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Avery Lady Vikings senior guard Kenzie Thomas glides in for a basket in last week’s lopsided
victory against Thomas Jefferson Academy.
Photo courtesy Ciara Laws

Originally published: 2013-01-30 16:38:04
Last modified: 2013-01-30 16:38:04

Lady Vikings earns road win at Owen, blasts Gryphons

Jamie Shell / (

Avery Lady Vikings varsity basketball continues its push toward a regular season conference championship with a pair of victories last week, putting away a pesky Owen team 59-52 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Swannanoa, followed up by a convincing 68-32 victory over Thomas Jefferson Academy in Viking Gym on Thursday, Jan. 24.

In the first eight minutes of play against the Warlassies, the Lady Vikings began asserting its will, building a 15-8 lead. The Lady Vikings continued to score the basketball, but Owen refused to fold, outscoring Avery 17-15 in the second period to trail the Big Red by only five points at 30-25 at halftime.

The Lady Vikings upped its lead to double figures with a 19-point third period, leading 49-39 after three quarters. 

One bright spot for the Warlassies in the game was senior Alyssa Hensley, who tallied her 1,000th career point during the contest and was honored following the feat. The efforts of Hensley and teammate Lauren Moore (nine points, three rebounds) were not enough to overcome AHS, as the Lady Vikings hit key baskets down the stretch to preserve its advantage and pick up the seven-point win.

A trio of Lady Vikings scored double figures, led by Bre Heaton with 13 points. Teammate Katie Rigdon tallied 12 points, with 10 points from Lauren Burleson. Burleson and Haley Woody each added six rebounds. Hensley (14 points) led Owen’s scoring attack with 11 points from teammate Jordan Devan.

Avery returned to the court two evenings later at home to blow out the visiting TJCA Gryphons.Avery found Thomas Jefferson to be competitive through the first eight minutes of action, as AHS could only muster a 19-13 advantage at the close of the first quarter.

The complexion of the contest changed, however, when one of TJCA’s leaders, Anna Dedmon, got into foul trouble. Her absence from the floor made the AHS offense into a more potent attack and its defensive pressure more effective than in the first period. 

Kelsie Clarke scored eight of her 12 first-half points in the period, while teammates Heaton and Rigdon combined for nine points in the quarter and 18 total points in the first half. Jessica Ramsey came off the bench to pour in six points for the half. Avery’s defense held TJCA to just three points in the second quarter en route to a 45-16 halftime lead. 

Avery cruised through the second half, as every player who entered the contest registered in the scoring column, led by Heaton’s 15 points and four steals, with Clarke’s 14 points and five steals. The Lady Vikings has won four straight conference games and improves to 14-5 overall, with an 8-1 mark in Western Highlands Conference play, tying the Big Red for first place atop the standings.

“Anybody in the conference has proven that they can win on any given night. We’ve really been working on our consistency and we seem to be pulling it together at the right time,” Lyons said. “I just hope we can finish strong through this last round of the conference. I think it’s going to come down to whoever works the hardest. I’m excited that the kids have given themselves this chance.”Avery hosted Hendersonville in Western Highlands Conference action earlier this week, and travels to Columbus to take on Polk County in a conference contest this Friday, Feb. 1.