WEST UNION -- Gilmer County and Ritchie County recorded victories in the first round of the Kermit Vanscoy Holiday Invitational on Monday night. They will compete in the tourney title game tonight at 7:45, with Calhoun and host Doddridge County playing the consolation game at 6:00.
Game Summaries from Round One:
Gilmer County 53, Calhoun County 21
Hannah Chambers tallied a game-high 16 points and also added 10 steals to record the rare point-steal double-double. Camai Roberson followed with 13 points and seven rebounds, with Erica Williams hauling down a game-high nine rebounds.
Gilmer led 12-0 after one quarter, and 27-7 at the half. Their defensive pressure led to 31 steals, that effectively stopped the Red Devil offense. Stephanie Alfred also recorded seven steals, with Williams tallying four.
"We did a very good job of covering their passing lanes early in the game," Gilmer Coach Jay Chambers said.
Ashley King led Calhoun (0-5) with seven points, with Courtney McKown adding eight rebounds.
Gilmer County is now 5-2, with their only two losses to ranked Class AA teams (Tug Valley and Winfield). Their matchup with Ritchie County tonight, will be another strong test against a solid AA foe.
"We really hustled tonight, and played very hard. However, we didn't do a real good job of boxing out, and we will need to improve that against (Ritchie)." Hannah Chambers said.
Ritchie 69, Doddridge 36
Vanessa Ridgeway tallied game-highs of 16 points and nine rebounds, leading Ritchie to a 69-36 victory in monday's nightcap. Sam Crouch added 15 points and Vanessa Bunner 13, while Kelly Spangler produced a game-high five assists.
Ritchie (4-4) vaulted to a 16-3 lead after one quarter, and never trailed in the contest. After Doddridge battled through an even second quarter, keeping the margin at 32-19 by halftime, another stellar Rebel run in the third quarter staked a 46-23 lead by the end of the third period.
Ridgeway, one of the area's top all around athletes, is also being counted on for leadership from Coach Terry Spangler, as the talented trio of Bunner, Crouch, and Spangler are all Freshmen.
"We try to help them out and watch over them some, but they are coming along pretty well themselves," Ridgeway said.
Ritchie outrebounded the Bulldogs 42-32, playing very aggressively on the glass on each end.
"Coach really preaches for us to be aggressive, but in reality, this group is actually a very aggressive bunch of girls," Ridgeway said.
Doddridge (1-5) was led by Kayla Dodd with 13 points., followed by Shilo Merritt with eight. Erica Trent produced team highs of seven rebounds and three assists. Like Ritchie County, Doddridge County is a very young team, with Coach Craig Kellar playing several sophomores.
"I felt like we had been moving forward every game until tonight. But still, we played hard, and hopefully tomorrow night will be another step forward," Kellar said.
Tonight's title match between Ritchie and Gilmer provides a very intriguing matchup. Both teams rely on their athleticism to create on both sides of the court, giving the possibility of a very fast tempo contest for the final.
"We are not a great shooting team, but these girls seem to find ways to score. We have been showing some very good balance, and that is what we need to keep doing," Coach Terry Spangler said.