RACINE, Ohio — The Lady Falcons simply had the answers when they needed them most.
The Wahama girls basketball team had its lead cut to three points twice in the final four minutes of Saturday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Meigs County, and the Lady Falcons immediately responded both times and wound up with a 52-47 victory over host Southern.
The opening period featured a trio of lead changes, with Wahama (6-5, 6-4 TVC Hocking) on top by a 16-10 count at the end of the stanza.
The Lady Falcons hit a pair of free throws to open the second quarter, but the Lady Tornadoes (3-12, 1-10 TVC Hocking) took a 20-18 lead with 10 straight points by sophomore Kayla Evans.
It was the final time Southern led, however, as Amber Wolfe tied it up at the line, and Mikie Lieving gave the guests the lead for good with a three-pointer at the 3:52 mark of the second.
Wahama was up 31-22 by halftime, and stretched its lead to a game-high 13 points, at 37-24, with a 8-to-2 run to start the second half. The Purple and Gold were back to within five after an 11-to-3 run over the remainder of the third, but the Lady Falcons scored six of the first eight points in the fourth and led 46-37 with 5:33 to go.
A long-range dagger by Phoenix Cleland and an old-fashioned triple by Baylee Wolfe brought Southern to within three points with 3:36 left in the game, but Hannah Rose hit back-to-back free throws 45 seconds later, and Lieving sank a two-pointer a minute after that.
Evans tallied four points in a row, bringing the hosts back to within three points with 54 seconds left. However, Lieving came through with a two-pointer 15 seconds later, giving the guests their winning margin of 52-47.
Wahama shot 19-of-46 (41.3 percent) from the field, including 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) from deep, while Southern made 18-of-49 (36.7 percent) field goal attempts, including 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) three-point tries. At the foul line, WHS shot 11-for-17 (64.7 percent), while SHS was 7-for-9 (77.8 percent).
The Red and White earned a 31-to-28 advantage in rebounds, including 12-to-9 on the offensive end. The Lady Falcons had 15 turnovers, one fewer than Southern. The guests combined for 12 assists, 11 steals and three rejections, while SHS picked up 13 assists and five steals.
Rose led the victors with 20 points, combining five two-pointers, a pair of triples, and a 4-for-5 day at the line. Emma Gibbs posted a double-double of 14 points and 11 boards in the win, while Lieving finished with a dozen markers. Rounding out the winning total, Victoria VanMatre scored four points and Amber Wolfe tallied two.
Evans led the Purple and Gold with 30 points, hitting nine two-pointers, a trio of trifectas, and 6-of-7 foul shots. Baylee Wolfe and Jordan Hardwick scored seven points apiece in the setback, with Wolfe grabbing a team-best nine rebounds. Phoenix Cleland capped off the SHS tally with three points.
This gives the Lady Falcons the season sweep of Southern, as they won 56-41 on Dec. 9 in Mason.
After Wahama’s trip to Buffalo on Monday, both teams will be back in action on Thursday, with Southern hosting Wellston, and the Lady Falcons visiting Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.