RACELAND Raceland had no intention of allowing Lewis County's strong inside duo to go wild early.

Sure, Sarah Paige Weddington and Cheyenne D'Souza combined for seven of the Lady Lions' first 10 points of the season and a 10-0 lead on Monday night, but the Lady Rams rattled off four straight, with the intent of setting up another tightly contested 63rd District tussle.

"I don't know what our ceiling is yet offensively, but we knew we couldn't let Weddington and D'Souza get on the block and drop 25, 30 on us and then put ourselves in position to still win," Raceland coach Ron Keeton said.

So it fell to what would be considered a supporting cast on some teams to come up with a pair of key first-quarter buckets for the Lady Lions.

Which was just fine with Jay Fite.

"Our kids, we let them know we have confidence in them," Lewis County's coach said. "I feel like we do have some weapons, more than just two. I think we've got two there we can definitely look to, but we've got some other kids that we're gonna use with confidence."

Liv Campbell answered Raceland's 4-0 spurt with a bucket, and Alanna Puente drained a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put Lewis County up, 17-5.

The Lady Lions held that double-digit advantage most of the rest of the way in a 56-34 victory.

"We lost a couple scrap buckets there; (Raceland) outhustled us a couple times," Fite said of that early sequence, "but then Liv settled us down with that basket and we rolled a little bit from there.

"That's obviously a calming influence, because you don't really know. You can come out with energy and think (the opponent is) slow with it, and then they come out and bring it right back at you."

That was Raceland's aim -- to play fast, Keeton said. But the Lady Rams struggled to finish off whatever looks they got from doing so, shooting 25% from the field (12 for 48) and 20% from the perimeter (4 for 20) and committing 18 turnovers.

"(Lewis County's) length causes a lot of trouble for everybody, but we got good open looks," Keeton said. "I thought we were super active offensively and defensively, but it was a struggle to get the ball in the hole.

"I thought there for a while we kept ourselves in the game on the defensive end, but we just couldn't sustain anything offensively."

Weddington scored nine points in the first half, with three coming on a trey 13 seconds into the game and four more at the foul line. She went to work in the third quarter, scoring twice down low and adding a jumper as part of a 14-6 Lady Lions edge in the third frame.

That helped Lewis County gain some separation on its way to 56 points -- which positively qualifies as a windfall in 63rd District seeding play.

"Sometimes the pace can be slow," Fite said. "That's something we're focusing on is trying to pick the pace up, and we're gonna get better at it. Some nights it's gonna be great, sometimes we're gonna have to slow it down, and when it gets to district play, you gotta be able to get a bucket in the halfcourt.

"For Game 1, on the road, at Raceland, I'm extremely proud of this bunch."

Weddington scored 20 points to pace Lewis County (1-0). Puente dropped in 11, connecting on three treys.

Kierston Smith scored 16 points -- 12 of them in the second half -- for the Lady Rams (0-1). Emma Picklesimer cleared 14 rebounds for Raceland, which mirrored Lewis County's rebounding total at 35 apiece.

"As big as they are and the fact we shot so poorly, that's a heck of a statement, I think, for our kids," Keeton said of the glass stats.

The teams are slated to meet again Jan. 19 in Vanceburg. Lewis County will carry a five-game series winning streak into that one.

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Campbell 2-11 0-0 8 4

D'Souza 4-4 1-2 6 9

Johnson 3-7 0-0 1 7

Puente 4-11 0-0 3 11

Weddington 6-8 7-8 3 20

Evans 0-3 0-0 5 0

Adams 1-5 0-0 2 3

Willis 1-2 0-0 2 2

Highfield 0-1 0-0 0 0

Team 5

TOTAL 21-52 8-10 35 56

FG Pct.: 40.4. FT Pct.: 80.0. 3-pointers: 6-25 (Puente 3-9, Weddington 1-2, Adams 1-4, Johnson 1-5, Campbell 0-3, Evans 0-1, Willis 0-1). PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 14.


Hapney 1-5 1-2 1 3

Hackworth 1-3 0-0 1 2

Picklesimer 1-9 1-2 14 3

Smith 6-16 2-4 7 16

Collins 2-7 0-0 7 5

Moore 0-3 0-0 0 0

Maynard 0-1 0-0 0 0

Broughton 0-1 0-0 0 0

Gartin 0-1 0-0 1 0

Stacy 0-0 0-0 0 0

Mackie 1-2 2-2 0 5

Lacks 0-0 0-0 0 0

Boggs 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 4

TOTAL 12-48 6-10 35 34

FG Pct.: 25.0. FT Pct.: 60.0. 3-pointers: 4-20 (Smith 2-7, Mackie 1-1, Collins 1-3, Hapney 0-2, Hackworth 0-1, Picklesimer 0-3, Moore 0-2, Broughton 0-1). PF: 9. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 18.

LEWIS CO. 17 11 14 14 -- 56

RACELAND 5 6 6 17 -- 34

Officials: Nathan Sutton, Charlie Graham and Madison Jones.

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