Mathews edges Lady Chargers
|Middlesex guard Amanda Brown pushes the ball up the court against Mathews on Jan. 15. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)|
by Tom Chillemi
With a district loss to Mathews last week, the Middlesex High varsity basketball team, slipped from first place and is facing a crucial game tonight, Jan. 22, at West Point.
Undefeated Mathews leads the Tidewater District, having defeated both West Point and the Lady Chargers. Middlesex (3-1, 11-5) and West Point are tied for second with one loss each.
“On any given night, any one team can beat each other,” said MHS coach William Griffin. “We have to be ready for West Point. We can’t afford to lose another district game.”
Middlesex started “flat” at Mathews on Jan. 15 and trailed 27-17 at the half. But the Lady Chargers, who had been down 36-19, came alive in the fourth quarter, outscoring Mathews 17-7 to pull within a point at 40-39 with 2 minutes to play. The Blue Devils pulled away in the final minutes for a 43-40 win.
The Lady Chargers’ leading scorer, Ashae Burnett, did not start due to an injury. Burnett came in later, and although Mathews double-teamed her, she managed 17 points to lead Middlesex in scoring.
All of Kimberly Ammons’ 9 points came on 3-point shots.
Micah Reed had 5 points, Kiersten Baylor 3, and Amanda Brown, Tanicka Kimble and Katrina Reed 2 apiece.
Middlesex was 9 of 19 at the foul line, while Mathews made 6 of 10.
Middlesex missed too many easy “put-back” shots against the Blue Devils, said Griffin.
“We have to play more aggressively and get more offensive rebounds, and we have to make all our under the basket shots.”
The Lady Chargers lost a non-district game on Tuesday to visiting Lancaster 64-53 despite 31 points by Ashae Burnett. Also scoring for MHS were Katrina Reed with 8, Micah Reed and Kiersten Baylor 4 apiece, and Raquel Pierce, Kimberly Ammons and Ashley Williams 2 each.
Against the Lady Red Devils, Middlesex had “no outside shooting,” said Griffin.
Lancaster, the state runner-up last season, was winning the rebound battles. All-State forward Andrea White posted 29 points for Lancaster with 11 in the final period.
“They were getting three shots due to their aggression on the offensive boards,” said Griffin. “We have to get more scoring help. I need at least three girls in double figures.”
On Monday, Jan. 26, Middlesex will host Colonial Beach, and on Thursday, Jan. 29, the Lady Chargers host King William. Both are district games. The JV games are at 6 p.m. and are followed by the varsity games at 7:30 p.m.