The Washington Lady Blue Lions basketball team held its season-opening game at home Thursday, taking on the Lady Tigers of Circleville.
In a game with a lot of back and forth that still seemed like Circleville was in the lead most of the way, Washington erased a six-point deficit with 6:19 remaining in the game and went on to post a 47-42 victory.
Washington sophomore Shawna Conger was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points. Conger hit three conventional baskets, three three-pointers and was 9 of 9 from the free throw line.
Junior Hannah Haithcock, often triple-teamed in the low post, scored nine points. She also grabbed 12 rebounds, six on each end of the floor.
Sophomore Rayana Burns scored seven points, in spite of missing a good bit of playing time with early foul trouble.
The Lady Tigers were paced by freshman Kenzie McConnell with 15 points.
Junior Shayna Hoop scored eight points for Circleville and senior Mallory Conner added seven.
“Shawna stepped up big-time for us tonight,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “Rayana got in foul trouble there in the first half.
“They were all over Hannah inside,” Leach said. “They had two or three people on her every single time. Circleville is a very physical team.
“I was proud of my girls,” Leach said. “They didn’t give up. Everyone contributed tonight. Every bit of their time was important to our win. It just shows that it takes the entire team to get that ‘W’.
“Another key was that we had nine turnovers in the first half and only two in the second half,” Leach said. “We did a tremendous job of taking care of the ball when it mattered at the end.”
The Lady Lions outscored Circleville by 19 points from the free throw line. Washington went 21 of 30 from the stripe for 70 percent to 2 of 10 for 20 percent for Circleville.
“I thought we did a nice job of trying to get the ball inside on them,” Circleville head coach Steve Kalinoski said. “Burns got in foul trouble early. She does a nice job of running the point for them. With her out in the first half, we were able to drop our defense even further down on Haithcock. We held her to nine points.
“We knew Conger was a good shooter,” Kalinoski said. “Her 24 points was a big difference in the game. We wanted to stay close to her on the perimeter, but she got away from us a few times.
“Defensively, I thought our kids played really hard,” Kalinoski said. “I thought we got a little tired towards the end; we got a little sloppy with the basketball. With 25 turnovers, you’re probably not going to win a whole lot of games.
“I was definitely proud of our kids’ effort,” Kalinoski said. “We’re a younger group and we learned a lot of things tonight.”
Circleville had a good start Thursday with a 5-0 lead after two minutes of play.
The Lady Tigers held a 9-3 lead before Washington went on a 7-0 run.
The lead changed hands twice more before time expired after eight minutes of action with Washington holding a 12-11 lead.
Washington bumped the lead up to 14-11 early in the second quarter.
The lead changed hands three more times until Circleville had built a five-point advantage, 22-17.
Haithcock hit a pair of free throws with 35 seconds remaining to set the score at 22-19 in favor of the visitors at the half.
The Lady Tigers pushed the lead up to six points twice in the preliminary stages of the third quarter.
Washington fought back and tied the game with a free throw from Burns, leaving things all knotted up, 33-33 heading in the final stanza.
Circleville went on a 6-0 run to begin the fourth.
After that, however, the momentum swung back in favor of Washington as the Lady Lions outscored their guests, 16-3 over the final six minutes of play for the final 49-42 victory margin.
Also for Washington, Tabby Woods had four rebounds and Rayana Burns had three.
Circleville (1-1) is at Hamilton Township Saturday with the j-v game starting at 1 p.m.
Washington will play its first Frontier Athletic Conference game Saturday at home against Hillsboro. The j-v game tips at 5:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 12 7 14 16 — 49
C 11 11 11 9 — 42
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 1-5-7; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 0 (1)-0-3; Kassidy Hines 1-0-2; Tabby Woods 0-0-0; Halli Wall 0-0-0; Shawna Conger 3 (3)-9-24; Maddy Jenkins 1-2-4; Hannah Haithcock 2-5-9. TOTALS — 8 (4)-21-49. Free throw shooting: 21 of 30 for 70 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 3; Taylor. Turnovers: 11. Combined field goal shooting: 12 of 42 for 29 percent.
CIRCLEVILLE — Katie Knul 1-0-2; Tori Bircher 1-0-2; Meghan Davis 1-1-3; Mallory Connor 2 (1)-0-7; Shayna Hoop 4-0-8; Abby Keaton 0-0-0; Kenzie McConnell 7-1-15; Brie Kendrick 1 (1)-0-5. TOTALS —17 (2)-2-42. Free throw shooting: 2 of 10 for 20 percent. Three-point field goals: Connor, Kendrick. Turnovers: 25. Combined field goal shooting: 19 of 49 for 39 percent.
Circleville wins j-v game against Washington
In the junior-varsity game Thursday, Circleville defeated Washington, 34-19.
For Circleville, Quinn Dugan and Sidney Gray both scored eight points.
Abby Dengler scored seven, Peyton Perini had six and Abby Koason scored five.
For Washington, Mallory Hicks led with six points.
Cloe Copas and Taylor Brown each scored five points and Halli Wall had three points.
Linzy Turley, Corynn Chrisman, Garren Walker, Brooklyn Foose and Abby Tackage also played in the game for Washington.