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Originally published: 2012-12-29 15:35:26
Last modified: 2012-12-29 15:35:26

Ashe girls win Colvard Oil Invitational

by Jesse Campbell

WEST JEFFERSON — Emily Flanagan’s 10 points in the fourth quarter helped lift Ashe County to a 56-53 win over the Hibriten Panthers in the championship game of the eighth annual Colvard Oil Invitational Friday night.
In order to reach the tournament’s finale, which featured a four-team format, Ashe (5-5) defeated the North Forsyth Vikings 49-20 Thursday evening.
Hibriten bested Charlotte Catholic the previous evening to earn a spot in the championship round.
The Huskies fell behind early when Hibriten’s Keisha Corpening went off, scoring the Panthers’ first 12 points to take a 14-11 lead after the first quarter.
Ashe County’s Morgan Hudler kept the Huskies in the game, scoring seven points in the first eight minutes of action, including a contested 3-pointer.
The Panthers nursed a 25-21 halftime lead and at one point saw their lead cut to a single point in the second quarter following a 3-pointer by Chelsea Reavis, who received all tournament honors on the night.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter. Ally Soldati drained a pair of jumpers and a 3-pointer to hold the Huskies at the door.
Hudler dialed home two more 3-pointers in the period to go with her game high 20 points on the night.
Everything began to change in the fourth quarter.
Ashe County made its run half way through the fourth quarter when Reavis connected on another long ball to steal the 41-40 advantage.
Another layup by Corpening was sandwiched by two more Flanagan putbacks before the Huskies forced a Hibriten offensive foul to stymie the Panthers’ rally.
One more put back by Flanagan gave Ashe County the 49-47 lead with 1:30 left in the game.
Trailing two points, Corpening would later tie the game with a trip to the charity stripe, but two free throws by Flanagan and a layup by Paige Spell sealed the Huskies win.
Hibriten had a chance to tie the game on two separate occasions during the final two minutes of play, but questionable shot selection – including two ill-advised 3-point attempts – helped Ashe put the game out of reach.

WEST JEFFERSON — On Friday night, Ashe County tried to put a lost to Avery County behind them during the tournament’s consolation round.  Hibriten had other plans.

As in the previous outing, the Huskies would trail for most of the game before staging yet another improbable come-from-behind victory, and yet again Ashe would fall just short 57-49.

After jumping out to a 14-12 lead in the first quarter, Hibriten would extend its lead to double digits before halftime, as the Panthers’ Kel Berry led the way with 10 points in the second quarter.
The Panthers lead would flirt with 20 points before the Huskies pieced together a sizzling 12-0 run to cut Hibriten’s lead to only six in the fourth quarter.

Jordan Spell and Jonathan Cox led the charge before the Panthers finally snapped out of the malaise and put a stop to the Huskies’ comeback hopes.

Two free throws by Larson Poarch and Berry restored the Panthers’ double-digit lead midway through the fourth quarter. The closest Ashe County came down the stretch would be six following a putback by Spell following a missed free-throw attempt.

Ashe County returns to action on Wednesday for a Mountain Valley Conference matchup against the Alleghany Trojans.