LEES CREEK — With Christmas just a little over two weeks away, we’re reminded, ‘tis the season for giving.
Wednesday night, the Washington Lady Blue Lions gave new head coach Samantha Leach an early present in the form of a 55-51 victory over the East Clinton Lady Astros.
‘Twas Leach’s first career victory as a head coach.
Despite being double and triple and even quadruple-teamed at times, sophomore Hannah Haithcock was the game’s leading scorer for Washington with 20 points. Haithcock had one three-point field goal.
Sophomore Tabby Woods reached double figures with 12 points and another sophomore, Bre Taylor, scored eight points, including connecting on two three-point field goals.
Freshman Rayana Burns had seven points and 10 assists.
Paige Lilly led East Clinton with 15 points.
Kaitlyn Durbin scored nine for the Astros, while Lacy Peterman and McKenzie Campbell each scored seven points.
“My girls came out and were definitely ready to play,” Leach said. “We were fired up and ready to go.
“Basketball is a game of runs and East Clinton responded,” Leach said. “It was a close game pretty much the entire time. It wasn’t always pretty, but, a win is a win.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Leach said. “They played hard until the end.”
“I thought we played well,” East Clinton head coach Steve Gerber said. “We were coming off a tough loss at Hillsboro on Saturday. I thought the kids had two good days of practice and they had us in a position to win. That’s something we haven’t been in the last couple of years.
“I thought they did a good job of battling and staying in it,” Gerber said. “Once we learn to win, we’re going to be tough.
“We really struggled with our execution early,” Gerber said. “Then, the kids settled down and did what we needed to do. Give Court House credit, they battled and fought and never slowed down on us. They were after us the whole time.”
Washington took a 10-2 lead to start the game.
East Clinton outscored Washington, 12-9 over the final four-plus minutes of the first quarter as the Lady Lions held a 19-14 lead after one.
The Lady Lions cooled off from the field in the second quarter (3 of 13 for 23 percent) and East Clinton hit eight of their 16 field goal attempts.
The Lady Astros took a 31-25 lead into the locker room.
Campbell hit a three for East Clinton right out of the chute to start the second half, giving the Astros their biggest lead of nine points, 34-25.
With treys from Haithcock and Taylor, Washington began to pull closer to East Clinton.
By the end of the third quarter, East Clinton held a 44-41 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, both teams struggled, offensively.
East Clinton made one field goal (1 of 8, unofficially) to two field goals by Washington (2 of 16, unofficially).
Both teams shot well from the foul line.
However, Washington made 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter, to 5 of 8 for East Clinton.
Haithcock was 7 of 9 from the foul line, including 5 of 6 in the fourth quarter.
The teams traded the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Washington took a 49-47 lead with 2:11 to play in the game.
Haithcock’s bucket made it 51-47, before Bre Davis answered for East Clinton.
Leading 52-49 with 6.5 seconds to play, Lilly hit a pair of free throws to pull her team back to within one. Haithcock made 3 of 4 foul shots in the waning seconds to make the final score 55-51.
Washington (1-2 overall, 1-1 SCOL) will host the McClain Lady Tigers Saturday with the j-v game starting at 5:30 p.m.
East Clinton (1-3 overall, 0-2 SCOL) is at Wilmington Saturday at 1 p.m.
In other SCOL action Wednesday, Chillicothe defeated McClain, 44-38, Clinton-Massie beat Hillsboro, 47-32 and Miami Trace topped Wilmington, 52-37.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 19 6 16 14 — 55
EC 14 17 13 7 — 51
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 3-1-7; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 0 (2)-2-8; Kassidy Hines 0-0-0; Savannah Wallace 1-2-4; Tabby Woods 4-4-12; Shawna Conger 0-0-0; Maddy Jenkins 2-0-4; Hannah Haithcock 5 (1)-7-20. TOTALS — 15 (3)-16-55. Free throw shooting: 16 of 21 for 76 percent. Three-point field goals: Taylor, 2; Haithcock. Field goal shooting: 18 of 56 for 32 percent. Turnovers: 17.
EAST CLINTON — Lacy Peterman 3-1-7; McKenzie Campbell 1 (1)-2-7; Paige Lilly 4-7-15; Kaitlyn Durbin 3-3-9; Bre Davis 3-0-6; Sierra Christian 2-1-5; Rhylee Latrell 0-0-0; Kayla Hall 1-0-2. TOTALS — 17 (1)-14-51. Free throw shooting: 14 of 19 for 74 percent. Field goal shooting: 18 of 43 for 42 percent. Turnovers: 23.
Lady Lions win j-v game over Astros
In Wednesday’s j-v, Washington defeated East Clinton, 48-17.
Washington is now 3-0 overall, 2-0 in the SCOL.
Tahja Pettiford and Taylor Smith shared game high-scoring honors for Washington, each with nine points.
Raven Haithcock and Maddy Garrison each had eight points, Halli Wall had seven points (including the team’s only three-point field goal), Abby Tackage scored three points and Savanna Davis and Sam Sever both added two points.
Rhylee Luttrell led East Clinton with seven points.
Alexis Garen and Miranda Beener both scored four points and Kaitlyn Tobott scored two points for the Astros.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 12 15 8 13 — 48
EC 3 3 5 6 — 17
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1