3 3s; Nathan Gabbard- 16, 3 3s; R. Finkus- 9; King- 6; Davis- 3.
Senior High Girls
2-10, 15-13, 22-21, 31-36
Can you say free throw?
The Lady Elks sure could, making 9 of 14 the first half, then 15 of 16, mostly in the fourth quarter, for 24 of 30 for the game.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bobcats were going 4 of 9 at the line in this defensive struggle that saw Berryville not score in the first quarter until Mahalie Armstrong put a rebound back for two at the buzzer.
There was 2:29 left in the second quarter when senior Emma Cantele hit a shot for Berryville's first lead of the game at 11-10 while Elkins was going scoreless. Cantele hit another hoop, then the Lady Bobcats held the ball for the last shot, which worked.
Guard Leah Stidham drove in the final seconds and slipped a perfect layup in for a 15-13 halftime score.
The teams battled point for point the second half, with Stidham again scoring at the end of that quarter for a 22-21 third-quarter edge, but disaster was looming.
Senior post Emily Bell got two quick fouls to start the fourth quarter, then sprained her ankle with 26 seconds to go after scoring a basket to make it 29-30.
Cantele gave Berryville its last lead in the fourth when she put a fast-break layup in and converted a free throw for a 25-24 edge, then Elkins put the game away at the free-throw line.
Elkins was 6 for 6 from the line in the final 26 seconds, clinching the victory and part of first place.
Scoring- BV- Cantele- 13, 3/5 Fts; 4's- Bell, Stidham, Mackenzie Howerton; Hailey Blanchard- 3; Armstrong- 2; Ivie Deweese- 1. Team- 4/9 Fts. ELK- Krodell- 16, 10/12 Fts., 7/8 4th; Megan John- 7, 7/8 Fts; Graves- 5; Rinker- 4, 4/4 Fts; Bell- 3; Hughes- 1. Team- 24/30 Fts.