Indy defense smothers Wildcats

Feb. 5—Playing the last of what Meadow Bridge coach Steve Taylor deemed a Murderer's Row stretch, the Wildcats ran into a buzzsaw.

No. 9 Independence went to what has gotten it through the season — defense — and suffocated the Wildcats in a 47-21 victory Monday night in Coal City.

The win was the sixth in a row for the Patriots, who moved up a spot to No. 9 in the latest West Virginia Class AAA girls high school rankings.

The Patriots (16-2) held Meadow Bridge to two points in each of the first two quarters. They also had 20 steals, trapping the Wildcats and stepping in front of passes all night.

"We struggled on offense in the first half, but our defense helped us out and kept us in the game," Independence freshman Lacey Goodson said. "In the second half we just stepped up our offense and it helped us out."

"We've been preaching (defense) all year, and that's what got us where we're at now," Patriots head coach Mark Cuthbert said. "I though we played real solid in the first half and the start of the second half. The fourth quarter we kind of got a little bit lazy."

While the Patriots did what they do, the game was anything but typical for the Wildcats (9-8). They have had a solid season but nothing went right on Monday.

"All credit to Independence," Taylor said. "They're playing really well. They've got some good kids coming in. They played well tonight. All due credit to them.

"Tonight wasn't our finest hour. Our kids kept playing. We've played four ranked teams in a row. It's been a tough stretch, but we're going to get back into practice tomorrow and fix some things and try to get things back on track."

Before Monday, the Wildcats' three previous games were at Class A No. 7 Greenbrier West and twice against No. 8 River View. They lost all four after having won six of their previous seven.

Is that having an effect on his team?

"I hope that's what it is," Taylor said. "It's been a tough stretch for my girls."

Independence led 25-4 at halftime. The Wildcats scored to end each quarter — after the Patriots had scored the first 13 points of the first and first 12 of the second.

The Wildcats scored the first five points of the fourth, all five by Riley Roberts, meaning they put together a 7-0 run. But the scored the next nine, and after a shot by Ally Hypes with 4:18 to go both teams turned it over to the bench.

Goodson led the Patriots with 16 points and Hypes had 10. Kamryn Wooten grabbed 10 rebounds and scored nine points.

Goodson was averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game going in.

"I think it's nice," Goodson said. "I've still got three years and I'm excited for them, but being a freshman is fun, doing what I can."

The Wildcats got seven points from Roberts.

Meadow Bridge will host Liberty on Thursday for Senior Night. Tip-off will be 6 p.m.

The Patriots will travel to Sherman Wednesday before host Westside Thursday at 7 p.m. The Renegades (9-5) were the last team to beat Independence, 44-42 on Jan. 24.

Meadow Bridge (9-8)

Charity Reichard 2, Kierston Rozell 3, Riley Roberts 7, Kaitlyn Cooper 2, Lily Hayes 3, Abby Cooper 2, Kiera Hanshew 2.

Independence (16-2)

Kamryn Wooten 9, Alli Hypes 10, Harmony Mills 8, Bailee Bolen 2, Lacey Goodson 16, Maci Perry 2.

MB 2 2 7 10 — 21

I 13 12 13 9 — 47

Three-point goals — MB: 3 (Rozell, Roberts, Hayes); I: 3 (Goodson 3). Fouled out — none.

Email:; follow on Twitter @gfauber5