CHILLICOTHE — It was a meeting of two teams with matching records of 18-2 as the Lady Lions of Washington High School visited the Southeastern Lady Panthers not far from Chillicothe Tuesday evening.
It was also a contest featuring 2,000-point scorer Ella Skeens of Southeastern and 1,000-point scorer Hannah Haithcock of Washington.
The Lady Lions had a double-digit lead in the first quarter and battled their way to a 52-46 victory.
The win now sets up a showdown game Saturday at Washington High School against the Miami Trace Lady Panthers. A win by Miami Trace will give the Lady Panthers the Frontier Athletic Conference title outright.
A win by the Lady Lions and there will be a co-championship in the first season of the FAC.
Skeens led the game with 35 points, including going 10 of 12 from the free throw line.
Rachel Collins was the next highest scorer for Southeastern with four points.
Haithcock led the Lady Lions with 29 points. She also had six rebounds.
Sophomores Rayana Burns and Shawna Conger both scored six points for Washington and junior Kassidy Hines scored five. Conger had five rebounds and Bre Taylor had four. Burns led with four steals
“Skeens is an exceptional player,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “We talked about, not stopping her tonight, but just containing her. We knew she was going to score.
“Rayana did a great job on her,” Leach said. “Bre Taylor guarded her, as well. They both did a tremendous job. She can pull up and shoot over the top of anybody.
“Defensively, I felt like our girls played together,” Leach said. “We helped when we needed to and got the stops when it came down to it.”
“It was a great defensive battle,” Southeastern head coach Mike Adams said. “I thought both teams played tremendous half-court man-to-man defense.
“We got a little jittery there and couldn’t get into our offensive sets,” Adams said. “I thought Skylar Hice played tremendous defense against Haithcock and Haithcock is a tremendous post player. I couldn’t be more impressed with her.”
The game was tied three times at the outset.
The Lady Lions went on a 13-2 run to take a 19-8 first quarter lead.
Haithcock was busy during that period, scoring 13 points.
Leach was pleased with the fast start.
“The girls were ready to go from the start,” Leach said. “We had talked about getting off to a slow start in our last game. We couldn’t afford to do that against a great team like Southeastern. We were having success getting the ball into the paint to Hannah. She got a lot of great looks. Everyone did a great job of getting her the ball and she was able to finish with contact.”
The momentum swung over to Southeastern in the second quarter as Washington went from 9 of 13 shooting in the first quarter (69 percent) to 2 of 9 for 22 percent. At the same time, Southeastern’s percentages ticked up from 25 (3 of 12) in the first quarter to 45 (5 of 11) in the second quarter.
Washington led 25-21 at the half.
One sure-fire way to win a game is to not relinquish the lead and that’s what Washington did in a very tough second half of play.
Southeastern briefly trailed by two points, then Washington quickly went back up by six, 34-28.
At the end of the third, Washington was holding a 34-31 lead.
Washington scored first in the fourth quarter, but soon the game was tied, 36-36 with 6:12 to play.
Hines hit a three-pointer to keep Washington in front.
“That was a big shot by Kassidy,” Leach said.
Two free throws from Skeens were answered by a basket from Bre Taylor.
Haithcock scored again for a 43-38 Washington lead with 4:06 remaining.
Skeens scored, then it was Haithcock with the response. She was fouled and made the and-one for a 46-40 Washington led with 2:45 still to go.
Next it was Skeens and Burns trading baskets.
The Lady Panthers had a stick-back to make it 48-44 with 45 seconds left to play.
Skeens hit two more free throws that made it 48-46 with 38.5 seconds on the scoreboard.
Conger scored a field goal and moments later made both ends of the one-and-one. That gave Washington what would prove to be the final moments later, 52-46.
Miami Trace will play at Washington High School Saturday.
There will be four games with the j-v boys first at 3 p.m. followed by the girls j-v game at 4:30 p.m.
Then, the boys varsity game is slated for 6 p.m. and the girls varsity is the final game at 7:30 p.m. (starting times for the last three games is approximate).
Southeastern’s next game is at Unioto Thursday night.
Editor’s note: Both teams were not only 18-2 coming into Tuesday’s game, but both had lost to the same two teams, Miami Trace and North Adams.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 19 6 9 18 — 52
SE 8 13 10 15 — 46
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 3-0-6; Maddy Garrison 0-0-0; Bre Taylor 1-0-2; Kassidy Hines 1 (1)-0-5; Tabby Woods 1-0-2; Halli Wall 1-0-2; Shawna Conger 2-2-6; Hannah Haithcock 10 (2)-3-29. TOTALS — 19 (3)-5-52. Free throw shooting: 5 of 5 for 100 percent. Three-point field goals: Haithcock, 2; Hines. Field goal shooting: 22 of 46 for 48 percent. Turnovers: 15.
SOUTHEASTERN — Hunter Adams 0-0-0; McKinley Mitten 0 (1)-0-3; Ella Skeens 8 (3)-10-35; Mandy Morris 1-0-2; Rachel Collins 2-0-4; Kaitlyn Harper 0-0-0; Skylar Hice 1-0-2. TOTALS — 12 (4)-10-46. Free throw shooting: 10 of 12 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Skeens, 3; Mitten. Field goal shooting: 16 of 48 for 33 percent. Turnovers: 10.
SE wins j-v game with Lady Lions
In the j-v game Tuesday, Southeastern rallied to beat Washington, 38-37.
Mallory Hicks of Washington was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points.
Cloe Copas scored 10, Taylor Brown had eight and Corynn Chrisman scored one for Washington (now 7-12 overall, 4-4 in the FAC).
For Southeastern, Cidney Huff led with 13 points.
Lyndsey Skeens scored eight, Kynsi Popp had seven, Sierra Mitten scored five, Olivia Higley had three and Kennedy Smith scored two.