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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lack of scoring dooms Drifters


WISE—The defense was there for Colonial Beach.

The offense, however, was nowhere to be found.

Honaker’s hot start and the Drifters’ cold shooting hand sent the Tigers into the finals with a 55–35 win in the 1A state semifinal game Saturday at UVA–Wise.

Colonial Beach (21–3) eventually forced 26 turnovers, but could not overcome 15.6 percent shooting from the field in the first half and a 20.3 percent (14 of 69) effort for the game.

Honaker (23–6) opened the contest on a slow but steady 14–1 run and led from start to finish, building a 34–14 halftime cushion.

“We came out with the intensity that we’ve had this season with our defensive effort,” said Honaker coach Misty Davis Miller, whose club held the Drifters to 5 of 32 shooting from the field in the first half. “That sparked [us] the first half of the game and we just fed off of that.”

Junior Sydni Carey scored 18 points, but got little help on the offensive end from her young teammates. Colonial Beach failed to put a meaningful run together until the third quarter.

“We’re carrying a lot of freshmen and sophomores, first-year players and I think nerves and the atmosphere, everything got to them,” said Colonial Beach coach Keith Dickerson, whose club got its first field goal at the first-period buzzer. “My hat’s off to the [Honaker] defense.

“They played very solid defense, they were well-coached and very disciplined with their defensive schemes, but we missed eight layups that were wide open and that’s a problem. With the missed shots and the defense it really, really caused us problems.”

Honaker’s turnovers gave the Drifters extra possessions, but the Tigers’ height advantage inside offset them. Led by 6-foot junior post Laken Robinette, Honaker held a commanding 54–38 rebounding edge.

“I told her I needed her to control the middle and control the boards and, like she’s done all year, Laken just stepped up and dominated inside,” Miller added.

Robinette hauled in a game-high 22 rebounds, including a whopping 19 boards on the defensive end.

“We figured we were going to give up some points [inside] because we’re not big, but we didn’t do what we were supposed to do from the beginning,” Dickerson explained. “We didn’t get in the positions we needed to be in.

“We knew we could jump with them. We got athletes that can jump, but we weren’t in position. [Robinette] was very smart. She knows where to be, she has a nose for the ball and she caused havoc around that basket and it gave us fits.”

Robinette added nine points, blocked five shots and altered several others. Madison Musick was Honaker’s only double-figure scorer with 13 points.

Carey scored six points in the third quarter as the Drifters trimmed their 20-point halftime deficit to 39–27 after back-to-back jumpers from freshman Alexia Wilson late in the period. Honaker answered with a 10–2 run and kept the margin at 20 points to the end.

Now, says Dickerson, it’s back to work for a young team that exceeded some observer’s expectations.

“I anticipated after the first three or four practices that we could compete this season, but I didn’t know at which level,” he said. “Once we started winning game after game and game after game I said, ‘wow, maybe we’ve got something special’.

“Besides Sydni we have freshmen and sophomores [coming back]. Amber Jones and Alexia Wilson got a lot of minutes. We had to throw them in the fire and hopefully we can get back to work next week and get something going for next year.”

Colonial Beach 5 9 13 8 — 35

Honaker 19 15 7 14 — 55


Colonial Beach (21–3): Micahela Beverly 0, Sydni Carey 18, Kenzie Cox 2, Billie Gould 3, Kora Herrod 0, Amber Jones 2, Skylar lewis 0, Deniya Newman 2, Emily Parks 2, Daziha Turner 0, Alexia Wilson 6. Totals: 14 6-13 35.

Honaker (23–6): Tara Deel 6, Megan Ray 6, Kaitlyn Shelton 2, Madison Miller 6, Laken Robinette 9, Madison Musick 13, Megan Meade 2, Leah Elswick 8, Amanda Vandyke 3. Totals: 16 21-25 55.

Three-point goals: Colonial Beach 1 (S. Carey). Honaker 2 (L. Elswick).