FRANKFORT — Two Frontier Athletic Conference rivals met in the first round of the Division II Sectional tournament at Adena High School Thursday when the Lady Lions of Washington High School faced the Lady Indians of Hillsboro.
The Lady Lions made a sweep of the season series with a 69-31 victory.
The win gives Washington 20 victories on the season against only three losses.
Hillsboro ends the 2017-18 season at 8-15.
Washington sophomore Shawna Conger was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. Twenty-one of those came in a tremendous first-half effort. Conger connected for five of Washington’s six three-point field goals, all in the first half.
Sophomore Rayana Burns turned several steals either into buckets that she made or transition points for the Lady Lions on her way to scoring 14.
Junior Kassidy Hines scored 10 points and junior Hannah Haithcock, who sat a good part of the first half with two fouls, finished with nine points.
Hillsboro senior Madi Marsh led her team with 10 points, including two three-point field goals.
Junior Lana Grover scored six points.
“Shawna shot the ball extremely well in the first half,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “She made five threes. She just kept finding herself open. She was in a rhythm tonight. She stepped up for us.
“We had two starters in foul trouble, Hannah and Bre (Taylor),” Leach said. “We were a completely different team in the second half. It was like a switch that we flipped.
“We had a different mentality, a different attitude,” Leach said. “We gave up 23 points in the first half and in the second half we gave up eight.
“We were just way more sound, defensively, in the second half,” Leach said. “We were playing better team defense.”
Hillsboro’s concerns were two-fold: the Lady Indians unofficially shot 29 percent for the game (9 of 31) to 51 percent (26 of 51) for Washington. Hillsboro, thanks in large part to Washington’s defense, committed 25 turnovers.
The Lady Lions won the rebounding battle, with many more second chance points to their credit.
Washington led 6-1 and 14-3 on the way to a 17-7 first quarter surge.
Both teams had their best offensive quarter in the second.
The Lady Lions scored 25 points to 16 for the Lady Indians.
Washington ratcheted up its defense in the second half.
After giving up 23 points in the first half, Washington allowed six in the third quarter and two in the fourth.
Leading 40-23 at the half, Washington nearly shot the lights out in the second half, making 8 of 10 from the field while Hillsboro went 2 of 8.
Washington continued firing true, though a bit less often in the fourth, making five of six shot attempts.
At the same time, Hillsboro went 0 of 5 from the floor.
“It seemed like we did a pretty good job getting (the deficit) cut down to about eight points, but we didn’t get back three times in a row and that kind of tilted it,” Hillsboro head coach J.R. Moberly said. “They went to a 17-point halftime lead and we couldn’t dig out of it. We started the third quarter badly and didn’t take care of the basketball.”
Washington will return to Adena High School Saturday for a Sectional championship against the winner of Thursday’s second game that pitted Unioto up against Logan Elm.
“These are both very solid teams,” Leach said as the warm-ups for the second game were underway. “Unioto is on a roll right now. I know they had a great win against Southeastern right at the end of the season.
“Whomever we play, it’s going to be a fight Saturday,” Leach said. “But, we’re excited for it.”
Ticket information: Folks looking to cheer on the Lady Lions in person Saturday can purchase tickets at the high school Friday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from noon until 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 each and the school gets to keep 25 percent of the proceeds from all the tickets it sells.
Boys tickets are on sale, as well, for Washington’s Sectional game against Hillsboro coming up on Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. at Southeastern High School.
Boys basketball tickets will also be on sale at the high school Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Hillsboro’s seniors: Hillsboro says thank you and farewell to its four seniors: Natalie Sullivan, Madi Marsh, Riley Moberly and Kaley Burns.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 17 23 17 12 — 69
H 7 16 6 2 — 31
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 5-4-14; Maddy Garrison 1-0-2; Bre Taylor 0-2-2; Kassidy Hines 5-0-10; Tabby Woods 0-0-0; Halli Wall 2 (1)-0-7; Shawna Conger 3 (5)-2-23; Maddy Jenkins 0-0-0; Hannah Haithcock 4-1-9; Mallory Hicks 0-0-0; Abby Tackage 0-0-0; Cloe Copas 1-0-2. TOTALS — 20 (6)-9-69. Free throw shooting: 9 of 14 for 64 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 5; Wall. Combined field goal shooting: 26 of 51 for 51 percent. Turnovers: 15.
HILLSBORO — Natalie Sullivan 2-0-4; Kayden Watson 0 (1)-0-3; Kelsey Burns 1-2-4; Kira Watson 0-0-0; Josie Hopkins 0-0-0; Lana Grover 1-4-6; Karleigh Hopkins 1-0-2; Riley Moberly 0-2-2; Jordan Moberly 0-0-0; Kaley Burns 0-0-0; Leah Hester 0-0-0; Madi Marsh 1 (2)-2-10. TOTALS — 6 (3)-10-31. Free throw shooting: 10 of 12 for 83 percent. Three-point field goals: Marsh, 2; Watson. Combined field goal shooting: 9 of 31 for 29 percent. Turnovers: 25.