Weary Graham girls get by Grundy
Graham (62) Vs. Grundy (57)
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Forgive the Graham G-Girls if they are looking forward to a day away from basketball. Four games in four days will make anyone grow weary of the bouncing ball.
“We will enjoy sitting back and watching the Super Bowl for sure,” said Graham girls basketball coach Jessica Gunter, whose G-Girls will get right back at it on Monday at Richlands. “No practice, five games, no practice.”
At least the G-Girls can watch football knowing they have won three in a row after defeating Grundy 62-53 on Saturday at Graham Middle School, less than 24 hours after a key Southern Empire Conference victory over Grayson County.
That followed a Mountain Empire District win over Narrows. Graham dropped only one of the four games during the week, at Fort Chiswell.
“I can tell the difference tonight, their defensive intensity in the man-to-man was showing that they didn’t have fresh legs, but they went all out last night and that was a big win for us, especially for a conference win,” said Gunter, of the eight-point win over Grayson County. “The zone was active tonight, which is what I want.
“I want them to be active, regardless of what defense we are in.”
There weren’t a lot of moments with the clock running in this one. The air was filled with the sound of whistles, which included 29 first half fouls, 47 for the game. The clubs combined to shoot 53 free throws.
“It was very intense,” Gunter said. “They were calling a lot of fouls both ways. We just have to really work on keeping our hands up and staying straight up and not getting up in the air.”
Two Grundy players fouled out, while Graham’s 6-foot-3 Dejah Carter played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls, but was able to stay in without committing a fifth.
“It is a good sign for her,” Gunter said. “She is being mentally tough in that respect. We want her to be able to go aggressively, but smart.”
Lexi Kiser led Graham (11-6) with 20 points, including 8 of 11 from the free throw line, while freshman Carly Moretto contributed 14 points, including nine in the second half.
Carter added 13 points and was also in double digits in rebounds. Caitlyn Vance scored five points for the G-Girls.
“Carly has played two good games in a row now,” Gunter said. “Her shooting is up and down, but when it is on it is on so we are glad to have that. She did a real good job tonight with the pump fake and the drive and we are pleased to have that work in there.”
Grundy (11-9) came out shooting from long range, with the first period featuring eight ties and six lead changes, but Kiser canned a 3 and two free throws to give the G-Girls a 21-16 lead going into the second quarter.
While Lexy Boyd scored 26 points, including a trio of 3s, and Autumn Sperry added 11, the Lady Wave, which came in having won five in a row, never got any closer than four the rest of the game, trailing 38-29 at the break. Cassie Keene had seven points for Grundy, while point guard Emily Lane fouled out with six.
Graham pulled away from there, with a drive to the basket by Kiser giving the G-Girls their biggest lead of 18, at 51-33, with 3:32 left in the third period.
Even with that margin the G-Girls kept pushing the ball instead of possibly working the clock. Gunter, a former standout at Council and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, is working with her club on how to deal with leads in the second half.
“I want them to have a fast tempo, I want them to keep the tempo up,” Gunter said. “We talk about that in practice, but I do want them to work it around and go through the offense.
“We have been back and forth this year when we feel comfortable feeding the post and when we feel comfortable taking shots. That is something we are working on just for the rest of this season and certainly going into the postseason and into next season.”
Grundy, which will visit Honaker on Friday, could never get the lead any closer than eight in the final period, with Carter scoring two baskets in the period for Graham, while Moretto added two points and made a nice dish to Kathyrn Perdue for two more.
“They were shooting from downtown, that is for sure,” Gunter said. “They are a tough team, they are a quick team, relatively as a whole they are a quick team. We played four in a row so we might not have had the legs that we might have had a few nights ago.”
Graham was 15 of 24 from the free throw line, while Grundy was 14 for 29.
The G-Girls will complete the regular season by visiting Tazewell County foes Richlands on Monday and Tazewell on Wednesday, while hosting Virginia High on Thursday.
/ Twitter @bdtwoodson

at Graham Middle School
GRUNDY (10-10)
Emily Lane 2 1-2 6, Lexy Boyd 8 7-17 26, Cassie Keene 2 3-6 7, Jessie Caudill 1 0-0 2, Autumn Sperry 4 2-2 11, Lexi Coleman 0 0-0 0, Kirsten Peck 0 1-2 1, Hannah Owens 0 0-0 0, Julie Deel 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-29 53.
GRAHAM (11-6)
Lexi Kiser 5 8-11 20, Casey Spencer 1 0-2 2, Karrah Large 1 0-0 2, Dejah Carter 5 3-6 13, Caitlyn Vance 2 1-2 5, Carly Moretto 5 3-3 14, Brittany Tignor 1 0-0 2, Kathryn Perdue 2 0-0 4, McKenzie Riffe 0 0-0 0. Totals 15-24 62.
Grundy...........................16 13 12 12 — 53
Graham..........................21 17 15 9 — 62
3-point goals: GRU 5 (Boyd 3, Lane 1, Sperry 1); GRA 3 (Kiser 2, Moretto 1). Total fouls: GRU 25; GRA 22. Fouled out: Caudill, Lane. Technicals: none. JV—Grundy won.
Game Scoreboard
Graham 21 17 15 9 0 62
Grundy 16 16 13 12 0 57
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