No Gabby, no problem as Warriors topple Panthers
PikeView (47) Vs. Wyoming East (77)
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
GARDNER — Wyoming East, the top-ranked Class AA girls basketball team in West Virginia, arrived at PikeView Wednesday evening with starting guard Gabby Lupardus on crutches.
Lest you think that gave the Lady Panthers any additional impetus to spring an upset, guess again.
In only her second starting role of the season, diminutive freshman point guard Jazz Blankenship fired up 24 points to lead the still-unbeaten Warriors to a 77-47 win at PikeVIew.
“I had to mentally prepare to come out and start the game with everybody,” said the 5-foot-3 Blankenship, who had six of Wyoming East’s 14 team total steals and handed out six assists.
“We’re a physical team, for girls. We can scrimmage against our boys’ team and we’re more physical than they are,” Blankenship said.
Lupardus, a 5-7 sophomore who has averaged 16.4 points per game playing at 1 and 2 guard for the Warriors (15-0), turned her ankle playing North Marion in the East Fairmont Classic. According to head coach Angela Boninsegna, Lupardus is on a day-to-day basis.
“She went up for a rebound and came down on someone else’s foot and sprained it real bad. She’s working hard to get back to us. But the most important thing is to get her healthy,” said Boninsegna, who said the team understood Lupardus’ absence from the floor is likely to embolden upset-minded opponents.
“We have a lot of confidence in all of our players. They were able to step up when Gabby went down against North Marion and they did a good job tonight,” said Boninsegna, whose team faces Morgantown in the Big Atlantic Classic on Feb. 1.
Any of PikeView’s hopes of an ambush faded fast in the opening minutes of the first quarter. The Warriors opened with a 10-0 run, accelerated by a pair of Blankenship 3-pointers.
Kara Sandy added another pair of trifectas as East hurtled toward a 20-point lead. When Blankenship effected a steal and converted a fast-breaking layup for the 21-2 lead, PikeView head coach Karen Miller called a time out with 1:45 showing.
“We saw them play against North Marion. (Blankenship) is a heck of a player,” said Miller.
“They are a team. There is no one particular player to key on. They’re No. 1 for a reason. You have a lot of teams where the first five are good. Every one of (Wyoming East’s) players are good.”
They were ridiculously quick and probably as physical as Blankenship’s boast. Several of the steals weren’t simple deflections or taps off the dribble. If a Panthers player hesitated with the ball for an instant, a Warriors defender would deftly snatch it away with both hands. End of possession.
The Warriors mobbed the boards, in many stretches averaging at least two looks per possession while the Lady Panthers settled for one-and-done. Allie Luck had 10 rebounds for East. Haley Butcher had seven boards and 6-4 freshman post Emily Saunders had eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
Katie Daniels had 10 points and Megan Davis had nine points and five steals.
PikeView (6-7) got 20 points from Madison May, 10 of which were scored in the fourth quarter. May had 10 rebounds to wrap up a double-double, also collecting four steals, blocking four shots and handing out two assists.
Brittany Moore scored 12 points and Hannah Justice had eight rebounds for the Lady Panthers.
PikeView travels to Ft. Chiswell on Feb. 1, the beginning of a four-game week.

At PikeView High School
Megan Davis 2 5-6 9, Misa Quesinberry 1 0-2 2, Emily Saunders 3 0-0 6, Allie Lusk 2 2-2 6, Jazz Blankenship 9 2-2 24, Kara Sandy 4 0-0 10, Haley Butcher 1 0-0 2, Katie Daniels 5 0-0 10, Kyndi Johnson 0 0-2 0, Kelsey Green 2 0-0 4, Katten Francis 1 0-0 2, Chelsey Adkin 1 0-0 2, Taleah Bailey 0 0-0 0, Savannah Hood 0 0-0 0, Morgan Cook 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 9-12 77.
Brittany Moore 5 0-0 12, Madison May 5 10-14 20, Ashley Scott 3 0-0 7, Brianna Shrewsbury 0 0-0 0, Courtney Boone 0 0-0 0, Hannah Justice 0 0-1 0, Sarah Robinson 2 0-0 4, Sparrow Void 2 0-2 4, Courtney Davis 0 0-0 0, Courtney Davis 0 0-0 0, Hannah Smith 0 0-0 0, Kaleigh Peyton 0 0-0 0, Ashleigh Sparks 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 10-17 47.
Wyoming East..........23 14 26 14 — 77
PikeView.....................5 15 11 16 — 47
3-point goals: Wyoming East 6 (Blankenship 4, Sandy 2). PikeView 3 (Moore 2, Scott).
Game Scoreboard
PikeView 5 15 11 16 0 47
Wyoming East 23 14 26 14 0 77
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