Galax starts slow, falls 52-45

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

The only win Galax girls varsity basketball team had all night was the opening tip-off Friday at home. Bland County came into town and took a Mountain Empire District win 52-45.

The Maroon Tide (1-3 MED, 5-9 overall) managed only five points in the first quarter and could never recover. The Bears (3-1, 6-9) opened the game with a 6-0 run. During the run Bland’s Laurel Hankins scored four points and had one assist.

The Tide scored its first bucket nearly three minutes into the game when Jill Bartlett found Piper Caudell under the net to close the gap to 6-2 with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

Three possessions later, Caudell drove inside two Bears defenders for a lay-up to get within two points with 4:03 left in the first.

Both teams hit a cold streak, each missing on its next three possessions, before Bland’s Sam Magyers found Morgan Brizendine inside the lane to go up 10-4 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

On its next possession, Galax’s Jamie Webb was fouled on her way to the basket and went to the line shooting two. Webb dropped the first but missed the second and the score was 10-5 with 1:28 left in the first quarter.

Bland ended the quarter with a 4-0 run, including two free throws by Amanda Duncan and Magyers nailing a 15-footer with 13 seconds left in the period.

The Bears managed a 7-0 run during the second quarter’s first two and a half minutes, including shots made by Magyers, Emily Williams and Adrianna Hutchens.

The Tide scored its first shot when Webb rebounded a shot and went wide open to the lane to close the gap to 21-7 with 5:01 left in the half.

On its next possession, Bland’s Hankins hit a lay-up and was fouled on the play. Hankins hit the free throw and the Bears led 24-7.

Bartlett quickly ran the floor and stopped inside the line for a wide-open shot to bring the Tide within 15.

Both teams were even for the final four and a half minutes. Bland led 31-16 at half.

The Tide quickly closed the gap to open the third quarter. Caci Higgins hit a distant two-pointer to help start a Tide 5-0 run in 1:10 and bring the team within 10.

With 4:23 left in the third quarter, Magyers stepped just inside the arc and nailed a long two to put the Bears back up by 12.

The Tide didn’t give up.

On its next possession, Higgins nailed a crazy shot over her head just inside the arc to get back within 10. The Bears rallied again with a 4-0 run in 31 seconds to stretch the lead to 14 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.

Webb took a shot, missed and got her own rebound before throwing it back up for two of her 15 points for the night. The third quarter ended with Bland leading 38-30.

Galax never got closer than seven points in the fourth quarter, and at one point was down 12. The Tide fought back and managed eight points in the final 1:05, but fell short 52-45 in the end.

Galax fell to 1-3 in district play and now sits fifth in the district.

Bland County 14 17 7 14––52

Galax 5 11 14 15––45

Bland County (6-9, 3-1)

Hankins 4 6-13 14, Magyar 5 0-1 10, Duncan 0 2-2 2, Williams 1 0-0 2, Mustard 5 1-1 11, Neal 0 0-5 0, Brizendine 0 1-2 1, Hutchens 3 2-5 8, Looney 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 12-29 52.

Galax (5-9, 1-2)

Higgins 3 0-2 6, Brown 2 1-2 5, Webb 6 6-8 18, Bartlett 1 1-2 3, Caudell 3 7-10 13, Spears 0 0-2 0, Cardwell 0 0-2 0. Totals 15 15-28 45.

Three-point field goals – Bland County none, Galax none. Team fouls – Bland County 22, Galax 20. Fouled out – Bartlett, Cardwell. Technical fouls – none.

JV – Galax won.