Spring Valley edges Summers County in Big Atlantic Classic
BECKLEY — Spring Valley outscored Summers County 21-13 in the third quarter and held on for a 58-54 victory in girls high school basketball Friday in the consolation game of the Big Atlantic Classic at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The Bobcats led 14-13 after one quarter and 29-28 at halftime, but the Timberwolves (6-12) came out strong in the third period. Spring Valley, it turned out, needed that crucial run, as Summers County (11-7) outscored the Timberwolves 12-9 in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we came out really flat there in the first half and Summers County played really hard,” Spring Valley head coach Bo Miller said. “We didn’t match their intensity. We had to do some things in the second half that we don’t really do. We went to a triangle-and-two (defense) on them. That kind of slowed them down and helped us win the game.”
The first half was a back-and-forth battle, with nine lead changes and neither team leading by more than five points. When the second-quarter horn sounded, Summers held a one-point advantage at 29-28.
A defensive change for Spring Valley changed the game long enough for the Timberwolves to build a 10-point lead and was ultimately the difference in the game.
Summers County coach Chad Meador knew his team faced a tough test as a Class A school.
“The girls played hard, but we got exposed a little bit in the second half,” Meador said. “They went to the triangle-and-two and stymied us a little bit. I thought we overcame that, but it was still a different look.”
Taylor Isaacs opened the second half with a runner to give the Lady Bobcats a brief three-point advantage before Sydney Meredith heated up for Spring Valley. Meredith hit three 3-pointers in the game and made all in a span of four minutes. When the sophomore sharpshooter hit her third bomb, Spring Valley had raced out to a 45-35 lead.
Spring Valley, however, never shook Summers County. The Bobcats steadied the ship midway through the fourth quarter when baskets from Bethani Cline and one from Isaacs cut the lead to four points with 3:08 to play.
After a foul shot from Edwards pushed the lead to five points, Isaacs scored again and Erica Merrill made a free throw. Summers regained possession and had a good look at the basket, but the shot didn’t fall for the tie.
A layup from Ella Edwards and a steal by senior Haley McComas sealed the game for Spring Valley.
″(Summers County) is a really good team. We are young and sometimes we play like that; it is a roller coaster with this team,” Miller said, smiling. “But this has been a really good experience for our girls and we got a scholarship for Haley (scholarships are awarded to players and cheerleaders at the Big Atlantic Classic).
“We played Wednesday night and the place was packed. A lot of girls don’t get to play like that. It was a good atmosphere and a good time for everybody.”
Even though his team came up a bit short, Meador saw nothing but the positives.
“Our girls are fearless, they are not going to back down from anything,” Meador said.
Spring Valley was led by Ella Edwards, a freshman who scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. McComas scored 14 points and issued eight assists to go with three steals. Meredith scored 11.
Isaacs scored 25 for Summers County and Gavin Pivont added 19.
Spring Valley returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Monday at home vs. Hurricane. Summers County hosts James Monroe at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
SUMMERS COUNTY 14 15 13 12 - 54: Merrill 1, Cline 7, Isaacs 25, Pivont 19, Richmond 2.
SPRING VALLEY 13 15 21 9 - 58: Saunders 6, McComas 14, Meredith 11, Edwards 15, Asbury 9, Sowards 3.