WISE — The pressure is on during postseason basketball.
On Wednesday, in the Lonesome Pine District girls championship game at Virginia-Wise, Wise Central applied the pressure and Clintwood wilted because of it.
The Lady Warriors (23-1) forced 26 turnovers that resulted in 30 points and cruised to an 83-43 victory over the Lady Greenwave (14-9).
From the start, Central’s full-court pressure brought havoc on Clintwood’s ball handlers. In the first quarter alone, the Lady Warriors pestered the Lady Greenwave into 12 turnovers.
Clintwood shot just 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from the field in the first eight minutes of play while Wise connected on 9 of 18 attempts.
By the end of the first quarter, Central was in complete control and held a commanding 22-4 lead. Seven Lady Warriors scored in the opening period of play and Clintwood was left gasping for air.
By halftime, Wise Central was on top 41-15.
In spite of a gallant effort in the second half, Clintwood, a Group A, Division 1 school, could do nothing to slow down the Division 2 Lady Warriors.
“That’s a very solid basketball team,” said Clintwood coach Donnie Frazier. “Their press just forced us into too many mistakes.
“Playing them four times this season will make us a better team. We won’t see pressure like that next week in our regional.”
Central senior Laura Gipe was named the tournament MVP after scoring 13 points, pulling down 14 rebounds and grabbing seven steals.
“This is the important part of the season,” said Gipe. “We’re taking every game very seriously.
“Our motto is to stay humble and to stay hungry. What we’ve accomplished so far is good but we’re far from satisfied.”
Kayla Mullins led Clintwood with 17 points with Katlyn Phillips adding 13 points and eight boards.
In the consolation game, Sydney McKinney scored 18 points and Brandee Childress added 10 as Union (15-8) downed J.I. Burton 58-39.
Jaz Hill led the Lady Raiders (7-17) with 18 points while Kelsey Culbertson chipped in 10.