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Midland successful on Senior Night

Feb. 11, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

ONA -- The speech coach Matt Adkins gave at halftime Monday, brief as it was, sort of trumped the prepared remarks he made prior to the Cabell Midland girls basketball game against Hurricane.

It was Senior Night for the Lady Knights and the three honorees -- Alex Ellis, Emily Harden and Grace Jarrell -- each had brief talks they'd written relayed to the crowd by the public address announcer as they stood at center court with family members. Same went for Adkins, who spent quality time to come up with a fitting tribute for the departing seniors.

Then the game tipped off and Hurricane came up with an inspired effort to lead, 27-22, at halftime. The Knights, to use ESPN lingo, went on upset alert.

"I made an appeal," Adkins said in describing his halftime discussion. "I appealed to their competitive spirit. We usually outwork, outhustle people. We were getting outworked, outhustled. Would we work or lay down? The girls responded."

Cabell Midland started the third period on a 7-0 run to regain the upper hand. The lead then changed hands several times during the period until Ellis scored off a turnover with 1:00 left in the quarter to put the Knights ahead for good, 41-39. The margin continued to grow over the final period and Senior Night turned out to be a success as the Lady Knights won, 63-43.

Ellis sparked the third-quarter surge with 13 of her 14 points.

"We've spoiled three senior nights. We weren't about to let that happen," Ellis said. "Coach didn't need to say much."

"She did shine of Senior Night," Adkins said. "The shots she hit were really big."

Abby Watson scored 13 of her 21 points in the first half to help Hurricane (5-15) take the lead to the locker room.

After the break, the Knights switched things on defense and the box-and-one on Watson worked well. Jarrell had the assignment of shadowing Watson. The Redskins managed just 16 points in the second half.

Ellis started the third quarter with a 3-pointer, her first of three in the period.

"I was trying to get the team going," Ellis said. "I was OK with it. It could've been anybody. We shouldn't have come out in the first half and played that way."

In the fourth period, the Lady Knights worked the ball down low time and again to Sierra Jordan and Emily Pitkin. Jordan had 10 in the period and Pitkin six.

"They play like that all the time," Ellis said of her teammates.

"They're a great combination to have," Adkins said of the two along with Harden. "The seniors have been great. You can't replace any of them. That's the hardest thing."

Players, coaches and fans took part in a party after the game.

Cabell Midland's next game is Thursday against Princeton in the Mountain State Athletic Conference Tournament.

"It's getting close to tournament time. This is when you want to get on a roll," Adkins said.

HURRICANE11 16 12 4 -- 43: Barber 1 0-0 2, Watson 7 2-2 21, Crompton 3 0-0 6, McClanahan 2 2-2 6, Sturdavent 3 0-0 6, Rogers 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 4-4 43.

CABELL MIDLAND 12 10 21 20 -- 63: Bias 2 1-1 7, Haggerty 2 0-0 4, Jordan 9 0-0 18, Jarrell 0 0-3 , Ellis 5 1-2 14, Harden 3 0-1 6, Pitkin 7 0-0 14. Totals: 28 2-7 63.

3-point baskets: Hurricane 5 (Watson 5). Cabell Midland 5 (Bias 2, Ellis 3).