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Tide silences Rockets

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Galax’s pre-game speech wasn’t much to speak of, but its showing on the floor spoke volumes.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Coming off a disappointing showing the night before against George Wythe, Galax girls’ basketball coach Jamie Dotson felt that the less said before a Friday bout with Craig County, the better.

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Dotson should write down what she didn’t say in her pre-game non-speech, and remember to non-use it again at a key moment in the future.

After getting the silent treatment, the Maroon Tide let its play do the talking as it rolled over the Rockets 61-27 in a nondistrict game Friday.

“I left it up to them to find it within themselves,” said Dotson. “I didn’t talk to them before the game at all. I just said, ‘This is what we’re running, it’s on you to do it.’ ”

Wrapping up a three-game week, Galax’s defense was able to overcome shooting woes in a Monday win over Holston, and a 19-percent effort from the floor doomed the Tide to a 20-point loss to Wythe. Friday, the defense was backed up by one of the Tide’s more accurate shooting efforts of the year. Galax shot 45.5 percent from the floor in the first half while pressing Craig County into committing 20 first-half turnovers, 14 of them on Tide steals.

“Once again, everybody who came in contributed in a positive way,” said Dotson, who has three freshmen among her starting five. “Some of the younger players are coming along. Bailey Shumate’s shot finally started dropping, Taylor Bryant’s playing very well, just as a whole, they look like a team to me out there.”

That was evident in the scoring column, where every Maroon Tide player but one scored, and the one who didn’t, Jill Bartlett, dished out a team-high six assists.

Galax (3-2) trailed just once, 5-4 on a 3-pointer by the Rockets’ Sierra Rock. That shot was followed by a 10-0 Tide run, including five points by Allison White.

Galax led 19-11 when it closed the half on a 17-2 spurt. Bartlett assisted on inside buckets by Bryant and Burgandy Bobbitt to spark the rally, and Shumate canned a pair of 3-pointers in the rally, including one to close the half with Galax leading 36-13.

Galax repeatedly worked into the open, got the ball to the right place at the right time and finished by putting the ball in the hole.

“And that hasn’t been happening for us,” said Dotson. “That shows that maybe it’s going to start coming together for us as a team. They played well, I’m happy with them, and it’s a good way to end the week.”

The 17-2 run turned into a 30-4 blitz as Galax outscored Craig County 13-2 to open the second half. White converted a three-point play, Megan Spears benefited from another well-placed Bartlett feed and a Kemberlea Simmons foul shot finished the run as Galax took a 49-15 lead at 1:45 of the third quarter.

Though Galax’s shooting touch cooled considerably after halftime (the Tide was 11-for-38 in the second half), the defense kept up the intensity, allowing Galax to attempt 38 second-half shots to Craig County’s 17.

Shumate led the Maroon Tide with 15 points and seven steals while White tossed in a strong 10 points and five rebounds.

Craig County, which was held to 11-of-44 shooting and hit just 3-of-19 foul shots, was paced by Anna Smith and Olivia LaPrad with five points each.

Craig County 7 6 8 6––27

Galax 15 21 15 10––61

Craig County (2-2)

Surface 2 0-0 4, Smith 1 3-6 5, LaPrad 2 0-3 5, Hutchinson 1 0-0 2, S.Rock 1 0-2 3, Ally 0 0-4 0, Mayo 1 0-2 2, Bellassai 1 0-0 2, Frazier 0 0-0 0, Persinger 2 0-2 4. Totals 11 3-19 27.

Galax (3-2)

Shumate 6 1-2 15,ee^Russell 1 0-0 2, White 4 2-6 10, Bryant 3 0-0 6, Webb 3 2-2 8, Lawson 1 0-0 2, Bobbitt 3 1-4 7, Bartlett 0 0-0 0, Spears 1 0-0 2, Simmons 3 1-4 7, Cardwell 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 6-18 61,

Three-point field goals – Craig County 2-8 (S.Rock, LaPrad), Galax 2-6 (Shumate 2).ee^Rebounds – Craig County 44 (Persinger 6), Galax 44 (three with 5). Turnovers – Craig County 39, Galax 22. Steals – Craig County 10 (Hutchinson 4), Galax 25 (Shumate 7).ee^Team fouls – Craig County 14, Galax 15. Fouled out – None.

JV – Galax won.