The Mathews High School varsity girls’ basketball team dropped an exciting contest on Friday night against the Northumberland Lady Indians. Facing a 20-4 halftime deficit, head coach Tommy Eriksen pleaded with his players to not give up on either end of the court.
Mathews had many turnovers in the first half and could not get the ball in the basket. However, the home team returned in the third quarter and played every defensive play as if it was its last. The Blue Devils hit a couple of three pointers and caused Northumberland to turn the ball over with aggressive defense to cut the lead to five with two minutes to play.
However, the comeback fell short as the Lady Indians escaped with a 38-31 victory.
Against the Lady Indians, Whitney Eriksen led the effort with nine points, while Savannah Wooten, Taylor South and Emily Brown added four points each. Rounding out the scoring were Madison Owens (three points), Hunter Thomas, Madison South and Mariah Robinson (two points each) and Maria Spadaccini with one.
On Tuesday night against the Rappahannock Lady Raiders, the Mathews offense made greater strides getting to the basket and finishing shots, However, the Lady Blue Devils could not match the homestanding Raiders point for point and dropped a 51-43 contest. Eriksen praised the aggressiveness of guard Taylor South, who ended the game with 17 points. Eriksen also stated the team’s free throws were greatly improved but missed various wide open layups in the first half that may or may not have changed the outcome of the game. Completing the scoring for Mathews was Wooten with eight points and Rowe with six.
Shanice WIlliams added four points, Eriksen contributed three and Thomas and Brown each added two points. Robinson rounded out the scoring with one point.
JV wins two
The Mathews JV girls, meanwhile, picked up two wins this past week in exciting games against Northumberland and Rappahannock.
Mathews hosted Northumberland Friday and played a tight contest throughout the game. Northumberland mounted a fourth-quarter comeback, but Mathews was able to seal the 26-22 victory with aggressive defense. Casey Kelly led the home team with 14 points, followed by Katie Respess with four points. Kenzie Tunstall and Lexie Miles added three points each, while Yolanda Fells scored two points.
Mathews pulled out a 34-30 overtime thriller Tuesday against Rappahannock. Mathews controlled the game throughout; however, the Lady Raiders took advantage of Mathews’ foul trouble and injuries to chip into the lead and tie the game late in the final quarter. In overtime, Mathews went into attack mode and went to the foul line 18 times, converting six to secure the victory. Respess led the Blue Devil effort with 11 points followed by Lexie Miles with 10. Wells added five points, Fells and Kelly chipped in four points apiece.
Both the JV and varsity teams will host Washington & Lee tonight, with the JV contest beginning at 6.
The Mathews High School varsity girls will hold two fundraisers in the coming weeks. On Dec. 30, Linda’s Diner will have a special Monday night opening for diners from 4-8 p.m. The Mathews restaurant will donate 10 percent of total sales and all tips to the basketball program.
On Jan. 11, the varsity team will host a BBQ dinner at Mathews High School, starting at 5 p.m. Home-cooked BBQ, baked beans, cole slaw and desserts will be made on-site and dinners will sold for dine-in or take-out.
Tickets must be purchased ahead of the event and are available from varsity team members.