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Grafton pressures past RCB Eagles, 63-29

by Charles Casey

CORRESPONDENT

GRAFTON -- Grafton used pressure defense to build a big first-half lead and eventually took a 63-29 victory over Robert C. Byrd in the opening game of the girls high school season Tuesday night for both teams.

"That's a very enthusiastic group of kids that play pretty hard," Grafton coach Rich Bord said. "We played extremely well together and I emphasized that after the game."

The Bearcats (1-0) forced 11 turnovers and held the Eagles to just one field goal that came in the final seconds of the first period to take a 15-3 advantage.

Brandi Patton led the way off the Grafton bench with eight points and six rebounds in the opening segment.

"(Grafton's) pressure is just excellent and that defensive pressure would not let us get into our offense," said first-year Robert C. Byrd coach John Rogers. "We have only one senior in a new offensive system and that's a difficult situation to begin the season."

Grafton began to run a little more in the second quarter with four fast break baskets to increase the lead to as many as 20 points on two occasions with the last being 28-8 with 2:44 left.

The Bearcats took a 31-16 to the lockerroom and used a 14-4 run to start the third period and put the game away at 45-20 with 2:32 to play.

Janel O'Brien led the way with three inside baskets for six points, while Tia Lafferty also added six points in the quarter as Grafton led 49-23 after three periods.

Patton led the Bearcats with game-high totals of 12 points and 15 rebounds. O'Brien followed with 12 points and eight rebounds. Lafferty finished out the double figure scoring for Grafton with 11 points.

Keisha Bowsman paced with Eagles with nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Eva Costa followed with seven points.

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