Lady Buffs turn back Intermont

By Matt Hill

   BRISTOL, Va.-- It was a Hampton High School reunion at the Cobra Den Thursday night.
   The Milligan College Lady Buffaloes, who feature three former Hampton Lady Bulldogs, defeated the Virginia Intermont Lady Cobras 78-72 in the border war.
   Virginia Intermont's Kelly Shoun is also a Hampton graduate, and finished with 10 points.
   But the night belonged to Milligan's Kari Stout, who led all scorers with 31.
   Stout, Ginny White and Amanda Greene are the Hampton standouts on Milligan's squad, and Coach Aubrey believes all four Lady 'Dogs played well on Thursday night.
   "Those kids can play, there's no question about it," Milligan head coach Rich Aubrey said. "They have a great tradition, and those kids know how to play in competitive situations, and I thought all of them stepped up and played very well."
   White and Stout came up big down the stretch. White hit a big bucket with 3:21 to go in the game to make it 70-64 Milligan, then White's threw an unbelievable pass to Kari Stout and Stout nailed the three to give Milligan what seemed to be a commanding 73-64 advantage with 2:33 left.
   "I thought the team did really well," Stout said. "I'm very proud of everyone on the team. We work together and we have good chemistry this year. And I think everyone helps me do what I do. They have to pass me the ball and everything. Plus I think God helped me."
   White had only eight points, but that basket late gave the 'Buffs a much needed boost.
   "In the first half I wasn't very proud of myself," White said. "I didn't think I played very well. In the second half I was trying to keep my confidence going, and not to let myself get down.
   "I just kept my confidence, and whenever the shot was there I took it and it went in."
   The game wasn't quite over after Stout's three-pointer. Shoun nailed two trifectas in a row to cut Milligan's advantage down to 73-70 with 1:51 left.
   That was as close as the Lady Cobras got, but it was still a valiant effort by Shoun to pull her team back in striking range.
   "I wanted to win, and we had to do what it takes to win," Shoun said. "But it wasn't enough."
   Said White: "Kelly is a great shooter. She was a great shooter in high school. We knew after she shot the first one she was going to shoot the next one. We tried our best to defend it, but she's a great shooter and it went in."
   Milligan was the team that had to play catch-up early on, as VI led 43-37 with 15:48 to go in the second half.
   The Lady 'Buffs then went on a 10-2 run to erase the Cobra lead, and it was a nailbiter from that point on.
   It was a fun night for these former Lady Bulldog standouts. Stout and Shoun graduated last year, and Stout was very happy about what Shoun accomplished on Thursday night.
   "It's fun in a way playing against her," Stout said. "I think she played really well. And she's always been a really good shooter, and I'm really proud of her.
   Said Shoun: It was a lot of fun. They're a good team. They've improved a lot.
   Greene also had a solid night for Milligan, as she finished with nine points. Stout had eight rebounds to add to her strong effort.
   Virginia Intermont 65
   Milligan 58
   Chris Wise's 19-point, 13 rebound effort propelled the Cobras to an Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over the Buffaloes.
   Milligan held a 39-35 advantage in the opening minute of the second half, but an 8-0 run by VI put the Cobras up for good.
   Milligan head coach Tony Wallingford was happy with the effort by his team despite the loss.
   "I thought the guys played hard, and did a lot of good things tonight," Wallingford said. "They had two runs on us in the second half that did us in. Our inexperience served us during both runs."
   Milligan was playing without an injured JaKeith Hairston, and playing with an injured Michael Morrell.
   Morrell hurt his toe against Warren Wilson, and had more bad news happen in the final minute Thursday as he sprained his ankle.
   "It appears to be a grade two sprain," Wallingford said. "It will probably be two weeks before he actually plays again."
   The Milligan's men's team next game will be against Division I Tennessee Tech on Monday.