NAUGATUCK – The Tug Valley Lady Panthers improved to 3-0 on the season as they squeaked by Belfry 48 to 41 Monday night at the TVHS gym.
Both teams were cold from the floor with Tug Valley hitting 15-45 for 30 percent, while the Lady Pirates were 17-54 for only 31 percent.
Belfry was also cold at the free throw line only making 5-16 for 31 percent, while Tug Valley connected on 17-26 at the charity stripe for 65 percent.
The Panthers only made one 3-pointer, but it came a point in the game when TVHs needed it. Adreana Vance swished in a trey to give the Lady Panther a 36-27 lead in the second half. From that point the home team was able to hold onto the led, but not without a scare from the Lady Pirates.
Belfry cut the lead to 44-41 on a 3-pointer by Emily Baker with only 20 seconds left in the game.
However, the Panthers go a pair of free throws by freshman guard Katie Robinson to make it 46-41. Then they got a last second layup from Amber Linville which gave TVHs its final margin of victory.
Tug led 8-4 after one quarter of play and 24-12 at the half.
Linville made a basket to start the second half, but Belfry then went on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 26-25.
Tug played much of the third quarter without center Hannah Armstrong who picked up her fourth foul early in the second half.
The Lady Panthers outscored Belfry 21-16 in the final quarter to pull out a win in a game that was sometimes sloppy. Both squads made several turnovers in the game.
Tug Valley’s roster was short two players including senior Whitney Evans-Kirk.
“First I would like to thank all people that came out tonight and helped us support Breast Cancer Awareness,” Tug Valley coach Okey Smith said. “I knew coming into the game that it was gonna be tough without Whitney and Cassie but, like I told the girls before the game - sometimes you have to overcome other challenges besides the team you’re playing against.”
Tug Valley’s players wore pink T-shirts to warm up and the coaches also donned pink T-shirts in honor of breast cancer survivors and those who lost their battle with the disease. The two teams used a pink basketball to play the game.
At halftime family members of the late Tina Vance, who was a victim of cancer, were introduced at center court. Vance was the 1992 valedictorian for TVHS and she also played for the Lady Panthers from 1988to 1992. A banner with her picture was hanging in the gym.
“I thought the first half that we played pretty good in spurts. Emily (Baisden) and Katie (Robinson) stepped up and played well for us tonight in their first starts at the high school level,” Smith added. “I also thought that Haylea Dempsey gave us some good minutes with Hannah in foul trouble most of the night.”
“Belfry came out in the third quarter and shot the ball better and got back in the game; I told the girls at the half that if we didn’t continue playing good defense that they were capable of knocking down shots and that’s exactly what happened. Plus, their pressure bothered us a lot in the third. We probably played our best offensive quarter of the year in the fourth and pulled out the win.” “Adreana played a good floor game for us tonight and Hannah was a force in the fourth quarter, I thought she was a bad matchup for them and when she was in the game we tried to feed the ball to her as much as possible,” Smith concluded.
Armstrong led TVHS with 16 points, while Vance had 11 and Linville nine to lead the Lady Panthers.
Hanna Bailey led the Lady Pirates with 14, while Emily Baker netted 12 and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Tug Valley is now (3-0) on the season and will play at Cross Lanes Christian on Friday at 6:00.
Belfry is now (0-4) on the season and will play Letcher County at home on Saturday at 3:30.
Score by quarters:
TVHS … 8 16 3 21 - 48
BHS …. 4 8 13 16 - 41
Tug Valley (3-0) - Hannah Armstrong 16, Adreana Vance 11, Amber Linville 9, Emily Baisden 6, Katie Robinson 6 and Haylea Dempsey 0.
Belfry (0-4) - Hannah Bailey 14, Emily Baker 12, Jaden Cisco 4, Lena Hairston 3, Paige Goff 2,
Angela Cantrell 2, Taylor Crum 2 and Lyndsey Miller 2.