Lady Pilots Win Sectionals
The Lady Pilots had a 30-20 lead at the break and waved off a stubborn Bridgeport second-half rally to claim its third straight co-sectional title 53-49 Feb. 21 at Union Local High School.
Led by the Cassidy McCullough's 25 points and her in-your-face defense, River will get to play Hiland at New Philadelphia High School Thursday evening in the Division IV Eastern District Semifinal.
"I think every year about the level we want to get our program to and there's no other better way to do that than go play a program already at that level,": said River Pilot Head Coach Rick Isaly. "I know it'll be a big task, but I think we'll be ready for the challenge."
The River girls raced out to a 19-6 lead and were up 23-8 before the Lady Bulldogs started to make their run. Bridgeport came out in the second half, scoring 10 of the first dozen points. But McCullough just sliced and diced her way through countless Lady Bulldog defenders to tally five baskets and give River a 42-35 advantage with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
The Lady 'Dogs would pull to within four points, but McCullough & Co. would tack on eight of the next 11 points of the quarter, with McCullough and Jensen Caretti doing most of the damage.
But, Bridgeport would sink a threeball and four unanswered points to close within five markers before Caretti crashed the party, pushing the Pilot lead back to seven points before finishing with a five-point victory.
McCullough led all scorers with 25 points, while Caretti tacked on a dozen markers, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots to lead the Lady Pilots.
In addition, Laken Ramsay netted eight points, while Emile Weaver added five points, Haylee Bowers sent up two points, and Brielle Williams made a free throw.
The Pilots' J. D. Dotson placed fourth in the Ohio Division III District wrestling tournament last week in Philo to advance to the Ohio State Wrestling Tournament Thursday in Columbus.
Dotson, along with teammates Kole Smith and Brett Rosen, made it to the districts. Smith lost his first two bouts in the 160 lb. weight class, while Rosen lost his opener in the 195 lb. division, before winning his second match by a fall. He then lost his final match to end his quest for a state tourney birth.
Dotson won by a fall in his first two matches, then lost a heart-breaker by the score of 9-7 in the semifinals. In the semifinal of the consolation bracket in the 220 lb. division, Dotson won by a fall in the second period.
Dotson lost another heart-breaker in the third place contest, losing 6-4 for a fourth- place finish to earn a spot in the state tournament.
River Boys Basketball
The Pilots outscored Monroe Central 32-26 in the first half, but it's not always how you start the game, but how you finish it. The Seminoles would do just that, outscoring the Pilots in the second half 31-21 to get the 57-53 win inside R. L.Potts Gymnasium Feb. 20.
Jordan Indermuhle paced the Pilots with 16 points, while Brett Price tallied 11 markers that included a basket from beyond the arc. In addition, Kameron "Kam" Brown netted nine markers, while Cody Caldwell contributed seven points, including a triple. Eric Dierkes added six points, while Evan Eggleston and Matt Marconi each sank a deuce.