By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
GRUNDY, Va. —
Loni Webb gave Grundy a lead and Morgan Hall helped protect it.
Webb hit four straight 3-pointers in the first quarter when the Golden Wave took the lead for good made it stand up for a 62-53 win over Union in Region D, Division 2 quarterfinal play Tuesday night.
Webb provided the perimeter offense with 20 points and Hall contributed inside and out with 24 points and 17 rebounds. The win sends the Wave (20-5) into the semifinals against Gate City Thursday at Castlewood.
Savannah Charles started a 17-2 run with a 3 and Webb’s hot streak staked Grundy an early 19-7 lead, one it would never relinquish.
“We were just feeding Loni the ball and she just kept nailing them,” Hall said.
Union (14-10) switched to a man defense and slowed Grundy down in the second quarter. Freshman Sydney McKinney hit two 3s in an 11-1 Union run and the Bears eventually got within 30-25 by halftime.
“We almost made a mistake running them out of their patented zone,” Grundy coach Craig Plymal said. “We prepared for their 3-2 zone and Loni getting hot and Savannah knocking one down early forced them into a man and then we struggled for a while against it.” McKinney scored on a backdoor feed from Ali Morgan to open the second half to cut the Bears deficit to 30-27. It was as close as Union, which lost McKinney to an ankle injury moments later, would get the rest of the night
“Them being a veteran team they came out ready to play,” said Union assistant coach Kory Bostic, who assists his wife, head coach Brandi Bostic. “We’ve played zone all year and we’re usually able to rotate out on them but they’ve got so many good shooters it’s hard to cover them all.
“I felt like we weathered the storm and we were ready to make a run at them in the second half, but our leading scorer (McKinney) got hurt early in the third quarter. She was out the rest of the game and that definitely hurt us.”
The loss of McKinney and Grundy’s three-quarter court defensive pressure helped the Wave regain a double-digit lead late in the third period.
“Our execution was better against their man in the second half and our little half-court trap forced some turnovers and got us some shots, but we had to work for them,” Plymal added. Hall took over in the third quarter.
The versatile junior hit a 3, took a defensive rebound all the way to a layup at the other end and added a 3-point play at the end of 15-3 run that gave the Wave a 52-36 lead with 33 seconds remaining in the period.
“We had to adjust to what they were doing,” Hall said. ‘We had to change our offense and start posting up and kicking it out and hit our threes when we were open and pick up our intensity on defense.”
McKinney scored 13 of her 17 points in the first half and was the only double figure scorer for Union. Brandee Childress, Summer Begley and freshman Hannah Dysart added nine points apiece. Begley pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Bears, who played three freshmen and three sophomores, got no closer than eight points in the fourth quarter, despite the fact that Grundy missed 10 free throws in the final period.
“It seems like it was still a situation where we had to have those, and we will have to have those Thursday night,” added Plymal. “That was the only point of emphasis we had in our post-game that we had to hit our free throws if we were going to survive.”
Morgan 2 0-0 4, McKinney 7 0-0 17, Bishop 1 0-4 3, Begley 3 3-4 9, Childress 2 5-10 9, Dysart 3 0-0 9, Barnett 0 0-0 0, Trent 0 2-2 2. Totals – 18 10-20 53.
Hall 7 9-13 24, Cantrell 1 1-6 4, Charles 2 2-4 7, Webb 6 4-4 20, Owens 2 1-2 5, Snead 1 0-0 2, Lane 0 0-0 0, Sperry 0 0-0 0. Totals – 19 17-29 62.
Union...................................9 16 11 17 — 53
Grundy................................23 7 22 10 — 62
3-point goals – Union 7 (McKinney 3, Dysart 3, Bishop), Grundy 7 (Webb 4, Charles, Hall, Cantrell). Total fouls-Union 20, Grundy 17. Fouled out-none. Technicals-none.