BAKERSVILLE – The series between the McDowell Lady Titans and the Mitchell Lady Mountaineers has always had its quirky moments.
After an absence of nearly a decade, the geographical rivalry and its oddities picked up right from where it left off Tuesday night.
The Lady Titans remained undefeated on the season as they handled Mitchell 37-9 in a contest that ended less than a minute into the third quarter due to a power outage that left most of Mitchell County, including its gym, in the dark.
The game was ruled official by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Wednesday morning.
The Lady Mountaineers came out in the first quarter and were able to counter the Lady Titans’ full-court trap defense, staying within an 11-8 margin at the end of the first.
But in the second, the game swayed into McDowell’s (7-0) favor as the team scored 10 consecutive points to start the frame and was never threatened the rest of the way.
The second quarter surge extended to a whopping 24-1 margin the rest of the half.
After some success in the first period, the Lady Mountaineers struggled the rest of the way, committing 22 first-half turnovers, including 15 in that decisive second quarter.
Markia Stacey (4 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals) scored 10 points and Karly McRary (4 steals, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) added all of her eight points in the second.
The trend continued for the Lady Titans in the second half, scoring easy transition points off the press. Aryonna Noblitt (4 points, 4 rebounds) stole a pass from Mitchell guard Madison Spurling and laid in an easy basket 15 seconds into the third quarter.
It’s at this point when everything went dark, literally.
After Noblitt’s score, the Lady Mountaineers were advancing up the court when the gymnasium’s lights flickered a couple times before going totally dark with approximately 7:40 left in the third.
The delay lasted in excess of 20 minutes before school and game officials called the contest.
Kylee Lenon finished with six points for the Lady Titans. Kassie Brackett (3 rebounds) netted four points, Megan Morris had three points and Riley Smith scored two points.
Spurling led Mitchell (1-7) with three points and accounted for the team’s lone point scored in the second.
McDowell will open Mountain Athletic 4A/3A Conference play Friday at home against North Buncombe (4 p.m. start—jayvee girls).
NOTE: The McDowell Titans varsity boys traveled back to Ledger Wednesday afternoon to battle Mitchell, but results were not available at press time.