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Bengals advance to PD Tournament title game
Barbour leads way for Bassett
Bassett’s Kaliya Barbour (10) rotates to shoot as Magna Vista’s Makayla Hairston (42) defends in the first half of Bassett’s 41-33 Piedmont District Tournament semifinal win on Wednesday in Ridgeway. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray).
Following her team’s 16-point loss to Bassett at home in early January, Magna Vista girls basketball coach Vicky Hayes still felt good about how her team matched up with the Bengals. The only thing the Warriors needed to do was eliminate a big Bassett run, like the 23-6 spurt the Bengals unleashed on the Warriors in the second quarter a month ago.
For 28 minutes in Wednesday’s Piedmont District tournament semifinal, it was mission accomplished for Magna Vista. However, that left four minutes left for Bassett to do some damage.
And it did.
A 10-2 run over the final four minutes of regulation helped lift the No. 2 seeded Bengals to a 41-33 victory on the Warriors’ home floor in Ridgeway. Bassett now faces Patrick County at 7:30 p.m. on Friday for the tournament championship.
“Whether it’s the third quarter or fourth quarter, those little spurts stilll seem to happen. Kids at this age panic or make the moment larger than what it is,” Hayes said. “The last thing you want is for Bassett to put one of those large runs on you and then force you out of what you’re trying to do. Defensively, I thought we played a pretty smart basketball game, but rebounds — especially offensive rebounds — killed us. I am so proud, at the same time though, with how hard my girls played.”
The Magna Vista (8-10) defense forced Bassett (15-3) to shoot 22 percent (7-for-32) in the first half, and 28 percent (17-for-59) for the game. But in the fourth quarter, the Bengals responded well by shooting just under 50 percent in the quarter and scoring 16 points.
Bassett failed to hit a 3-pointer going 0-for-17.
“We’ve got to start shooting the ball better from the outside. That’s the bottom line,” Bassett head coach Melissa Blair said. “A couple of weeks ago against Patrick County we weren’t hitting from the outside and we preached to the girls that they must go inside-out then. Not a lot was falling tonight, but Magna Vista was very prepared for us in their zone and didn’t get out of it unless they needed to.”
While the offense struggled, the Bengals defense was just as tenacious. It forced 27 turnovers — 16 in the first half — and the Bengals totaled 15 steals as a team. Kaliya and Alvalous Barbour combined for half of those steals. The duo was especially active in the fourth quarter with rebounding and defense.
“I knew if I drove to the basket, that it would give us some looks from the outside,” said Kaliya Barbour, who finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. “We wanted to win bad. I just had to keep my head and know my teammates would be there. You can’t force things, you have to let it come to you.”
After Magna Vista’s Brandi Warner hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game at 31, Bassett’s Tahira Scales came off the bench and was the main figure in the closing run. She was a perfect 5-for-5 at the free throw line, but it was her 3-point play with a bucket and a foul shot with 3:37 left in regulation that gave Bassett the lead for good. Scales scored seven of the 10 points in the run.
“Luckily Kaliya recognized that she was having trouble getting to the basket, so she picked up her defense and rebounding,” Blair said. “Tahira (Scales) was then clutch at the line in the fourth quarter. We closed the game out the way we needed to.
“At the end we mixed it up a little more defensively with a zone press, so that Brandi (Warner) wouldn’t penetrate all the time. As long as we took them out of their offense, forced them into a bad shot, then it was just as good as a steal.”
The Warriors closed the first half on a 7-0 run in the span 2:45 to tie the game 14-14 at intermission. The third quarter featured three ties and three lead changes. It was also the quarter that Magna Vista held its last lead.
While Magna Vista held a slight edge on the glass (41-37), it did give up 14 offense rebounds. Kaliya Barbour had six of them. Andrea Venable added eight points, three steals and four blocks for the Bengals.
Warner paced the Warriors with six points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Ocean Adams led the team in scoring with nine points. MVHS plays Martinsville at 6 p.m. on Friday in the consolation game.
Magna Vista 33
Bassett 8 6 11 16 — 41
Magna Vista 5 9 10 9 — 33
BHS (15-3): K. Barbour 13, A. Venable 8, T. Scales 7, K. Martin 4, S. Venable 3, A. Barbour 2, K. Gravely 2, A. Manns-Massey 2.
MVHS (8-10): O. Adams 9, B. Warner 6, J. McDaniel 6, M. Hairston 4, T. Johnson 3, T. Nolen 3, B. Hairston 2.