CHILHOWIE, Va. – Glenvar’s Kayla DeHart had the fourth-quarter spins working Wednesday. That alone made host Chilhowie rather queasy.
Posting up just to the left of the foul line, DeHart spun her way on four separate, yet successful, occasions toward the bucket – netting 14 of her career-high 27 points to help the Highlanders slip past the Warriors 52-43 during Region C, Division 2 quarterfinal action.
Averaging just under 10 points a contest, DeHart – along with fellow guard Jessi Strom (12 points) – displayed a rather swagger-like approach during the final 5:37 just as Chilhowie was clinching the game’s largest spurt.
Establishing herself more as a formidable post player, DeHart – who shot 10-of-18 from the floor – smartly spun around the aggressive Warrior defenders time and time again.
“We knew that she was capable of playing like that, especially since we go through her and Strom quite a bit,” said Glenvar coach Nick Stewart. “I give her a lot of credit. She’s struggled a little bit as of late, but seniors – especially at this time of year – put the team on their back and make the big plays when they count.”
Despite racing out to a 7-0 start, Chilhowie was unusually frigid from the field against the trapping Highlanders. Along with hoisting up a few air balls and several poorly angled shots, the Warriors mustered just a 5-for-25 showing during first-half play.
“Early in the game, we were 0-for-9 from behind the arc – and that’s uncharacteristic of us,” said Chilhowie coach Mark Halsey. “Plus, we shot 10-of-22 from the free-throw line. Those things usually don’t affect us that much, but they did tonight.”
Though Chilhowie (18-6) didn’t rack up quite as many turnovers as do most Highlander opponents, its sound rhythm was certainly altered. That suited Stewart quite nicely.
“We didn’t force Chilhowie into too many turnovers,” said Stewart, whose squad still accounted for 18 Warrior miscues. “However, I think we made them just a little uncomfortable in order to get out of here tonight.”
With the Highlanders (20-4) utilizing a box-in-one on Chilhowie’s leading scorer, Danielle Catron, who ended with a team-high 15 points, Halsey used ball rotation and dribble drives toward the right side of the collapsing, yet late, defense. That adjustment, coupled with a 3-for-15 stretch from Glenvar, factored into a 16-4 second-half burst – which ended on a Lauren Jones layup for a 35-all tie midway through the final stanza.
“That’s what we’ve been looking to do out there,” said Halsey, who received a game-high 14 rebounds from Monica Fields. “We knew we had a size advantage on the inside … and the girls never gave up. I was really proud of how hard they worked. We did what we needed to do in order to get an opportunity for the win tonight.”
Cue DeHart, who subtly quieted the crowd less than a minute later with her first twisting drive. DeHart then sealed it with three more shimmies and three respective free throws, sending Glenvar into Friday’s semifinal against top-seeded and district foe Floyd County, which has dismissed Wednesday’s visitors on three previous occasions.
“I was thinking that they would eventually play help-side defense on me,” DeHart noted. “If they did, I was just going to kick it back out, but I was surprised that they didn’t do it.”
Even more surprising was the fact that DeHart’s fourth-quarter play helped Glenvar fans forget a horrid foul-shooting effort – one that saw the Highlanders miss 17 of 29 freebies.
“If it wasn’t for [DeHart], I don’t think we would be moving on to Friday night,” said Stewart about his squad’s dreadful foul-line performance.
Glenvar 52,Chilhowie 43
CHILHOWIE - Kayla DeHart scored a career-high 27 points for the Highlanders in their win over the Warriors, who made just 10 of 22 free throws.
Jessi Strom added 12 more for Glenvar, who reached the regional semifinals for the third consecutive season.
Glenvar faces Floyd County on Friday in the Region C Division 2 semifinals.
Danielle Catron led the Warriors with 15 points in their last game of the season.
DeHart 27, Strom 12, Wilbourne 5, Meador 4, Wiley 4.
Catron 15, Branch 6, Caudill 6, Jones 6, Fields 4, Shelton 4, Untiedt 2.
Glenvar 7 16 10 19-52
Chilhowie 9 4 16 14-43
3-point goals - Glenvar 4 (Strom 3, DeHart), Chilhowie 1 (Catron).