Prowling forward
Princeton (46) Vs. Woodrow Wilson (42)
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
PRINCETON — Facing the biggest bonus free throw situation of her high school career, Princeton’s DayDay Eaves was feeling the pressure at Coach Ralph Ball Court on Wednesday night.
Tigerettes senior guard Danielle Hall knew exactly what to say to her teammate to lighten the mood.
Afterward, Eaves hit the front and back of her 1-and-1 with 12 seconds showing, giving the Tigerettes the critical cushion they needed for a 46-42 win over Woodrow Wilson in the semifinals of the Class AAA Region 3, Section 2 tournament.
“I told her that if she missed her free throws, coach was going to make us run in practice tomorrow,” said Hall, who led Princeton with 10 points.
The inside joke: for the loser of Wednesday’s game, there would be no practice tomorrow. Eaves got the punch line.
“I knew that if I didn’t make those foul shots, they could easily go down the court and scored two points and that would have made it bad on my seniors. I didn’t really want this to be their last game,” said Eaves, who also had two crucial rebounds at crunch time.
The Flying Eagles might just as easily have scored 3.
Woodrow freshman Laken Ball spiked Princeton’s adrenaline with a 3-pointer that cut the Tigerettes’ lead to 44-42 at the 22 second mark. The visitors had also gotten a pair of earlier three-pointers from tall post Paige Lewis.
The Beckley team had time enough for one last Ball trey attempt, but Princeton’s Kaleigh Barker got enough of a hand on it to divert its trajectory. That was Woodrow’s final possession. Adrianna Mitchem’s successful in-bounds pass with six seconds showing sealed it for the Tigerettes (14-5)
“We didn’t get a foul or a steal when there was six seconds on the clock. So it was obvious that we couldn’t pull that out being down by four,” said Flying Eagles head coach Brian Nabors, who had three players, including Ball, significantly taller than anyone Princeton could put on the floor.
“But we felt like we had our chance. We hit that 3. We had our chance,” he said.
Barker scored nine points for Princeton, grabbing seven rebounds and three steals. Mitchem had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals to go with her eight points. Hall had eight rebounds and four steals and Eaves had seven rebounds.
“You know, he did what to do in this game. He went big on us and pounded the ball inside. And then his two shooters, when they were behind in the end, they stepped up and hit shots for them,” said Princeton head coach Charlie Angell.
“When we came into the game I knew they were going to be much bigger than us, so we were going to do our halfcourt trap and try not to let them get down there and pound it in on us,” Angell said.
Princeton jumped out 10-2 from the outset. The eight-point deficit haunted the Flying Eagles at halftime and again headed into the fourth frame.
But Woodrow Wilson found a way to make it interesting in the end.
“We were playing behind pretty much the whole game. But I was proud of the way we fought back.
“As far as matchups, there were a few possessions here and there where they executed well and we just didn’t do a good job executing on defense. But the effort was there,” Nabors said. “I was very proud of the effort. They worked hard, they battled and they didn’t quit.”

At Coach Ralph Ball Court
Paige Lewis 2 0-0 6, Rebekah Cook 4 0-0 9, Savannah Holstein 3 0-2 6, Brennah Staunton 3 0-2 6, Sydni Darden 0 0-0 0, Laken Ball 4 9-9 18, Nashayla Brock 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-13 42.
Danielle Hall 4 1-1 10, Tayah Belcher 0 0-0 0, Adrianna Mitchem 4 0-0 8, Jaime Vest 3 1-2 8, Brittany Long 2 1-2 5, Kaleigh Barker 2 4-5 9, Autumn Bradley 0 0-0 0, DayDay Eaves 1 4-6 6. Totals 16 11-16 46.
Woodrow Wilson......7 7 16 12 — 42
Princeton...............17 5 16 8 — 46
3-point goals: Woodrow Wilson 4 (Lewis 2, Cook, Ball), Princeton 3 (Hall, Vest, Barker).
Game Scoreboard
Princeton 17 5 16 8 0 46
Woodrow Wilson 7 7 16 12 0 42
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