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Lumberjills Pull off Miracle Comeback To Defeat Devils

By Staff | Jan 17, 2018

Photos by Bruce Crawford A shot is taken against several Blue Devil defenders.

The Valley Lumberjills’ Sophie Palmer sunk three free throws, with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation, to lift Valley to a miracle comeback, defeating the Beallsville Blue Devils, 45-44, in the opener of the Boggs Roundball Classic on Jan. 11 inside the TCHS Gymnasium.

“When my second short rolled around the rim and dropped in, it got me a little uncomfortable, but after their timeout to ice me, it back-fired, it gave me time to settle down and knock it down to give us the lead,” said Palmer after the game.

The number one seed in the girls OVAC Class-A Beallsville raced out to a 7-0 lead until the ‘Jills Jamie West drilled a deuce just inside the three arch for what was the only Valley points in the opening period.

The Blue Devils showed their dominance, scoring eight answered points to take a convincing 15-2 lead after one period of play.

The Devils scored the first basket in the second period but missed four free throws before Palmer and West connected on back-to-back deuces to narrow the gap to 18-6. Their teammate McKinlee Yoho sank a two-pointer, before Beallsville sank two freebies at the free throw line.

Palmer then sank one of two free throws before the Blue Devils sank a deuce and a three-pointer. Palmer then tickled the twine with a rainbow three-ball.

The Blue Devils, then sank 4-4 from the charity line, while Palmer and Rachel Bates both connected with a two-pointer, giving the designating visitors a 29-16 lead.

To start the third period, both teams couldn’t put the ball in the basket until Beallsville knocked one of two free throws at the 5:51 mark. The Blue Devils added two more deuces that gave them their largest lead of the game at 34-18, after Palmer finally scored a pair of freebies at the 4:19 mark of the third.

Beallsville scored two more freebies before the ‘Jills Bates sank a pair of freebies. Palmer tallied a deuce to end three periods of play with the Blue Devils on top, 36-22, with eight minutes remaining in the game.

Palmer scored the game’s first points in the fourth period with a deuce, while Bates swished the second of two free throws to inch a little closer.

The Blue Devils scored their only two-pointer of the period, with 6:20 left on the clock, before Bates knocked down a miss. Shortly afterward, the Blue Devils sank a pair of free throws that gave them a 40-27 lead.

However, the ‘Jills Head Coach Jeff Derby pleaded with his troops to pick-it-up, and they did. Yoho started by connecting the first of two free throws, while Tessa Dudgeon sank two more. Yoho then sank a deuce to pull the Lumberjills to within eight at 40-32.

Twice, the Blue Devils missed the front end of a pair of one-in-one situations that would prove to be very costly. Shortly after, Bates tallied a conventional three point play to pull to within five points with a little over two minutes remaining.

The Blue Devils would miss the front end of a one-and-one one last time, and the ‘Jills made them pay. Palmer made the first of two free throws, and after scoring the ‘Jills first Valley basket of the game, she netted another two-pointer to get the ‘Jills within two at 40-38 .

The ‘Jills thought they were suppose to foul, and it back-fired as the Devils finally made a pair of freebies to extend its lead to four points.

Palmer then went coast-to-coast for another basket, and came up with a steal off the in-bounds pass to give them the ball in front of their bench to set up a play to tie this game up, with 50.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

Jenna Dallison made her only basket of the night to tie things up at 42-42 with .30 seconds remaining.

However, the ‘Jills fouled once more, and Beallsville knocked them both down to give them the lead with only 15.8 seconds left.

The ‘Jills got the ball back in front of their bench and called a timeout to set things up with 11.8 seconds. The Devils had Palmer covered up, but the gutsy senior would somehow get off a three pointer to end it right now. Instead she got fouled and had to make all three to get the win.

Beallsville called a timeout to ice the shooter, but instead Palmer swished nothing but the net on the first shot. On the second, the ball rolled around before dropping in to tie the game, at 44-44.

The Blue Devils called another time-out to give Palmer a chance to stew a little. However, the timeout wasn’t necessary, because she swished it it. The Devils tried a hail mary, but it missed its mark and Valley won, 45-44.

“That is why you play the game and never ever give up,” said Coach Derby. “I told the girls at half time to just play hard and give it your best and let the chips fall will they may.”And it did.

Palmer paced the ‘Jills with a game-high 22 points, including one from beyond the arch. She also sank 7-10 from the line, while getting a double-double with 10 rebounds. She also made a game-high five steals and dished out four assists.

Bates had a nice game as well. She scored 10 points and made a steal. Yoho added five points and made four steals, while West tallied four points and made two steals. Dallison made a basket, while Dudgeon swished two free throws and grabbed five rebounds. For the game, Valley made 14-21 free throws, while Beallsville only made 19-31.