Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Reynolds, Dodson lead PCHS charge
Cougars head to district tournament championship game
Patrick County’s Ebony Reynolds (30) pulls up to shoot in the second half of the Cougars’ 54-28 Piedmont District Tournament semifinal win against Martinsville on Wednesday in Ridgeway. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Early in the second period of the girl’s Piedmont District’s semifinal game, Patrick County coach Glenn Burnett yelled out to his team, “Wake up!”
The lady Cougars were in a bit of a daydream. After coasting through most of the first period to a 14-2 lead, Patrick County’s offensive output hit a wall. The Cougars defense was getting the job done, but they needed a similar effort on the offensive end.
That message was received by the Cougars, especially by two players.
Ebony Reynolds and Bri Dodson alternated sharing the offensive output throughout and lead the Cougars to victory on Wednesday night at Magna Vista High School, 54-28.
“We’re better than that,” Burnett said. “We got kind of complacent a little bit. You know sometimes you look at the scoreboard and you stop playing, and we want to play for 32 minutes, and so you start to challenge them to continue to play. It doesn’t matter what the score is you just have to go get after it.”
The game was lopsided from the opening tip, with the Cougars building a large opening-quarter lead. But Burnett and Martinsville head coach Charlie Holland had the same mindset: it’s never over until it’s official.
“You never know in tournament basketball,” Burnett said. “Martinsville started out with some stuff that we hadn’t seen before. We shot the ball pretty well, even though I would like for us to score more layups early, we had some looks and we just missed them. But we continued to battle through, and had a pretty good first half overall. Our defense is key to what we do, and it was a good night on defense.”
A good night indeed as mixtures of zones confused the Bulldogs all night. Burnett pulled out a lot of combinations of defensive sets — most notably the half-court trap — and forced 24 Bulldog turnovers on the night.
“That’s just what we do.” Burnett said. “Our style of play is (that) everything is predicated off our defense, and how we play. We have to get stops, so that we can have an opportunity to score, and I felt like we did that most of the night.”
The beneficiaries of the scoring were Reynolds and Dodson who had 15 points and 14, respectively. Their work in the paint, as well as on the offensive glass, is what sparked the Cougars.
“I think we gave a lot of effort,” Reynolds said. “We knew we had to come out and play hard so that we could do good on defense and offense.”
As productive as PCHS was on offense and defense, the Cougars were unable to stay out of foul trouble, as the Bulldogs were in the bonus all of the fourth quarter and in the double-bonus with 3:47 remaining. The key for PCHS, however, was that Martinsville was unable to connect on their free throws and Patrick County made the most of their opportunities at the line.
“We work on free throws a lot in practice,” Holland said. “I just think during the course of the game when you’re behind and you’re trying to get back, fatigue sets in and when you do get the foul, you come to the line and you don’t concentrate on what you’re doing. That’s another part of the mental process of my girls.
“I think the referees did an excellent job of calling the game, it’s been well-balanced calls, and we were in the bonus and we got what we wanted, we just didn’t finish. Those situations when you get those opportunities with the clock stopped with no one guarding you — you’ve got to knock them down.”
Reynolds and Dodson were vital to Burnett’s success with the Cougars this season and were a main reason he captured a share of the Piedmont District’s regular season crown.
“They’re great players. They’re two of the best players in the district and there’s a reason for that — they put the ball in the bucket,” Burnett said. “I thought Bri (Dodson) hit some shots throughout the game. They tried to box-and-one her and do a couple of different things with her and she just kind of played through it and just played her game.
“Ebony, once she settle down and quit dribbling so much, was able to get it out of the double-team and then get it back,” he added, “and she was able to score off that as well. They’re both good players, very smart, they’re learning how to play the game and they just keep getting better.”
A successful regular season — and a roaring tournament run — has landed the Cougars in the Piedmont District final. Burnett said he expected nothing less.
“We expect to be here in the tournament finals,” Burnett said, “especially after the season we’ve had. Anything else would have been a disappointment. I thought our focus overall throughout the game was to get to the tournament final and I could see that in our girls and how hard we played and tried to get after it. We’re proud of that and we’re excited to be here and just getting ready to go. It will be a good one on Friday.”
Patrick County will play in the Piedmont District championship game against Bassett on Friday night at Magna Vista High School.
Martinsville will play in the consolation game tomorrow night against Magna Vista.
Patrick County 54
Patrick County 14 15 19 6 — 54
Martinsville 2 8 9 9 — 28
Patrick County (54) — E. Reynolds 15, B. Dodson 14, H. Helbert 9, G. Witt 5, M. Owens 4, C. Thomas 4, N. Mitchell 2, K. Wilkinson 2.
Martinsville (28) — K. Thomas 6, H. Martin 4, A. Stokes 4, S. Taylor 4, T. Hairston 3, D. Brandon 2, J. Morrison 2, A. Turner 2.