Kiser boosts G-Girls past Bland County
Bland County (34) Vs. Graham (50)
Jan 29, 2016
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
ROCKY GAP, Va. — When Graham needed someone to make plays, Lexi Kiser answered the call.
The Graham junior, who recorded her 1,000th career point earlier this season, scored 24 points, including 13 in the second half to lead the G-Girls to a hard-fought 50-34 win over Bland County on Friday night.
“I have said it before this year, but she has become a better rounded player, she played good on-ball defense tonight,” Graham head coach Jessica Gunter said. “When one works I think the other one works so we are getting everything we need from her.”
They needed it too.
Bland County (4-13), which lost 32 points earlier this season at Graham, used a 8-2 run to pull within 27-26 with 4:20 left in the third quarter, and the G-Girls were hampered with talented junior Dejah Carter on the bench in foul trouble.
“We needed a win and we needed to come out to a good win,” Gunter said. “Bland played well tonight, they have certainly improved since the last time we played them. They are not to be overlooked, they are a good team, but we needed a good win tonight and I am glad to get that one over with.”
That is when Bland County coach Jason Lambert attempted to coax the partial student body to provide some vocal support for his club.
“We get winded, the sad thing is we are so young, five sophomores and a freshman, and then you have got a junior and senior,” Lambert said. “We kept battling, battling, battling and we cut the lead down to one in the third.
“I will be honest with you I got mad at our crowd. I got mad at the football team because all season long all my girls have supported that group and they sit over there.
“I yelled at them, I told them ‘Don’t you ever cheer for them.’ I felt like we needed a picker-up and something like that can help.”
Kiser then played like the talented player she is, making consecutive running jumpers in the lane, while the Bears went cold, scoring just eight more points the rest of the game.
“Give them credit, the Kiser girl is just unreal, she handles the ball so well, she is so hard to guard,” Lambert said. “I thought in the first half we did a good job of helping with her.
“In the second half she took it to the hole a couple of times and we didn’t help real well, but give her credit.”
Casey Spencer added a baseline jumper for Graham before Sydney Walker pulled the Bears with five, at 33-28, heading into the final period.
Graham (8-4), which let a big lead disappear in a three-point overtime loss at Galax earlier this week, was able to control the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bears 17-6 the rest of the way.
“We have been in a little slump lately so it was nice to kind of break out of that in the fourth quarter,” Gunter said. “We came out a little bit slow in the third period and they still had momentum and we didn’t.
“We made some defensive changes that kind of helped us out a little bit.”
Kiser was complemented by eight points from Carly Moretto, seven from Spencer and six by Kathryn Perdue.
Carter was limited by foul trouble, eventually fouling out with 2:42 left with just two points.
“We played well against the Carter girl, she got in foul trouble, but in that first half I didn’t know who was going to be able to have the most kids at the end, everybody was fouling,” Lambert said. “I had three on the bench with three fouls, she had couple with three fouls, I think she had one with four.
“Give them credit, they are a good team and they play hard. I am proud of our kids for how hard we played.”
Graham’s other post player, Karrah Large, also fouled out a few seconds later in a game that included plenty of whistles, and even a few scuffles between the two teams.
“It is a small gym and the crowd really gets into,” Gunter said. “I think that fuels a lot of that.”
Bland County was led by Walker, who had eight points, while Macey Scott added seven for the Bears, who have just eight players, and both Emma Pennington and Malee Lambert — who had six points on a pair of 3s — are having issues with knees.
“We didn’t get some shots, but we are injured...,” said Lambert, whose Bears will visit Galax on Tuesday.
“We are struggling with just eight kids, but I am proud of the way we played.”
Graham will be busy next week, with four games on tap, beginning on Wednesday at Fort Chiswell.
“We will have a tough week, but we are looking forward to it,” Gunter said. “This is a good time in the season, an exciting time.”

at Bland County High School
GRAHAM (8-4)
Lexi Kiser 9 4-5 24, Carly Moretto 2 4-4 8, Casey Spencer 3 1-2 7, Dejah Carter 0 2-6 2, Brittany Tignor 0 1-4 1, Kathryn Perdue 2 2-5 6, Caityn Vance 0 2-2 2, Karrah Large 0 0-2 0, McKenzie Riffe 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 16-30 50.
Malee Lambert 2 0-0 6, Sydney Walker 3 3-4 9, Sydny Cross 1 0-0 2, Lauren Gwyn 2 1-2 5, Macey Scott 3 2-3 8, Lakyn Patterson 0 0-2 0, Emma Pennington 2 0-6 4, Judy Sparks 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 6-17 34.
Graham............................15 10 8 17 — 50
Bland County....................7 11 10 6 — 34
3-point goals: GR 2 (Kiser 2); BC 2 (Lambert 2). Total fouls: GR 16; BC 14. Fouled out: Carter, Large. JV—Bland won (improved to 16-1).
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Bland County 7 11 10 6 0 34
Graham 15 10 8 17 0 50
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