By Dennis Atwood - firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- Strasburg held a one-point lead with 3:43 left on the game clock, and tied the score twice in the final 1:20. However, the Rams leading scorer fouled out, a free-throw rimmed out, while Moorefield (W.Va.) got five points from a bench player keying the Yellow Jackets to a 38-34 win in girls basketball action Saturday night.
The Rams took the turnover edge by a wide 28-10 margin, while Moorefield gained a 33-21 advantage on the boards.
But shooting woes doomed the Rams (2-10), including a woeful 1-for-13 on 3-pointers, and their losing streak grew to four.
Moorefield (5-5) was 12-for-26 (46.1 percent) from the floor, including 3-for-6 (all by junior guard Beth Cook) from beyond the arc.
"I had us shooting 14-for-70 [20 percent] from the floor -- with that, you don't win," Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said. "You gotta put the ball in hole. I thought we started off flat and missed some easy opportunities."
Junior guard Marissa Doman dropped in a layup to give the Rams a 30-29 lead with 3:43 to go.
Strasburg's 5-foot-11 junior center Katie Dofermire fouled out at 2:13.
Dofermire was whistled for a block as Yellow Jackets' sub Kellie Bedell initiated the contact on a drive while both players were moving from the left of the key toward the baseline. Dofermire contributed a team-high 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
"[In the fourth quarter] I wish we had gotten some better looks and swung the ball some more and got more passes, before we took a shot or just chucked it up," Dofermire said. "We did have some good looks, we just need to get more, and be able to finish some plays and not make silly fouls like I did.
"We need to box out better on free throws, down low, and hopefully we'll get all this together for a good win."
Bedell went 1-for-2 on the resulting trip to the foul line, knotting the score at 30-30.
Bedell followed up with a put-back of Cook's missed layup, putting Moorefield up 32-30 at 1:45.
Doman (nine points off the bench) banked in a 10-footer to create a 32-32 tie with 1:20 on the clock.
Taylor Zuber then put in a two for the Yellow Jackets and Kasey Fauber answered with a bucket for the Rams, knotting the score at 34-34 with 45 seconds to go.
Bedell came through again in primetime, putting in a layup to put Moorefield ahead, 36-34, with 34 seconds remaining.
Kelsey Jenkins went to the charity stripe for the Rams with 29.9 seconds to go, but the front end of her one-and-one opportunity rimmed out.
But Cook made the front end of a one-and-one to extend Moorefield's lead to 37-34.
Katelyn Wills missed both ends of two-shot free-throw opportunity for the Yellow Jackets, at 17.1, but atoned by blocking a Fauber shot attempt and stealing the ball with 5.1 seconds remaining.
The Rams were forced to foul Wills (eight points on the night) on the possession, and she sank the back-end of the two free-throws.
Strasburg's Mikala Alsberry's mid-court heave went wide as the clock expired.
The Rams were at their best in the second quarter, when they outscored the Yellow Jackets, 10-3.
Strasburg made four steals among eight Moorefield turnovers in the frame, and Dofermire scored five points, to turn a 10-6 first quarter deficit into a 16-13 halftime lead.
Moorefield junior guard Cook opened the second half by draining a trey and followed-up with another 3-pointer two minutes later, while Williams added a layup and two free-throws to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 12-8 advantage in the frame, and a 25-24 lead at the end of the third.
Cook cashed in from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, going a 5-for-6 on freebies, to finish with a game-high 15 points.
"I just breathe and tune everybody out, like all the fans yelling," Cook said. "This win feels pretty good, because we're 5-5 now, after losing yesterday [58-29 to Tygarts Valley]."
"We had to protect the lead," Moorefield coach Paul Keplinger said. "I knew [Strasburg] point guard [Jenkins] likes to drive, so I said we had to help out and box out to improve our defense.
"We boxed out, cleared the boards, and were smart with the basketball at the end. We didn't turn the ball over a lot at the end. They were playing some physical defense, and we stepped up."
"We did pick up our energy from the second quarter on," Morgan said. "But we were in a dog fight. I thought we had an opportunity early to gain a bit of the lead. Down the stretch, we had some opportunities for some good possessions, but we took some bad shots.
"When you're 2-9 and not been in many close games, sometimes that happens. We made some plays, but just not consistent enough at the end."