The Washington Lady Blue Lions opened the final-ever season of basketball in the South Central Ohio League with a game against visiting Chillicothe Saturday night.
Chillicothe, one of the teams expected to contend for the SCOL title, faced tough opposition from the Lady Lions, especially in the first half.
The Lady Cavs toughened up their defense in the second half on the way to posting a 54-40 victory.
Chillicothe junior Shawnee Smith was virtually unstoppable in the low post, leading the game with 26 points.
Senior Osh Brown, who sat most of the first half with three fouls, was second in scoring for Chillicothe with nine points.
Sophomore Hannah Haithcock led Washington with 16 points.
Freshman Shawna Conger was next with eight points, including a pair of three-point field goals in the first quarter.
Freshman Rayana Burns scored six and senior Savannah Wallace had five points.
“Chillicothe is a great team,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “They played a great game. I think for us, it comes down to taking care of the basketball and we definitely did not do that tonight.”
Washington had 27 turnovers to 17 for Chillicothe.
“We struggled handling the basketball tonight,” Leach said. “A lot of those were unforced. For whatever reason, we just didn’t make good decisions on offense.
“Offensively, they did a good job of getting the ball inside,” Leach said. “
It was a bit of a slow start as both teams either had turnovers or missed shot attempts on their first three possessions.
Chillicothe led 5-0 with under four minutes to play in the first quarter until Conger made back-to-back threes and Haithcock scored to give Washington its first lead, 8-7 with 2:58 to play in the first.
Brown picked up her third foul with 2:58 to play and would not return in the first half.
The teams then turned the ball over five straight times before Wallace scored with 1:08 to play in the first quarter.
Shawnee Smith scored and at the end of the first quarter, Washington held a 10-9 lead over Chillicothe.
Haithcock scored the first bucket of the second quarter to give Washington its second three-point lead of the game.
Chillicothe then went on a 10-0 run to go in front, 19-12.
Washington outscored Chillicothe, 13-9 during the final five minutes of the second quarter. Chillicothe held a 28-25 lead at the intermission.
After making 9 of 17 shots in the first half for 53 percent, Washington cooled off from the field, going 2 of 5 in the third quarter with six turnovers.
Washington scored first in the third quarter to cut the Chillicothe lead to 28-27. However, the Lady Lions were unable to retake the lead.
Chillicothe outscored Washington, 12-5 in the third quarter to take a 40-30 lead into the final period.
The Lady Cavaliers had 14 points in the fourth quarter to 10 for Washington.
“They played a really good basketball game,” Chillicothe head coach Pat Beard said of the Lady Lions. “You know, Haithcock is really tough. When she gets the basketball, she uses her body very well. She has great footwork and she’s strong. She knows what to do with the basketball.
“When we collapsed on her early in the first quarter, she was able to kick the ball out so they could get some open jump shots,” Beard said. “It didn’t help us that Osh Brown got in foul trouble early in the game.
“On my bench, I have a bunch of freshmen and sophomores with minimal experience, if any, at the varsity level,” Beard said. “There was a point in the first quarter where we had two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior on the floor. The two sophomores and the freshmen didn’t have any varsity experience. I’m proud of them for coming in and doing what they did.
“There in the second half, we were really able to get going,” Beard said. “We really amped up our defensive pressure and I thought that’s what got us over the hump there.”
Washington (0-2) has another SCOL game, this one at East Clinton, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
The McClain Lady Tigers come to town Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Chillicothe (1-1 after a season-opening loss at Trotwood-Madison) continues SCOL play when they host McClain Wednesday. The Lady Cavs play at Clinton-Massie on Saturday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 10 15 5 10 — 40
C 9 19 12 14 — 54
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 1-4-6; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 0-0-0; Kassidy Hines 0-0-0; Savannah Wallace 2-1-5; Tabby Woods 2-0-4; Shawna Conger 0 (2)-2-8; Maddy Jenkins 0-1-1; Hannah Haithcock 5-6-16; Taylor Smith 0-0-0. TOTALS — 10 (2)-14-40. Free throw shooting: 14 of 22 for 64 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 2. Combined field goal shooting: 12 of 33 for 36 percent. Turnovers: 27.
CHILLICOTHE — Hayden Price 2-0-4; McKenzie Green 1-0-2; Meliah Johnson 2-1-5; Shawnee Smith 9-8-26; Shawntel Smith 1 (1)-0-5; Essence Devlin 1-1-3; Osh Brown 4-1-9. TOTALS — 20 (1)-11-54. Free throw shooting: 11 of 23 for 48 percent. Three-point field goals: Shawntel Smith. Combined field goal shooting: 21 of 40 for 53 percent. Turnovers: 17.
Lady Lions win j-v game with Cavaliers
The Washington j-v girls team defeated Chillicothe Saturday, Dec. 3, 32-20.
Washington had balanced scoring, with seven players putting points on the board, to just three players scoring for the Lady Cavs.
Taylor Smith led Washington with seven points.
Maddy Garrison and Raven Haithcock both tallied six points, Tahja Pettiford had five points, Sam Sever scored four, while Savanna Davis and Halli Wall both added two points.
Shawna Conger and Abby Tackage also played for the Lady Lions.
For Chillicothe, Zoe Ford and McKenzie Greene each scored seven points and Alysia Cunningham had six points.
Washington is now 2-0 on the season.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 6 13 7 6 — 32
C 3 3 9 5 — 20
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1