LADY PIONEERS PUMMEL BLUEFIELD STATE - Saturday Wraps-Up Season Away In Elkins

Article and photos by Drew Moody

Thursday's victory against Bluefield State 82-54 wrapped up the regular season for fans at home. The Lady Pioneers are on the road Saturday facing Davis & Elkins.

And Rachel Redick is within a mere 16 points of being the all-time scoring female in WVIAC history.

Prior to game seniors Rachel Redick, Lauren Strong, Casey Taylor and Christy Alltop were honored along with their families. The night was not without a few surprises, including West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III sending Region 2 Representative Dot Underwood to present Rachel Redick with a Distinguished Mountaineer award.

The Governor had a prior commitment, Underwood said, and regretted not being able to present the award to Rachel in person.

She said the Governor wished to honor Rachel and her many accomplishments - on and off the court. And then very graciously added, "The night is about Rachel."

Rachel Redick was chosen as a "Distinguished Mountaineer" in part because of her "exceptional basketball career," but also for all the other things she's done while a student at Glenville State College. Rachel is an honor student and takes her studies as seriously as winning on the court.

Lady Pioneer head coach Steve Harold has said not only has Rachel volunteered to help at Glenville's summer basketball camps for girls, but she's also followed several young players careers as well, and has become a role model for many area youth.

Several Lady Pioneers help with the camps as well. And Rachel isn't the only Lady Pioneer with a brain. Several are honor students and some plan on pursuing careers in medicine; others in law. Redick is committed to being an elementary school teacher.

Recently Rachel was talking about her parents and mentioned how thankful she is they're proud of her and her family is so close.

The immediate response was, "Who wouldn't be proud to have a daughter like you Rachel - anyone would be."

What higher compliment could someone give than to share with friends and co-workers they hope when their children grow up they're like Rachel Redick?

Rachel is a gifted athlete to be sure, but that just grazes the surface of who she is. And as she and the other seniors wind up another successful season it becomes a time for reflection.

And like so many others before them, there's a realization of how much the Lady Pioneers and Glenville State College has affected them; but also an appreciation for how much they've meant to so many here.

Redick and some of her teammates fought back tears as they walked on the court - their home court - for the last game of the regular season.

Luckily for them and the fans, there's a post-season to look forward to.

Rachel Redick turns toward the basket to drive it home

THE GAME: Pretty Rough the First 12 Minutes
The night was emotional, which may have accounted for nearly 12 minutes ticking off the clock before Glenville secured the lead. After the Lady Pioneers secured a 17-16 lead with 8:12 remaining the team's afterburners kicked in and there was no looking back.

In a quick six minutes they outscored Blue field 23-2, closing out the half outscoring their opponent 28-4 during the last eight minutes of play. The Lady Pioneers hit the locker room with a comfortable 45-20 lead.

And compared to the initial 12 minutes, it was as if a different team took the court.

The second half wasn't terribly noteworthy, other to mention Glenville led by as many as 33 points.

The further Bluefield State fell behind, the more fouls there were and the team appeared to be coming apart at the seams.

Blue field shot a dismal 33.3 percent during the first half and improved to only 35.5 percent the second.

Casey Taylor shot 10 for 10 from the foul line,
closing the night second highest Lady Pioneer scorer
with 18. Here she gets fouled underneath the basket

Rachel's Double-Assist - Rachel Redick may have
created a new "box-score" category. She fired this
pass across the lane, bouncing it off Hyshea Branche's
hip and into the hands of a waiting teammate who scored

Seniors Christy Alltop and Casey Taylor continue to show fans the well of their talent has yet to hit bottom. Lauren Strong has perfected her role as chief defensive front-court nightmare for opponents.

The Lady Pioneers triumphed 77-48.

NOTE TO READERS: I elected to use a byline because at several points I made 'editorial comments.' It's an unusual style for me to write in, but I like the way it flows. So the by-line is a compromise, allowing me to maintain the style while not dashing journalist considerations.