By Lowell Browning for Fannation-SI Scott High School's Lady Skyhawks advanced to the 2011 West Virginia High School state tourney, overcoming a slow start and a scrappy Pikeview effort and rode the all around play of all-state guard Makenzie White to cage the Panthers, 63-61. Kimmie Thomas, a senior forward for Pikeview who tossed in a trey at the buzzer for the contest's final points, was proud none the less of the rewards of her squads initial trip to the Class AA girls state tournament. "I've worked hard and all my teammates have worked hard to get our coaches here," said Thomas. "It was all worth it." Coach Karen Miller's Panthers were prowling early against the Black and Gold clad Lady Skyhawks and when Pikeview freshman standout point guard Hope Nester tallied a three point shot that was followed by a right-wing jumper by Panther junior Jennifer Taylor the Lady Panthers had scratched out a 13-6 lead, with 2:06 left in the third period. The seven-point advantage would be followed by two more such spurts and in a game that the Panthers would build two more seven point cushions, before the Makenzie White-led Lady Hawks rallied in the second half for the victory. "Yes, I think that we have and they have, too," when PV's coach Miller was asked about the great run by her team, while mentioning, too, the Skyhawk team. "She is such a great player. I thought for awhile that it my work (the defensive plan used by the Lady Panthers) but she's very hard to do anything with. But, we took a step today and I hope that this bodes well for our future. I guess our goal next year is to get here, win that first-round game, and go from there." After trailing by five points after the first quarter of action White used but 6:14 of second-quarter clock to draw the SHS girls into a tie at 25-ALL. White erupted for 13 points during those minutes and after a Pikeview timeout the Scott junior spalshed home a deep three-ball and the Scott girls of veteran coach John Porter went to the dressing rooms with a 28-27 edge. Opening half action saw each team score 14 points in the paint. Both teams canned only 1-of-6 three point tries. The LadyHawks would take flight as third period play got underway and it became evident that coach Porter's halftime talk was defensive related as the Black and Gold girls scrambled and attacked the basket, the style of play that has been so successful for the Lady Hawks under Porter's tenure. While the defense was stealing passes and deflecting them, White and SHS freshmen (star-in-the-making) Jaimee Dotson went on the offensive and attacked the Pikeview defense. White canned a layup and a 12-foot jumper for a 32-30 Scott High lead and it proved to be a lead that the Hawks would not give up for the remainder of the quarter-final tilt. Dotson then deflected a pass that led to a Pikeview turnover and with the possession laced a deuce from the left wing. The Lady Skyhawks 'D' didn't allow the Lady Panthers to score during the final 2:03 of the third quarter and a White jumper, a bucket from SHS's Lou Robin, two more free throw meltes by Dotson and White's fifth layup of the the third stanza the girls from Boone County used the surge for a 53-39 Black and Gold bulge as the teams headed for final period action. With Dotson running the show and a sharp-shooting Taylor Adkins among the ranks, the Hawks future looks as good as it's present. While Adkins and Dotson are ninth-graders, another freshmen made a statement, too. Alison Whitman, at 6'1", is yet another ninth-grader. Whitman grabbed a pair of rebounds and scored a stick-back basket and splashed home 3-of-3 free throw tries while the Scott girls were in a tight contest. The Madison school finally put the scrappy Panther team away when White canned a late-game free throw. Pikeview freshman Hope Nester scored 20 points, handed out five assists and made five steals had plenty to say about her Scott counterpart, stating, "Makenzie White is a great player. She can dribble and pass. And, her wrap-around in NICE.Makenzie is a legit D1 player. Shoots the ball so well and is so good overall and I'm happy to have the opportunity to play here and to play against a player like her." Jennifer Taylor tallied 12 points and Kimmie Thomas added 11. White used those all-floor skills to tally 37 points and Dotson opened her state tournament career with 15 points and classmate Alison Whitman chipped in with nine Black and Gold markers.
May 2, 2011  11:05 PM ET

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