On a rainy Monday evening, the Washington Lady Blue Lions opened the 2016-17 basketball season against a very-talented team from Lynchburg-Clay High School.
The Lady Mustangs, with four starters returning from a District championship team that went 24-2 last year, posted a 71-58 victory.
The Mustangs are now 2-0 on the season after an opening 60-46 win over Minford last Friday.
Washington sophomore Hannah Haithcock was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points. She had a double-double, leading the game with 13 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.
Freshman Rayana Burns scored 10 points and senior Savannah Wallace added seven for Washington.
Lynchburg-Clay was led by sophomore Peyton Scott with 21 points.
Senior twins Hannah Binkley and McKayla Binkley scored 15 and 13, respectively.
Lynchburg-Clay raced out to a 30-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was an uphill climb for the Lady Lions after that.
Washington outscored Lynchburg-Clay 15-11 in the second quarter with the Mustangs taking a 41-25 lead at the halftime break.
It was another substantial scoring quarter for the Mustangs in the third, as they scored 25 to 18 for Washington.
Lynchburg-Clay led 66-43 at the end of three quarters of play. With 6:32 to play in the third period, Washington had managed to cut into L-C’s lead, trailing by 12 at that juncture.
Washington was able to cut into that 23-point lead and whittle it down to 13 points at the end with a 15-5 fourth quarter effort.
Samantha Leach, coaching her first game for the Lady Lions, talked about the season-opener.
“Lynchburg-Clay has a very good basketball program,” Leach said. “They went to the Sweet 16 last year. They shoot the ball tremendously well from the outside. They’re very disciplined. They’re a great team, so, all credit to them.
“We did not come out and start the game the way we wanted to,” Leach said. “Their pressure got the best of us. My girls hung in there and they did not give up. They fought hard until the end. That’s what I’m taking from this game. I’m proud of the girls for not giving up.
“We made some adjustments and my girls responded,” Leach said. “We played much better in the second half.”
“Our returning kids know how to play basketball and know how to win,” Lynchburg-Clay head coach Whitney Lewis said.
“They played us really strong,” Lewis said. “I knew they were going to be scrappy and come after us. They have a really good, big inside presence in the Haithcock girl. I know she hurt us on the boards. She had a big night.
“We don’t have a lot of size, but we’re quick,” Lewis said. “They were able to get the ball inside on us a little more than we would have liked them to.
“We controlled the tempo, which was a big part of the game,” Lewis said. “We like to give the other team a lot of looks on defense. We’re short, so we have to have a different way to battle.”
Unoffically, Lynchburg-Clay made 25 of 53 field goal attempts for 47 percent.
Washington made 27 of 55 shots for 49 percent.
Lynchburg-Clay will host North Adams Thursday with the j-v game at 6 p.m.
Washington is back at home Saturday to open SCOL play against Chillicothe. The j-v game starts at 5:30 p.m.
In other games involving SCOL teams Monday, McClain defeated future league rivals Jackson, 35-30 and Fayetteville beat Hillsboro, 55-47.
Lady Lions win shortened j-v game
In the j-v game Monday, Washington won, 22-21.
Due to a shortage of players for Lynchburg-Clay, it was decided the game would only last two quarters.
At the end of those two periods, the game was tied, 15-15, forcing an overtime, of sorts, in which Washington outscored Lynchburg-Clay, 7-6.
Halli Wall and Taylor Smith each scored eight for Washington.
Tahja Pettiford, Maddy Garrison and Raven Haithcock each had two points for Washington.
Logan Binkley led Lynchburg-Clay with eight points. Emily Pinkerton had five points, Kylee Lunsford had four and Abby Blankenship scored two.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 10 15 18 15 — 58
L-C 30 11 25 5 — 71
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 5-0-10; Maddy Garrison 1-0-2; Breanna Taylor 0-0-0; Kassidy Hines 3-0-6; Savannah Wallace 2-3-7; Tabby Woods 3-0-6; Maddy Jenkins 1-0-2; Hannah Haithcock 12-1-25. TOTALS — 27-4-58. Free throw shooting: 4 of 11 for 36 percent. Three-point field goals: none. Turnovers: 23. Assists: 11. Rebounds: 27 (14 offensive). Combined field goal shooting: 27 of 55 for Three-point field goal shooting: 0 of 2.
LYNCHBURG-CLAY — Abby Blankenship 0 (3)-0-9; Zoe Fittro 1 (1)-0-5; Emily Pinkerton 0-0-0; Lexi Waits 3-2-8; Peyton Scott 7 (1)-4-21; Hannah Binkley 2 (3)-2-15; McKayla Binkley 3 (1)-4-13. TOTALS — 16 (9)-12-71. Free throw shooting: 12 of 20 for 60 percent. Three-point field goals: Blankenship, 3; H. Binkley, 3; Fittro, Scott, M. Binkley.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1