KEYSER—In front of a packed house dressed in black, the Keyser Lady Tornado had center stage last night.
But they weren’t quite ready for it yet.
KHS suffered their first loss of the season, struggling to make plays in their half-court offense and get rebounds on either end, falling to the Southern Garrett Lady Rams, 56-44.
Keyser’s offensive balance, such a key in their 9-0 start, was gone: Lexi Carr had 17 points and three steals, Katlynn Tichnell 12 points and four rebounds, and Lexi Taylor 10 points and seven rebounds, but everyone else combined for only five points.
Kamrin Weimer came up big for Southern, scoring 19 points while Alicia Roth added 15 and Kambrie Bosley 11.
The pressure affected both teams early: Tichnell’s free throw with 4:33 left in the first quarter broke a drought of 3 1/2 minutes for both teams.
Two Taylor free throws increased Keyser’s advantage to 3-0 before Bosley’s three and Roth’s layup put Southern in front.
Carr’s jumper with 1:58 in the first quarter was KHS’s last lead: Weimer hit a jumper, a three, and two foul shots to put Southern up 12-6 after one quarter.
Carr’s layup pulled Keyser back within four, but a 7-0 Southern run, capped by a Bosley three, put the visitors up by double digits, 19-8, with 3:38 left in the half.
Two Taylor baskets trimmed the lead, but the Lady Rams responded with a pair of Bosley triples to lead by 13, 25-12.
The margin was the same, 27-14, at the half.
Southern boosted that lead all the way to 18 at 38-20 with 2:53 left in the third quarter before Tichnell scored four straight for Keyser.
Lauren Francillon and Crystal Kuglar traded jumpers to keep it at 14, 40-26, heading to the fourth.
Southern pushed their cushion to 18, 48-30, before Carr scored six in a row for Keyser, but the 12-point deficit was insurmountable with just 2:13 left.
Keyser’s JVs did remain undefeated, holding off a late charge to win, 40-34.
Jayna Wilson scored 12 for Keyser, while Khara Teets added 10.
Marley Merrick and Brooklyn Flanigan tallied 10 each for Southern.
Southern remains perfect in AMAC play, while Keyser (9-1) returns to action on Thursday when they host Allegany.
The JV contest starts at 6 p.m., while the varsity game is at 7:30 p.m.