The No. 1 team in the State in Division II, the Circleville Lady Tigers, visited Washington High School for a non-conference game Wednesday evening.
It soon became apparent just how strong a team Circleville has this year as they jumped out to a 17-2 lead en route to a 65-31 victory.
Circleville (18-0) had three players in double figures, two with nine points and two with six points each.
Junior Kenzie McConnell led with 12 points, senior Tori Bircher scored 11 and senior Brie Kendrick had 10 points.
The game’s leading scorer was Washington sophomore Jeleeya Tyree-Smith with 13.
Freshman Megan Sever scored eight and senior Halli Wall added seven.
Circleville scored the first 15 points of the game.
Tyree-Smith scored for Washington with 56 seconds to play in the first period.
It was 17-2 after one quarter.
Circleville started the second quarter with a 14-0 run to go in front, 31-2 with 3:23 to play in the first half.
The Lady Tigers held a 37-7 halftime lead.
Circleville won the third quarter, 18-11 to take a 55-18 lead into the final period.
The Lady Tigers shot the ball very well, hitting 23 of 40 field goal attempts for 58 percent.
At the line, Circleville made an equally impressive 15 of 16 attempts for 94 percent.
Washington went 11 of 41 from the field for 27 percent. Most of that could be attributed to Circleville’s defense.
“Tonight we wanted to get off to a quick start, which we did,” Circleville head coach Steve Kalinoski said. “We did a nice job of moving the basketball, getting a lot of girls involved in our scoring early on. That was a key to our start, our ball-movement.
“(Shawna) Conger is a very outstanding player and I thought we did a nice job on her,” Kalinoski said. “They’re a very young team. Sam (head coach Samantha Leach) plays a lot of young girls and they play hard.
“After we got off to a good start, we felt pretty comfortable,” Kalinoski said. “We were able to play a lot of girls off the bench. A lot of girls contributed for us tonight.”
“We didn’t respond from the beginning,” Leach said. “They played us straight up man-to-man. They are a very disciplined team. I felt like our girls were pretty hesitant from the get-go. We didn’t really have any flow to our offense. We weren’t moving the ball, we weren’t getting ball reversals.
“Circleville is a great team,” Leach said. “There’s a reason they’re blowing out almost every team that they play. They create a mismatch because they have two bigs (6-1 senior Meghan Davis and 6-0 junior Kenzie McConnell), they have some great shooters and they’re strong all the way around.”
Also for Washington, Shawna Conger, Natalie Woods and Allie Mongold each had two steals. Mongold had three assists.
Washington (7-10 overall) is at Olentangy Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Circleville is at home to take on Bloom-Carroll Friday evening.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 2 5 11 13 — 31
C 17 20 18 10 — 65
WASHINGTON — Allie Mongold 0-0-0; Aaralyne Estep 0-0-0; Kaelin Pfeifer 0-0-0; Kendall Dye 0-1-1; Jeleeya Tyree-Smith 4 (1)-2-13; Abby Tackage 0-0-0; Natalie Woods 1-0-2; Halli Wall 1 (1)-2-7; Shawna Conger 0-0-0; Megan Sever 2 (1)-1-8. TOTALS — 8 (3)-6-31. Free throw shooting: 6 of 12 for 50 percent. Three-point field goals: Tyree-Smith, Wall, Sever. Field goal shooting: 11 of 41 for 27 percent. Turnovers: 14. Rebounds: 14 (7 offensive). Steals: 9.
CIRCLEVILLE — Alaina Francis 0-0-0; Logan Jones 0-0-0; Peyton Perini 1-0-2; Morgan Blakeman 2-5-9; Tori Bircher 4 (1)-0-11; Meghan Davis 4-1-9; Sidney Gray 0-0-0; Camille Hoops 0-0-0; Jordan Rhymer 0 (2)-0-6; Lily Winter 0-0-0; Brie Kendrick 3-4-10; Jaylah Captain 1 (1)-1-6; Sara Gearhart 0-0-0; Kenzie McConnell 4-4-12. TOTALS — 19 (4)-15-65. Free throw shooting: 15 of 16 for 94 percent. Three-point field goals: Rhymer, 2; Bircher, Captain. Field goal shooting: 23 of 40 for 58 percent. Turnovers: 14. Offensive rebounds: 7.