Lady Pilots Win Ohio Sectional Crown, 59-40
After dropping the first two meetings with Monroe Central, the Lady Pilots would prove the old adage that “It’s hard to beat a good team three times,” in a convincing 59-40 victory in the Ohio Division III Sectional finale at Cambridge’s Gene Ford Gymnasium Feb. 26.
The Lady Pilots raced out to a commanding 12-point advantage after one period of play, and doubled up the ‘Noles 28-14 at intermission.
The Pilots would make it 43-26 after three and before finishing off the county rivals with 11 free throws down the stretch to gain the nod.
Autumn Biesel finished with a game-high 19 points, while Cassidy McCullough chipped in with 15 points for the victorious Lady Pilots. Megan Beard provided a double-double for the Pilots with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Chelsey Smith netted three buckets and Emile Weaver tallied four points.
Although the Pilot point guard, Alexa Isaly, scored only a free throw, she played a solid floor game, grabbing seven boards, recording five steals, and distributing seven assists.
River would have faced Garaway in the districts at 7 p.m. in Steubenville March 1 with results unavailable before press time.
Valley Lumberjill Brittany Guthrie swished the cords from beyond the arch four straight times. But, it was a little too late, as the high-flying Maroon Knights held the ‘Jills to 14 points in the first three quarters with their aggressive style of defense, en route to a 54-36 Class-A Region One, Section One semifinal victory, Feb. 22, at the Wheeling Central’s 13th Street Gymnasium.
After stealing the tip to open the game, Central would tally the game’s first points with a deuce. The Lumberjills’ Leah “Bam Bam” Morris went up strong to counter the basket with one of her own. The Knights responded with another basket, while Guthrie threaded the needle to Chelsea Underwood on a nice give-and-go that tied the game at four and forced a quick time out by Central.
After the minute break, Central put on a defensive clinic, holding the ‘Jills the rest of the period without a point, while adding nine more points for themselves, to give the hosts a 13-4 lead after the first period.
Central not only forced the ‘Jills into 19 turnovers, they limited Valley to only two successful free throws in the second period to go into the locker room up, 26-6.
However, the ‘Jills’ huge student body in attendance showed no signs of giving up and urged their team to keep with the program and show Wheeling Central that there is no “quit” in their vocabulary.
After a Maroon Knight deuce and a pair of turnovers by each club, Guthrie sank her first of two freebies from the charity line for Valley’s first points in the second half of action.
Valley’s scoring woes continued until sophomore Megan Bucher made a basket and a free throw. But after three, the ‘Jills fell behind 44-14.
The Lumberjills’ Morris stripped a Central girl of the ball and went coast-to-coast with a bucket-and-one for an old-fashioned three point play that got the Lumberjill faithful roaring even louder. Tiffany Hayes knocked in her first bucket and Guthrie sank four straight three’s, before Jessica Ashcraft banked in a trifecta that helped make the score a lot more respectable.
“We knew coming in here what we were coming into,” said Valley Head Coach Larry Weekley. The game marked the end of an era that produced over 400 victories in 39 years for Weekley. “I’ve been blessed with great kids, great parents, a great student body, and a great administration,” added Weekley. “It’s been a great ride and these senior girls go out with a winning record all four years.”
Besides Guthrie, no other Lumberjill scored more than five points. However, Heidi Shaw had six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots and Hayes added five boards and dished off a pair of assists. Guthrie would pace the ‘Jills with 13 points, including four baskets from beyond the arch, while Morris followed with five markers. Hayes and Bucher each netted four points, while Chelsea Underwood and Ashcraft each netted three points.
Morgan Starkey tallied a deuce, while Karissa Headley swished both her free throw attempts.
After taking a four-point lead after one period of play, the visiting Magnolia Lady Eagle Team was outscored 17-5 in the second period and ran out of time, losing 45-40 to the Weir Lady Riders in the West Virginia Class-AA semifinals Feb. 22.
Padyn Ludewig finished her illustrious career with a game-high 16 markers, including a basket from beyond the arch, to lead the Blue Eagles. Jordan Babe followed with 11 points, while Mallory Chapman contributed seven tallies. Abby Harlan knocked in a couple baskets, while Dallas Mullett knocked in a deuce.
In their last regular-season game, the Magnolia Lady Eagles kept within striking distance of the Williamstown Lady Yellowjackets in the first half. But, a Williamstown 45-27 run in the second half spoiled any kind of comeback for the Blue Eagles, who lost 75-47 in Williamstown, Feb. 17.
Three Lady Eagles players hit in double figures. Padyn Ludewig and Mallory Chapman each tallied 13 markers, while Abby Harlan netted 11, including a basket from beyond the arch. Jordan Babe and Dallas Mullett added seven and four points, respectively.
The Paden City Lady Wildcats finished their 2011 season with an 84-35 loss to Williamstown in the West Virginia Sectional semifinals Feb. 18 at Ritchie County High School.
Megan Cutlip tallied a game-high 20 markers, while Logan Cosper netted eight points that included a bucket from beyond the arch. Amanda Heasley tallied three markers, while Dominique Craft and Samantha Shreve each tallied a deuce.
The Cameron Lady Dragons tallied 24 first-quarter points while holding the visiting Paden City Lady ‘Cats to 10 points, and went on to claim a 70-29 drubbing, Feb. 16.
Wildcat junior Dominique Craft netted a team-high 16 points that included three baskets from beyond the arch, while Megan Cutlip netted six markers to lead the ‘Cats. Joni Myers contributed three points, while Amanda Heasley and Logan Cosper each drained a deuce.