CHILLICOTHE — The Washington Lady Blue Lions have advanced to the District championship game for the second year in a row.
The Lady Lions withstood a tremendous three-point shooting barrage to prevail, 60-49 over the Meigs Marauders Thursday night at Southeastern High School.
Meigs hit more than twice as many three-point baskets (11) as they did conventional buckets (five) and also went 6 of 7 from the free throw line.
The Lady Lions hit two threes in the game.
In spite of picking up two fouls in the first half and another just as the third quarter was getting underway, Washington senior Hannah Haithcock was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. She also had nine rebounds.
Junior Rayana Burns scored 14 points and senior Tabby Woods had seven points.
Junior Shawna Conger scored six points, junior Halli Wall had five, senior Bre Taylor scored four and senior Kassidy Hines scored two.
Burns had seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots.
Taylor had seven rebounds, three steals and two assists; Woods had six rebounds and two assists.
Kassidy Beting led Meigs with 15 points.
Meigs had three different players hit three-point field goals. In addition to Beting, Marissa Noble and Becca Pullins both hit three treys for nine points.
The Lady Lions could not have asked for a better start to the game as they took a 13-2 lead midway through the opening quarter.
Washington led 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Meigs made no three-point shots in the first quarter.
The Lady Lions found the shooting touch early, making 9 of 18 field goal attempts in the first quarter, while Meigs struggled, hitting 3 of 11 from the floor.
Washington cooled off in the second quarter, hitting 2 of 11 shots from the field.
However, they did go 6 of 6 from the foul line.
Meigs was 4 of 10 in the second quarter, three of the shots connecting from three-point range.
The Lady Lions led 31-19 at the halftime break.
Meigs continued to hit their three-point shots as the third quarter unfolded.
They might not have been the biggest or tallest team Washington had faced this season, but they did make eight three-point field goals out of 21 shot attempts in the second half.
Haithcock picked up her third foul just moments into the third quarter.
Washington missed its first four shots and Meigs hit two threes to suddenly make it a two possession game, 31-25.
Taylor and Burns scored and Meigs hit another three to begin an 8-0 run that drew the Marauders to within two points, 35-33 with 1:38 left in the third.
Wall stepped up then for Washington with a three-point field goal and about one minute later, another basket to give the Lady Lions some space at 40-33.
Haithcock hit two free throws late to set the score at 42-33 after three complete.
In the fourth quarter, Meigs kept the heat on with four more three-point field goals.
Their first two threes made it a four-point game, 45-41 with 5:44 to play.
Woods made a pair of free throws and Haithcock hit two baskets to once again separate Washington from Meigs, 51-41.
Burns had a steal and lay-up that gave Washington a 53-41 lead with a little over three minutes remaining.
Burns hit two free throws and Taylor scored again to give the Lady Lions a 14-point lead, 57-43, with 1:40 to go.
Meigs went on to sink a pair of late threes, but Washington was connecting at the free throw line well enough (making 8 of 12 in the fourth quarter) to take the win, 60-49.
“Meigs is a good team,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “We knew coming into this evening that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Any one of their players can shoot the three. They do it extremely well. Give credit to them; they have a great group of kids and they play hard.
“I was really impressed with the way we started this evening,” Leach said. “We came out, we were ready to go. We were able to get a lot in transition. My girls did an excellent job of running the floor and putting pressure on the ball.
“Halli Wall hit a couple of big shots when we really needed a bucket,” Leach said. “We were able to get Hannah the ball a lot in the first quarter (when she scored 11 points). Then they started to double down and even triple down inside the paint. We were finding the open man.
“Overall, I’m impressed with my kids,” Leach said. “You have to finish and we did that tonight. We’re getting smarter and everyone’s playing hard and contributing.
“Vinton County is a very talented team,” Leach said. “I’ve seen them play a few times. They also love to shoot the three. We’re excited for the opportunity to play them.”
Washington (19-5) will play Vinton County (21-1) for the District championship Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at Southeastern High School.
Fans can purchase their tournament tickets from the school Monday through Thursday from 8-11 a.m. and from 1-3 p.m. entering at the gymnasium side of the building. Tickets are $6 each and the school gets to keep 25 percent of the proceeds from tickets it sells.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 21 10 11 18 — 60
M 6 13 14 16 — 49
WASHINGTON — Rayana Burns 3 (1)-5-14; Bre Taylor 2-0-4; Kassidy Hines 1-0-2; Tabby Woods 1-5-7; Halli Wall 1 (1)-0-5; Shawna Conger 2-2-6; Maddy Jenkins 0-0-0; Hannah Haithcock 8-6-22. TOTALS — 18 (2)-18-60. Free throw shooting: 18 of 23 for 78 percent. Three-point field goals: Burns, Wall. Field goal shooting: 20 of 54 for 37 percent. Turnovers: 9.
MEIGS — Bre Lilly 0-0-0; Alyssa Smith 0-0-0; Taylor Swartz 0-0-0; Marissa Noble 0 (3)-0-9; Madison Fields 1 (2)-0-8; Olivia Haggy 0-0-0; Kassidy Beting 1 (3)-4-15; Mallory Hawley 3-2-8; Becca Pullins 0 (3)-0-9; Kylie Blanks 0-0-0; Jerrica Smith 0-0-0. TOTALS — 5 (11)-6-49. Free throw shooting: 6 of 7 for 86 percent. Three-point field goals: Noble, 3; Beting, 3; Pullins, 3; Fields, 2. Field goal shooting: 16 of 43 for 37 percent. Turnovers: 11.