CHILLICOTHE — In their final game before Christmas, the Washington Lady Blue Lions visited Chillicothe Wednesday to take on the Unioto Sherman Tanks in a non-league affair.
Free throw shooting proved crucial in this game as Unioto won, 73-69.
Both teams made 27 field goals.
Washington made six three-point baskets, while Unioto made five shots from behind the arc.
At the free throw line, Washington made 9 of 23 for 39 percent to Unioto’s 14 of 21 for 67 percent for a difference of five points in a game decided by four.
Washington had three players reach double figures, led by sophomore Hannah Haithcock who was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. She turned in a double-double, with a team-leading 14 rebounds. Haithcock also had four blocked shots.
Sophomore Bre Taylor had 15 points, including two three-point baskets.
Freshman Rayana Burns scored 10 points, including one three-pointer. She led the Lady Lions with seven assists.
Senior Savannah Wallace scored eight points and had four blocked shots.
Tabby Woods led Washington with five steals.
Unioto had four players in double figures in scoring, with sophomore Jocie Fisher leading the way with 16 points.
Freshman Emily Coleman had 14 points, senior Caroline Thiel scored 12 and freshman Cree Stulley scored 11.
Junior Summer Sigman narrowly missed becoming the fifth Unioto player in double figures. She had to settle for nine points on the night.
“The girls played extremely hard tonight,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “We missed 14 foul shots tonight, and that was the game right there. We lost by four and that’s frustrating. We have to improve from the foul line if we want to win these close games.
“Unioto is a great team and they are going to win a lot of games this year,” Leach said. “I think it was a great battle tonight on both ends.”
Unioto took a 5-0 lead Wednesday as Washington missed its first eight field goal attempts.
Washington took its first lead of the game (8-7) on a basket by sophomore Tabby Woods.
The lead changed hands four more times in the first quarter with Taylor hitting a pair of threes to go along with a bucket by Haithcock to give the Lady Lions an 18-13 first quarter lead.
Washington had many second and third shot chances in the first quarter, hitting 8 of 25 field goal attempts to 3 of 11 for Unioto.
Washington had just two turnovers in the first quarter to eight for the Shermans.
Unioto fought back to take a 22-20 lead midway through the second quarter.
Haithcock scored two and Wallace scored four as the game was tied, 28-28 at the half.
Washington went on a 6-0 run to start the second half with four points from Haithcock and two from Wallace.
After a Unioto timeout, Rayana Burns hit a three-point field goal to make it a 9-0 run for Washington that gave the Lady Lions a 37-28 lead with 6:05 to play in the third quarter.
Washington twice more enjoyed a 9-point lead with a three-point shot from Kassidy Hines (42-33) and a basket from Taylor (44-35).
Unioto went on an 10-3 run to pull to within two points, 47-45, at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams saved their most prolific scoring quarters for the end.
The Lady Lions scored 22 points in the fourth to 28 for Unioto.
The lead changed hands another four times in the early going of the fourth quarter.
The Lady Lions’ last lead was 50-49 with six minutes to play in the game.
Unioto built a lead up to 59-54 with four minutes to go in the contest.
Washington was able to pull to within three points twice late in the game.
Conger’s three with 7.5 seconds to play made it 72-69, Unioto.
A final free throw for the Shermans made for the final score, 73-69.
Washington was 6 of 15 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter while Unioto went 7 of 11 from the charity stripe in the final stanza.
“I’ve felt for the last couple of weeks that Court House has a really nice squad,” Unioto head coach Jeff Miller said. “I think they may have played, so far, one of the toughest schedules that anybody in southern Ohio has played; the likes of Lynchburg-Clay, Chillicothe. I watched them the other night against Fairfield, a nice division four team.
“They are a talented group with some nice young kids,” Miller said. “When I went and scouted them the other night, they reminded me of us. We’re really young. We play three freshman and a sophomore a lot of minutes.
“I think you saw that (youth) in the game,” Miller said. “I think you saw some really talented kids out on the court, but, I think you also saw some inconsistencies that you are going to see with youth; careless turnovers and things like that.”
Unioto is now 6-2 overall with a game Thursday, Dec. 29 against Chillicothe.
Washington (now 3-4 overall) returns to SCOL action Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 at Wilmington.
The Lady Lions will host Miami Trace Saturday, Jan. 7 with the j-v game at noon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 18 10 19 22 — 69
U 13 15 17 28 — 73
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 3 (1)-1-10; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 4 (2)-1-15; Kassidy Hines 1 (1)-0-5; Savannah Wallace 3-2-8; Tabby Woods 1-0-2; Shawna Conger 0 (2)-0-6; Hannah Haithcock 9-5-23. TOTALS — 21 (6)-9-69. Free throw shooting: 9 of 23 for 39 percent. Three-point field goals: Taylor, 2; Conger, 2; Burns, Hines. Field goal shooting: 27 of 73 for 37 percent. Turnovers: 13. Assists: 17. Steals: 14.
UNIOTO — Carly Adkins 0-2-2; Summer Sigman 1 (2)-1-9; Morgan Popp 0 (1)-0-3; Cadee Causey 0-0-0; Amber Cottrill 0-6-6; Jocie Fisher 7-2-16; Cree Stulley 4-3-11; Caroline Thiel 6-0-12; Emily Coleman 4 (2)-0-14. TOTALS — 22 (5)-14-73. Free throw shooting: 14 of 21 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: Sigman, 2; Coleman, 2; Popp. Field goal shooting: 27 of 62 for 44 percent. Turnovers: 20.
Unioto wins j-v game against Washington
The Unioto Sherman Tanks’ j-v team defeated Washington Wednesday, 38-28.
Washington’s Raven Haithcock and Unioto’s Kylee Bethel shared game high-scoring honors, each with 11 points.
Haithcock hit two of her team’s three three-point field goals.
Also for Washington, Savanna Davis and Shawna Conger both scored four points. Conger hit a three-point bucket.
Taylor Smith and Tahja Pettiford both scored three points for Washington, Abby Tackage had two points and Sam Sever scored one.
Washington is now 4-3 overall. The Lady Lion j-v squad remains 2-2 in the SCOL.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1