PRINCETON —Coming out of halftime on Friday night, the Princeton girls basketball team laid down its burdens, down by the Riverside.
The Tigers’ defense held Riverside High scoreless for the first 6 ½ minutes of the third period while scoring 14 unanswered points, and paddled on downstream from there for a 49-33 victory on the Coach Ralph Ball Court.
“At halftime we made a few adjustments and started working the ball around offensively as a team,” said Princeton head coach Tracy Raban.
Laken Dye led Princeton (10-7) with a career-high 18 points, plus 10 rebounds and four steals. She also was keenly involved in the critical team effort to wreck the Riverside offensive rhythm.
Bodies hit the floor from both teams from the early minutes of the game.
Dye said about the physical play of Riverside (5-10), “They (the coaches) prepared us before the game and told us to get ready for it.”
Princeton senior Taylor Scott finished with 13 points and four blocked shots while “battling the upper-respiratory infection that’s going around,” Raban said.
“Taylor was having an off night for us,” the coach said. “It definitely took a team effort tonight.”
Guard Sadie Boggess provided seven points and eight rebounds.
The first eight minutes were back-andforth. The Tigers gained a 12-11 lead when Dye fed an assist to Kailey Sarver for a layup at the buzzer.
The offenses in the second quarter were practically glacial. Princeton’s only field goal of the period rattled through the iron with 51 seconds left, but that was enough for the home team to retain a 16-14 margin at intermission.
Raban said, “I think we were playing good defense, which is what we rely on, but offensively their defense was affecting what we did.
“In the end, we’ve got to do what we want to do on the offensive end of the floor. That’s the adjustment we made at halftime.”
The Princeton defense, meanwhile, allowed the Lady Warriors no points in the middle 10 minutes of the ballgame. Riverside turned the ball over eight times in the third quarter, and the Tigers took advantage on the offensive end.
Dye said her teammates “made some really nice passes, and we all worked together in the second half. … The further we get into the season, the more we work together, and work stronger as a team.”
A jump shot by Dye with 3:40 left in the final quarter gave Princeton its largest scoring edge, 42-24. It was made possible by Riverside’s 20th turnover.
Jasmine Symns lead the Lady Warriors with 11 points, sinking 7-of-9 free throws. Alanna McKenzie generated 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t carry over for the rest of the week as the Tigerettes fell to cross-town rival Bluefield, 24-32 Monday followed by a devastating loss to Greenbrier East, 49-69 on Tuesday.
Bluefield’s Jaisah Smith scored 18 points to lead the Bluefield girls basketball team to 34-24 win over Princeton at Brushfork Armory on Monday night. Jaylese Sims added seven points for the Lady Beavers and Jaumaria Jones added six points.
Taylor Scott scored 11 points to lead the Tigers and Laken Dye added nine.
On Tuesday, the Tigers stayed in the game for 28 minutes until the Spartans turned up the full court pressure midway through the third quarter and the home team didn’t handle it quite as well as it did in the first half.
“That was a big confidence booster for us. Our girls showed they could play with just about anybody,” said Princeton’s head coach Tracy Raban.
Haley McClure scored 26 points to pace Greenbrier East. Amaya Damon added 11 points for the Lady Spartans, who are coached by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
Taylor Scott scored 21 points to pace Princeton. Sadie Boggess added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Princeton returns to action next Tuesday against James Monroe at home. Tip off is 7 p.m.
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