CHARMCO – Greenbrier West started the season with a resounding 62-11 win over Richwood. Raelyn Palmer, who led all scorers with 16 points, got the first bucket of the season to stake the Cavaliers out to an early 2-0 lead. Chloe Cox answered for the Lumberjacks to tie the game at two, but that was the last time the score would be close.
Greenbrier West exploded for a 16-0 run that carried them into the second quarter. Relentless with their pressure, the Cavaliers created scoring opportunities seemingly at will. Palmer, Brooke Nutter, Ava Barclay, and Desteny Walker each scored 4 points apiece in the run. If not for some cold shooting around the rim, the Cavaliers may have been up even further than the 18-2 advantage they held when Richwood freshman Baylee Jarrett hit the front end of a one and one to break up the Cavalier scoring run. Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, it was the last time they’d light the scoreboard in the first half.
The Cavaliers forced 35 Lumberjack turnovers and head coach Mark Agee was especially happy with his team for the defensive effort. “Everybody knows I’m a big pressure man and we have the manpower to do it this year. Anytime you can pressure the ball, it always helps, especially when you get the turnovers and get the easy layups.” Natalie Agee led the defensive charge with 10 steals.
Greenbrier West proceeded to go on an 18-0 run to close out the first half. Getting quality minutes from a freshman of their own, the Cavaliers got a boost from Maddie Fields who led the run with seven points including the only made three-pointer of the night. Barclay added 4 points and Meagan Poticher, who was doing most of her damage on the boards, got her first bucket of the night. Poticher pulled down 7 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. When the dust settled on the first half, West was comfortably ahead 36-3 but the shooting accuracy left a lot to be desired. Barclay led the Lady Cavaliers with 9 points at the half.
Agee had this to say about his team’s shooting woes “One of the things we talked about at halftime and after the game was our actual shooting itself has got to improve, and it has in practice a good bit. I think a lot of it was just first game jitters and I think we’ll improve on that as the season goes and hopefully start making more buckets.”
As the second half started, Palmer picked up where she left off by nailing the first two buckets off Lumberjack turnovers. Jarrett again sunk the front end of a one and one to break a Richwood scoring drought that left them trailing 40-3. The Cavaliers and Lumberjacks then took turns trading scores to end the third quarter. Barclay slid inside for a West layup and Cox answered for Richwood. West sophomore Hannah Sweet got her first points of the season on back-to-back scores sandwiched around a Cox layup for Richwood. Greenbrier West led 46-8 at the end of three quarters.
Poticher started the Cavaliers off with a putback to start the fourth quarter. Carlee Dillard, another one of the Lumberjack freshmen, sunk three of six free-throws in the final frame for Richwood’s only points in the quarter. Palmer and Fields each finished up with four points in the quarter, and Abigail Thomas found the scoring column with her first bucket of the season.
Agee’s assessment of the Cavalier win was succinct. “We hustled, we worked hard, we’ve got to execute better. We were a little sloppy with our handling of the ball. Even though we came out on top, we were still a little sloppy and we have to get the rust off. Nothing but improvement the last couple of weeks, and that’s what I look forward to over the season. Improving every practice we have and every game we have.”
One thing that really encouraged Coach Agee was the performance of a couple of his freshmen. “My freshmen do really well. We have two of them. Abigail Thomas from the Lewisburg Baptist Academy, you can’t beat her hustle and her drive, just as well as Maddie Fields. They’re both going to be an asset to the team this year and for years to come.”
Greenbrier West (1-0) travels to Tygarts Valley tonight for a matchup that Coach Agee expects to be a challenging one. “They have a pretty decent team just looking at last year. It should be a really good game…it’ll be the first time on the road this year so we’ll see how the girls handle it.”
Richwood 2 1 5 3 – 11
Greenbrier West 14 22 10 14 – 62
R: Bailey Jarrett 2, Carlie Dillard 3, Savannah Moose 2, Chloe Cox 4.
GW: Raelyn Palmer 16, Ava Barclay 11, Maddie Fields 11, Desteney Walker 8, Hannah Sweet 6, Meagan Poticher 4, Brooke Nutter 4, Abigail Thomas 2.
3-pointers – R: none; GW: 1 (Fields). Fouled out – GW (Agee)