VARSITY BASKETBALL: Lady Trojans best rival Maiden for second time this season; boys take care of Blue Devils, 65-47

Lady Trojans’ sophomore forward Logan Dutka (43) fighting for the board against Maiden on Friday night. (Photo by Michelle Thompson) Trojans’ Parker Styborski (24) earned eight points in the home win. (Photo by Michelle Thompson)
By: 
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

The Maiden Blue Devils’ varsity basketball girls and boys’ teams looked to get the upper hand over rival Bandys on the road inside of Bost-Matheson Gymnasium on Friday, January 24.

GIRLS

Bandys 61, Maiden 41

The Lady Trojans looked to keep its foot on the throttle while Maiden hoped to exact revenge against its hated rival following its loss to them earlier in the 2019-20 season at home.

Bandys (13-4, 6-2) entered the home contest on a three-game win streak and maintained a tie with East Lincoln for second place in the South Fork 2A Conference. While, the Lady Blue Devils entered in third place in the conference standings. With a win over the Lady Trojans, it would boost its chances of getting into the second-place picture.

However, that would not be the case as Bandys used a second-half surge to pull away from the Lady Blue Devils by 20, 61-41.

The Lady Trojans looked superior in the first quarter and capped off the quarter with an 18-11 lead. Nevertheless, Maiden (7-11, 4-4) wouldn’t give in or give up as it stormed back before the end of the first half.

The score stood still, 18-11, for most of the second period as neither team could score a point until about the five-minute mark. A burst from Lady Blue Devils’ senior Cree Bass and Maggie Sigmon brought the road team within striking distance with a bulk of the team’s scoring coming from the free-throw line.

Bass obtained a team-high six points in the first half (including a trey), along with two steals. Sigmon followed up with three points, but her biggest contribution came on the glass as she collected five rebounds (three offensive), as well as a steal in the second quarter. The pair cut the lead to five under the three-minute mark, 20-15, at the time.

However, on the opposing side, Lady Trojans’ sophomore point guard Macy Rummage paced her team with six points (four coming at the charity stripe), as well as a pair of assists, one board and three steals. Her ability to run on the fast-break and draw fouls was second-to-none in this contest. It also helped that she had sophomore forward Logan Dutka as a scoring weapon throughout the match-up.

Dutka also obtained six points (both three-pointers), along with six rebounds and a block (coming at the end of the first quarter).

A downfall for the Lady Blue Devils for much of the game was its inability to close out on Bandys’ shooters, especially Dutka. This would ring true in the second-half, especially.

Because of Rummage’s ability to get up the floor in a hurry, the Lady Blue Devils played up on the ball perhaps a little too much, thus leaving Dutka in scoring positions. Dutka single-handedly outscored Maiden in the three-point category with six threes compared to the Lady Blue Devils’ four overall.

Dutka led both clubs with 21 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, three blocks and one steal.

This led to Bandys pushing ahead in the third quarter by 10, 27-17, with 5:59 remaining in the frame. Lady Trojans’ junior Laci Paul also made an impact in the second half as she finished with 12 points (6-of-11 from the free-throw line), nine rebounds (seven offensive), one assist and one steal.

Speaking of the free-throw differential, Bandys attempted 43 shots (converted 30 overall) at the charity stripe compared to the Lady Blue Devils’ 16 attempts (converted eight overall). That differential would have a huge effect on the game, especially in the fourth quarter.

Bandys’ senior Toni Laney had a great night from the line as she connected on 6-of-7 (86 percent) as she garnered eight points, two rebounds, one assist and four steals. Rummage went 11-of-14 at the line and finished with 15 points, two rebounds and two assists, in addition to her four steals.

The best distributor of the rock on the night for Bandys, though, was Caroline McIntosh as she earned a game-high four assists to go along with four points, five rebounds and a steal.

The Lady Blue Devils struggled to find some consistency on offense but found some assistance in scoring from an unlikely source: Marley Mingus. Mingus made the most of her time out on the court as she earned seven points (including a three-pointer in the second half), along with five rebounds (three offensive). Alyssa Keener would get on the board in the fourth quarter with one of the team’s four three-pointers.

The only other Maiden player to crack double-digits was junior Maggie Andrews with 10, even on a not-so-hot shooting night.

With the victory over the Lady Blue Devils, Bandys carries a four-game winning streak into its road contest with Newton-Conover (15-2, 8-0) on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Red Devils are on a seven-game win streak after easily dismantling Lincolnton on Friday, 71-17.

In the victory over the Lady Wolves, senior center Chyna Cornwell collected another double-double (26 points and 12 rebounds) while freshman Cassidy Geddes obtained 14 points followed by senior Aaliah Walton's 13.

Maiden returns home for a match-up with league opponent West Lincoln (2-14, 1-7) at 6:30 p.m.

BOYS

Bandys 65, Maiden 47

After defeating rival Bandys in its first encounter of the 2019-20 basketball season, 59-45, on December 19, 2019, the Maiden Blue Devils (6-12, 2-6 South Fork 2A) succumbed to the Trojans for its seventh straight loss. With the victory at Bost-Matheson Gym, 65-47, Bandys snapped its three-game losing streak.

In this match-up on Friday night, it wasn't about the three-ball, as the Blue Devils only connected on three from beyond the arc while Bandys (7-11, 2-6 South Fork 2A) only converted two, but instead, it was about the interior game.

The Trojans received help from nearly every player put out on the court including Spencer Ledford, Zack Wright, Nate Ervin, Quenten Maddox, Brendon Harrill, Parker Styborksi and Chris Culliver.

While, Blue Devils' sophomore forward/center Dru McClough was the main contributor in the road loss. McClough finished with a team-high 17 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals.

In was a neck-and-neck affair for most of the contest as Bandys held a slight lead, 14-11, to end the first quarter. Led by Styborksi (eight points, two rebounds, one block and a steal) the Trojans carried a 34-25 lead into the break.

As for Maiden, McClough earned nine points, three rebounds and one block in the first half. Jalen Robinson and Isaiah Morgan followed with five points for the Blue Devils – both knocking down a three in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, the Blue Devils cut down the lead to 34-28, at one point, but strong showings by Ledford, Ervin and Harrill paced the Trojans out in front by double-digits to end the frame, 47-36. Heading into the final period, Ervin led the way with 12 points and four boards followed by Ledford's 11 (including a three-pointer), five rebounds, one block, one steal and four assists. In terms of assists, Maddox collected a game-high seven dimes through three quarters, along with five boards (finished with six).

Nevertheless, when the fourth quarter came around, Maddox was able to get going offensively. He scored all 10 of his points in the final frame – five of which came from the free-throw line (5-of-7) and one coming from beyond the arc – and he also snatched a pair of steals in the win.

Culliver obtained eight points, five rebounds and an assist while Harrill and Wright earned eight and six points, respectively.

As for the Blue Devils, Copeland – who was held to just three points through the first three periods – was able to get to the foul line and he converted 5-of-7, finishing with seven points. Morgan finished as the team's second-leading scorer with eight (including two threes) while Robinson also earned seven, along with three boards and two dimes. Brennan James helped out on defense as he earned a team-high three steals (shared with McClough), in addition to three points (from the free-throw line), four rebounds and an assist.

Maiden will attempt to snap its losing streak as it returns home for a match-up with a struggling West Lincoln (0-18, 0-8 South Fork 2A) squad on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. The Trojans head off to Newton-Conover (12-6, 6-2 South Fork 2A) for an 8 p.m. match-up on Tuesday.

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