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Bengals blitz Bulldogs
Bassett rides huge first quarter to win
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Bassett’s Simone Venable (left) goes up for a layup as Martinsville’s Shamontae Taylor attempts to block it Friday in the Bengals’ 75-34 Piedmont District win in Martinsville. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

By CHRIS PRIDE - Bulletin Sports Writer

Bassett head girls basketball coach Melissa Blair said it couldn’t have gotten any worse than it did in Monday night’s home loss to Patrick County to start the week.

While their next meeting with the Cougars is only two days away, the Bengals used the rest of this week to get back to what they call “Bassett basketball.” That included Friday night.

Coming off a strong second half performance against Magna Vista on Tuesday, Bassett didn’t hesitate Friday to deliver a knock-out blow to Martinsville. The Bengals shot 61 percent in the first quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 26-3 in the opening eight minutes of a 75-34 Piedmont District win at the Martinsville Middle School.

Simone Venable was instrumental in orchestrating the hot start by scoring 11 of her game-high 17 points in the first quarter.

“We just didn’t play like Bassett normally plays earlier this week against Patrick County, but I think we got it back throughout the rest of the week,” Venable said. “I think we were just ready to play and were fresh.”

Venable was one of four Bengal scorers to reach double figures. Kim Martin posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Andrea Venable and Kelsey Wyatt added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Bassett (13-2, 6-1 Piedmont District) opened the game hitting nine of its first 10 shots. After Martinsville’s (7-11, 2-4) Shamontae Taylor hit a free throw inside the first minute, the next two Bulldog points wouldn’t come for another four and a half minutes. The Bengals would go on a 17-0 run in the meantime.

The Bassett defense held Martinsville’s offense without a field goal in the opening period, forcing it to shoot 0-for-13 from the field.

“I think the biggest problem we’ve been having in the first half, or specifically in the first quarter, is being in too much of a hurry and not being more patient,” Martinsville head coach Charlie Holland said. “The girls then get frustrated when they look up at the scoreboard and see that they’re down 15 points. I think it then takes control over what we are trying to do.”

The Bengals padded their lead in the second quarter by starting the first half of the frame on an 11-2 run. Martin had six points and three rebounds in the quarter. Of her 10 rebounds, five were offensive as Bassett had 20 offensive rebounds as a team. It held an overall 54-37 advantage on the glass.

“I think we boxed out more and wanted it. Against Patrick County we weren’t ready,” Martin said. “I think we were more focused and that first half is how we expect to play.”

By holding a 35-point advantage at halftime, Blair said the amount of playing time her entire team saw Friday was instrumental in regaining some confidence. Of the 13 players that entered the game, all but one scored.

“I was just very pleased with the whole team effort, from top to bottom, everyone contributed tonight,” Blair said. “We have a lot of players that can do something. I just think it helps the whole team going into a big week for us next week.”

The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs came in the third quarter when they outscored the Bengals 16-14. Martinsville shot 50 percent in the quarter, while shooting 13 percent in the other three quarters combined.

Jerica Shelton was active with two points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. She finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. Holland said that Shelton has averaged almost 15 rebounds per game since leading rebounder Monisha Manns went down with a leg injury.

“I think we mainly settled down, didn’t turn the ball over as much and moved the ball better in the third quarter,” Holland said.

Bassett managed to record 31 field goals in shooting 44 percent (31-for-71). Adding to that was the fact it had an assist on more than half of those made field goals accounting for 18 total as a team, led by Andrea Venable’s six.

“We like to play team ball where everyone contributes or has a job to do, and it’s nice when everybody scores or we have a ton of assists,” Simone Venable said.

Both teams return to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Martinsville hosts Magna Vista, while Bassett heads to Patrick County.

Bassett 75

Martinsville 34

Bassett 26 20 14 15 — 75

Martinsville 3 8 16 7 — 34


BHS (13-2, 6-1): Simone Venable, 17; Kim Martin, 12; Andrea Venable, 11; Kelsey Wyatt 10; Miya Hairston, 5; Kaliya Barbour, 4; Aymbir Manns Massey, 4; Ashlee Turner, 3; Sally Hubbard, 3; Kirsten Seay, 2; Tahira Scales, 2; Alvalous Barbour, 2.

MHS (7-11, 2-4): Kemoni Thomas, 8; Shamontae Taylor, 7; Alison Stokes, 7; Jerica Shelton, 6; Terrica Hairston 3; Destiny Brendon, 3.


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