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WYTHEVILLE –– Thanks to Radford’s upset of Covington in the Conference 45 championship game Friday, Chilhowie fans will get to see two 2,000-point scorers go head-to-head in the Region 1A West tournament’s first round this week.
That’s just fine for Galax, because seeing one was one too many Friday night.
Danielle Catron scored 30 of her 31 points in the first three quarters and Chilhowie held off repeated comeback attempts by Galax as the Warriors hung on for a 67-60 win in the Conference 46 title game at George Wythe High School.
Chilhowie’s reward for its championship is a first-round game against Conference 45 favorite Covington and 2,000-point scorer Sa’mone Moore. Radford will be the destination in the 1A West quarterfinals Tuesday for Galax, which came up short despite registering its highest point total of the season.
After giving up the first five points of the game to the Maroon Tide, the Warriors bounced back with an 18-2 run stretching into the second quarter, taking their largest lead of the night, 18-7, on the strength of 11 points from Catron. The 2,000-Point Club member had scored 17 points by halftime.
“I think everybody knows who the conference player of the year is,” said Galax coach Yerrick Stoneman. “It’s not supposed to be out there yet, but if she’s not conference player of the year, then I don’t know basketball. I’ve coached girls for four years now, we’ve been to the state several times and we’ve played a lot of good players, and she’s one of the best that we’ve played. She’s up there with [Moore] as being the best I’ve seen at our level.”
Galax was able to get 6-foot-4 Chilhowie center Kenzie Sabo off the floor with three early fouls, but its own dose of foul trouble forced the Maroon Tide to scrap its man-to-man in favor of a zone, playing Catron like a man-to-man. The Warrior forward picked up the slack with a series of jumpshots and pull-up floaters from the paint.
“We jumped in line with their screens and made it tough on her, but she’s so good at getting to the lane and pulling up,” said Stoneman. “I told our girls at halftime that was the only thing we needed to change was her getting into the lane. She’d get to the elbow and shoot that little floater. She’s not super quick but she handles the ball really well.”
Galax closed the half trailing just 30-26 after a half-court heave by Madison Shupe.
“We did a lot better job tonight than we had all year attacking the zone, especially in the first half,” Stoneman said. “We penetrated and got Sabo in foul trouble but the shots from outside weren’t falling.”
The Warriors had two chances to bury the Maroon Tide in the second half, but Galax fought back each time.
Down by nine in the third, Galax scored six straight and pulled to 39-36 on a Lindsey Ayers 3-pointer. Catron and Lauren Kestner ended the Tide rally with back-to-back 3-pointers and the Warriors used a 19-4 run to surge into a 58-42 lead with five minutes left.
“We were behind most of the game, and their zone is what hurt us,” said Stoneman. “I thought if we could ever get them to play us man-to-man we would be really good, but we weren’t able to do that.”
Susan Davis scored eight straight points in a 12-3 run and Galax was within five points, 63-58, in the final minute but would get no closer.
Sabo came back to score all 10 of her points in the second half. Galax got 17 points each from Davis and Shupe while Sydney Lindsey tossed in 13.
Galax................7 19 12 22––60
Chilhowie......14 14 21 18––67
Davis 5 5-7 17, Ayers 1 1-2 4, Hanks 2 0-0 5, Shupe 5 5-8 17, Pack 1 0-0 2, Lindsey 4 5-7 13, Larrowe 1 0-1 2. Totals 19 16-25 60.
Branch 2 2-5 6, Luttrell 0 3-7 3, Tilson 1 4-4 6, Smarr 0 4-6 4, Catron 11 5-6 31, Sabo 5 0-0 10, Kestner 2 2-2 8. Totals 21 20-30- 67.
Three-point field goals – Galax 6 (Davis 2, Shupe 2, Ayers, Hanks), Chilhowie 5 (Catron 3, Kestner). Team fouls – Galax 23, Chilhowie 21. Fouled out – Davis, Ayers, Tilson.