Lady Warriors outpaced by Jones, South

By Jeff Birchfield

STAR Staff

   If Happy Valley had any intentions of keeping up with the Joneses Thursday night, they quickly found out one Jones was more than they could handle.
   Holly Jones scored 12 first half points and 18 overall, leading Sullivan South to a 63-38 non-conference win over the Lady Warriors in girls prep action at Bayless Gym.
   She and the Lady Rebel team dominated from the start and never trailed the whole contest. They were up 18-10 at the end of one quarter, 31-14 at the half and had completely blown away HV 53-21 at the end of three quarters.
   Besides Jones, post players Brittany Kilgore with 12 points and Erin Morelock with seven battled past the Lady Warrior defense inside.
   "We shot 50 percent from the floor, got some good inside looks and took them out of their game defensively," said South head coach Jeremy Jenkins, whose team improved to 13-11 on the year. "On the other end, we took away their penetration and made them shoot from the perimeter. We guarded them about as well as I think you can guard them in the half court.
   "Holly has really been playing well for us. She's small to be a post player, but she's usually our number choice offensively. If she's clicking, then we're clicking. We were beating them inside and outside. Brittany is a true freshman and we've got a dandy in her. She's going to get better and better and better."
   Some of the loss may have been attributed to an emotional letdown, as the Lady Warriors just two nights earlier had scored a key conference win over powerhouse Sullivan Central. The size of the loss was surprising considering the Lady Warriors actually beat South earlier in the season over at Colonial Heights.
   "We followed a good win and good performance with a bad one," stated HV head coach Ben Godsey. "It's been a roller coaster year. We're not mature and ready to handle it when we win a big game. Mentally we weren't ready to play basketball. We backed off in the first quarter and let them take it to us.
   "For whatever reason, we didn't show up to play, I don't know. About 17 rebounds for the game, that tells how we stood around right there. They posted us up inside and we stood and watched as they put in second chance shots."
   There were some bright spots for the Lady Warriors, with the effort of their young players. Sparked by Christie Shell's basket and culminating with Amber Duncan's trey, HV outscored the Lady Rebels 13-2 at the end of the game and 17-10 in the final quarter.
   "I liked the effort from the players in there at the end," Godsey commented. "We found out about Jennifer Osborne coming in. She fought her heart out when she was in there. Other young kids like Jessie Blevins and Kelia Willliams, they were ready to play when they came in."
   Brandi Dugger led Happy Valley in scoring with 13 points, Whitney Crowe chipped in eight, Kortney Goulds added five and Duncan was next on the list with four. Dugger's six points in the first quarter had given the Lady Warriors a glimmer of hope, before South started to pull.
   Despite the tough loss, the Lady Warriors still stand with a record of 11 wins and 11 losses. To get back on the winning side of the standings, they must regroup in a hurry as Unaka pays a visit to Warrior Hill tonight.
   "I think it's a good thing we have another game coming up," said Godsey. "I think we will be ready. I just hope we are ready to play, that's all I have to say."