RACINE, Ohio — Once the Lady Falcons broke through, there was no slowing them down.
Visiting Wahama broke the scoreless tie 2:52 into Monday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division girls basketball game in Meigs County, and the guests never looked back en route to a 64-28 victory over host Southern.
Wahama (2-1, 2-1 TVC Hocking) scored the first five points of the game and led 14-4 by the end of the stanza, after connecting on a pair of three-pointers.
The Lady Falcons scored the first six points of the second quarter, before Southern (0-6, 0-4) made its first-and-only triple of the game with 4:48 left in the half. WHS led by as many as 23 points, at 30-7, in the second, before SHS closed the half with a 4-0 run to make the margin 30-11 at the break.
The teams traded buckets to start the second half, and then Wahama went on an 8-1 run, making its lead 40-14 with four minutes left in the third. The Lady Falcons outscored SHS 7-to-4 over the remainder of the period and headed into the finale with a 47-18 edge.
The Purple and Gold cut their deficit to 26 points, at 52-26, with 4:45 left in the game, but Wahama sealed the 64-28 triumph with a 12-2 run.
Following win No. 2 on the year, Wahama head coach John Arnott admitted it wasn’t the perfect victory, but each game is getting better.
“I thought we had good moments, and I thought we had flat moments,” Arnott said. “They were having trouble with intensity. I think we get better every time, I saw some assists tonight that were a big improvement. The kids made the effort, I have nothing to criticize them about, I just thought we were flat at times. We have to play four full quarters, but with only seven kids, they’re going to get a little winded.”
For the Lady Tornadoes and head coach Alan Crisp, depth has been an issue, but as long as the effort continues to be there, it’s a step in the right direction.
“There were some things I wanted to do tonight that we weren’t deep enough to do, and then we ended up getting in foul trouble early,” said Crisp. “Down the stretch, when we picked up full-court man, I thought we played hard, the bench was into it and the players were being aggressive. Early on we didn’t have that, but toward the end of the game we did. Being able to have that enthusiasm the entire game, that’s what it’s going to take. You’re going through rough spots, you’re going to have those in life also, you have to be able to battle through them and come back.”
The Red and White shot 25-of-55 (45.5 percent) from the field, including 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the hosts were 11-of-54 (20.4 percent) from the field, including 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) from deep. At the free throw line, WHS was 8-of-18 (44.4 percent), while SHS was 5-of-9 (55.6 percent).
The Lady Falcons earned a 38-to-23 rebounding advantage, including 16-to-10 on the offensive glass. As a team, Wahama finished with totals of 14 assists, seven steals, nine blocked shots and 14 turnovers. Collectively, the Lady Tornadoes had four assists, 11 steals, two rejections and 19 turnovers.
WHS junior Hannah Rose hit a quartet of three-pointers and led all-scorers with 22 points. Emma Gibbs recorded her third straight double-double, marking 21 points and 20 rebounds, while also leading the team’s defense with six blocks and two steals.
Victoria VanMatre had eight points for the victors, while Lauren Noble and Aleisia Barnitz scored five apiece, with Noble dishing out a game-best five assists. Harley Roush rounded out the winning tally with four points.
SHS junior Phoenix Cleland paced the hosts with 16 points, seven rebounds and eight steals. Kayla Evans tallied four points, Brooke Crisp and Lily Allen had three apiece, while Shelby Cleland finished with two points and seven boards.
Evans, Crisp, Phoenix Cleland and Shelby Cleland each had an assist in the setback, while Evans and Shelby Cleland added a rejection apiece.
These teams are slated to meet again on Jan. 19 at Gary Clark Court in Mason.
Wahama returns to action at home on Thursday against Belpre, while Southern prepares for a non-league bout at Symmes Valley on Saturday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.