PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Philip Barbour guard Jorjalynn Ward scored the first six points of Thursday’s game against Lewis County on a pair of three-pointers.
Yet it was the Minutemaids’ perimeter shooting that made a major difference in the outcome, as Lewis County made 11 triples, seven of which Bryn Hunt accounted for, in a 64-52 victory over the Colts.
“She’s a ball player and a shooter,” said Lewis acting head coach Tyler Gump, filling in for Joe Nichols, who served the second of a two-game suspension as a result of a recent ejection. “She plays defense and rebounds for us. It’s a team game for us and if we get our press going and get out in transition, run and make shots, we can be pretty good.”
Hunt started the scoring for Lewis County (17-3) with her first of seven treys. She would go on to make her second and third threes of the contest later in the opening frame, which the Minutemaids ran off 13 unanswered points in at one time before holding an 18-10 lead entering the second.
“We were supposed to make them drive and nobody was supposed to help unless they were on a post player,” Colts’ head coach Rick Mouser said. “At times, they forgot or backed off her, but she’s really good and can shoot it.”
Hunt’s fourth triple provided LCHS with its first points of the second quarter, and the Minutemaids led 26-16 with 4:24 remaining in the first half following Kenna Maxwell’s conventional three-point play.
However, the visitors didn’t score again the remainder of the opening half, which Philip Barbour (13-5) finished on an 8-0 spurt that featured two triples from LaDonna Herron as the Colts closed their deficit to two at halftime.
PBHS pulled even moments into the third quarter on an Izzy Knotts layup, but the Colts could never get over the hump and hold a second-half lead.
Instead, Hunt answered a Knotts basket from close range later in the third with her fifth three to give Lewis a 36-30 lead, and Ella Pinkney followed with a pair of free throws — a theme for the guard, who scored 11 of her 13 points on foul shots.
Despite a sixth triple from Hunt later in the third, the Colts closed the frame in strong fashion and got threes of their own from Herron and Finley Carpenter to pull to within 43-40 ahead of the fourth.
That was as close as PBHS got in the latter stages.
Hunt’s seventh three opened the fourth-quarter scoring, and shortly after, Emma Pinkney and Maxwell each connected from behind the arc, allowing the Minutemaids to lead 52-42 with 5:15 left.
“[Emma’s] three changed the whole game,” Gump said. “She shoots the ball well from the outside and rebounds the ball well.”
Ella Pinkney’s conventional three-point play moments later helped thwart the Colts’ attempt at a rally, and she added a trey in the closing minutes to help seal the outcome.
“I like to win, but I’m not too disappointed tonight. They battled and played hard,” Mouser said.
Hunt led all players with 21 points and Ella Pinkney’s 18 marked the second-highest scoring output, while she added nine rebounds in the win.
Maxwell scored 12 and Emma Pinkney chipped in with nine points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
“Coach Nichols preaches sharing the ball, and if you’re open to shoot it and never pass up an open shot,” Gump said. “It was a good win against a very good Philip Barbour team.”
Knotts’ 13 points led PB as did the freshman’s 10 boards.
Herron was the Colts’ next highest scorer with nine, while standout guard Braylyn Sparks was limited to eight points and two field goals.
“We wanted to double her and get the ball out of her hands at all times and when she got by us, we wanted to have help defense and gap defense,” Gump said.
Philip Barbour played without starting guard Arrington Sparks, who suffered a recent injury in a loss against East Fairmont, but is expected to return this season.
The Colts committed 20 of the game’s 33 turnovers, including 10 of 14 second-half turnovers.
“They played really well and we had spurts when we turned the ball over three and four times,” Mouser said. “That’s what gets you down. We played well at times, but at other times, we didn’t.”