FRANKFORT — The Washington Lady Blue Lions captured a Sectional championship and improved their record to 21-3 as they defeated Unioto Saturday at Adena High School, 54-51.
Information provided in the back of the program distributed at the game states that this is the ninth Sectional title in school history and the first since 2013.
Other folks say it is the first Sectional title for the Lady Blue Lions since 2007.
Whatever the case (and we will try and find out the definitive answer), the Lady Lions’ next stop will be in the District semifinals Thursday night at Southeastern High School at 6:15 p.m. when they will go up against the No. 1 seed from the Logan Sectional, Vinton County.
Washington junior Hannah Haithcock led Washington with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior Bre Taylor and sophomore Halli Wall both scored nine points and sophomore Rayana Burns had eight points and led the Lady Lions with six assists. She also had five rebounds.
Sophomore Emily Coleman was the game’s leading scorer for Unioto with 15 points.
Sophomore Amber Cottrill scored nine, sophomore Cree Stulley scored seven and seniors Carly Adkins and Summer Sigman both scored six points.
Washington advanced despite an onslaught of nine three-point field goals rained down upon them by the Lady Shermans.
Unioto seemed unstoppable in the first quarter as they made seven three-point field goals on their way to an opening period total of 25 points.
From there, however, the Lady Lions continued to play better and better, defensively, as the game wore on.
Washington had 17 points in the first quarter and 18 in the second.
Unioto went from 25 points to 12 points in the second quarter.
Washington had momentarily pulled ahead, 35-34 with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.
Unioto got an offensive rebound and hit another three-point shot right before the end of the half to take a 37-35 lead into the locker room.
Washington built a lead of as many as five points (45-40) with 3:38 to play in the third quarter.
By the end of the third, the game was tied, 47-47.
Unioto took a 49-47 lead to start the fourth quarter.
Haithcock scored and converted a free throw to give Washington a 50-49 lead with 5:23 to play. They would not trail again.
Several minutes ticked off the scoreboard clock before Burns scored to give the Lady Lions a 52-49 lead.
Unioto made one free throw with 1:05 remaining.
Unioto had fouls to give before sending Washington to the line and they spent the next 25 seconds committing those fouls.
Washington missed the front end of a one-and-one with 39.3 seconds to play.
With Washington in the lead, 52-50, Unioto went to the line with a chance to tie the game with 12.2 seconds remaining.
The Shermans made one of two free throws.
Next, Haithcock was fouled and sank the one and the bonus with 10.2 seconds to play.
Unioto suffered a turnover with 2.6 seconds to play.
Washington missed the front end of the one-and-one, but Unioto was unable to get a shot away before the buzzer sounded.
“We started off the game applying full-court pressure,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “We felt like we could create some turnovers in the front court. It ended up backfiring as they kept knocking down threes. We weren’t matching up quickly on our rotation.
“We made a few adjustments,” Leach said. “We picked them up at half court. We started contesting their shots. We talked about how you have to close out with a hand up and contest it. A lot of girls can shoot wide-open. If you contest the shot, it makes a difference.
“I had a feeling it was going to come down to the end,” Leach said. “Our girls stepped up. We got stop after stop at the end. We really played great defense when we needed to. When it mattered the most, the girls stuck together and we got the stops that mattered.
“Everyone contributed to this win,” Leach said. “Halli Wall came off the bench in the second quarter and hit some big shots. Maddy Garrison hit a big three in the first quarter. Maddy Jenkins made a layup that was a big shot for us. Every possession mattered and everyone did a good job and stepped up when they needed to.
“This (Sectional title) is super-exciting,” Leach said. “These girls won 11 games last year and now we’re sitting with 21. I’m just so proud of them. The work that they’ve put in is finally paying off.”
Tickets: Stop by the high school Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from noon until 3 p.m. to purchase tickets for Thursday’s game. Tickets are $5 each and the school gets to keep 25 percent of the proceeds from tickets it sells.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 17 18 12 7 — 54
U 25 12 10 4 — 51
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 4-0-8; Maddy Garrison 0 (1)-0-3; Bre Taylor 3 (1)-0-9; Kassidy Hines 2-0-4; Tabby Woods 0-0-0; Halli Wall 2 (1)-2-9; Shawna Conger 0 (1)-2-5; Hannah Haithcock 4-6-14. TOTALS — 16 (4)-10-54. Free throw shooting: 10 of 14 for 71 percent. Three-point field goals: Taylor, Garrison, Wall, Conger. Combined field goal shooting: 20 of 54 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 4 of 13 for 31 percent. Rebounds: 32 (12 offensive). Transition points: 8. Points off turnovers: 17. Second chance points: 7. Points in the paint: 24. Assists: 11. Deflections: 13. Steals: 6. Blocks: 1. Turnovers: 13. Personal fouls: 19. Charges taken: 0.
UNIOTO — Carly Adkins 0 (2)-0-6; Summer Sigman 0 (2)-0-6; Cadee Causey 0-0-0; Emily Coleman 0 (4)-3-15; Amanda McGlone 1-0-2; Amber Cottrill 1 (1)-4-9; Jocie Fisher 3-1-7; Cree Stulley 2-3-7. TOTALS — 7 (9)-10-51. Free throw shooting: 10 of 16 for 63 percent. Three-point field goals: Coleman, 4; Adkins, 2; Sigman, 2; Cottrill. Combined field goal shooting: 16 of 43 for 37 percent. Three-point field goal shooting: 9 of 14 for 64 percent. Transition points: 5. Points off turnovers: 10. Second chance points: 5. Points in the paint: 14. Rebounds: 31 (8 offensive). Assists: 15. Deflections: 13. Steals: 7. Blocks: 0. Turnovers: 21. Personal fouls: 19. Charges taken: 0.