SHEPHERDSTOWN — The game was trending toward Glenville.
As Shepherd walked slowly toward its dressing room at halftime, it had made 16-of-17 free throws. For just one half of women’s basketball, that’s a lot of free throws attempted and a lot of free throws made.
Yet, the Lady Rams trailed the WVIAC’s first-place team by a double-figure difference.
The second half was no better for Shepherd as Glenville kept its fresh troops coming in the same five-player platoons it had shown throughout the first half. The Lady Pioneers scored another 48 points to ensure their 104-87 conference win.
In the aftermath of the loss, Shepherd teetered on the brink of falling below eighth place in the 15-team league. However, the Lady Rams earned a road win over second-place West Liberty
on Monday and clinched a first-division place in the final standings and with it a home court date in the opening round of the WVIAC tournament.
Glenville later clinched the WVIAC’s regular-season title because its record was 23-2 overall and 18-1 in the league. Shepherd now holds seventh place with an 11-10 WVIAC record and 12-13 overall mark.
The entire game was replete with spurts of points by both teams. Glenville would rip off eight straight points. Shepherd would return the favor with a seven-point spree. Back would come Glenville with 10 of the next 12 points. And Shepherd would have seven of the next eight points.
Obviously, Glenville’s runs of points were too much for the Lady Rams.
Shepherd lost despite going 27-for-31 from the foul line — lost even though it shot 51.8 percent (29-for-56) from the field — lost although it had two more rebounds.
It was the constant Glenville press that helped cause 24 Shepherd turnovers and the Lady Pioneers’ 10 three-point field goals that doomed Shepherd.
The 17-point Shepherd loss was the story of the afternoon, but it barely overshadowed the 20 points and eight rebounds provided by Emily Daniel as well as the double-figure scoring of Alex Tamez (16 points), reserve Rachel Johnson (13), reserve Gabby Flinchum (10) and Jimyse Brown (10).
Kenyona Simmons counted 24 points in 22 minutes for Glenville, and reserve Ashleigh Fossett added another 23 points in just 20 minutes for the platooning Lady Pioneers.
Glenville sprinted to nine points in the last minute-plus of the first half. And it did the same in the final stages, scoring 11 points in the final two minutes.
Shepherd was left looking at a probable non-winning season but at least it would play host to a tournament game.