CHILLICOTHE — Washington senior Shawna Conger entered Friday’s District semifinal game against the Warren Lady Warriors needing 18 points to reach 1,000 for her career.
After scoring just two points in the first half and with Washington trailing 28-7, it seemed something of a long shot that the Lady Lions’ best player would reach that coveted milestone.
However, Conger scored five in the third quarter and 16 in the fourth quarter to accomplish the feat, becoming the sixth Lady Lion basketball player in the program’s history to reach or surpass the 1,000-point mark.
Warren, ranked No. 4 in the state in Division II by the Associated Press, won the game, 53-36.
Freshman Kendall Dye had five points and senior Halli Wall and sophomore Aaralyne Estep each had four points for Washington.
Conger led Washington with seven rebounds and Dye had five rebounds.
Senior Sommer Saboley and junior Olivia Alloway both scored 10 points for the Warriors. Eight other players also scored for Warren.
The Warriors, now 23-1, will play Sheridan for a District championship Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Southeastern High School.
“I have to give credit to Warren,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “They really took us out of our game, especially in the first half. We just made a lot of mental errors, especially offensively.”
Warren led 11-5 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter hurt the Lady Lions as they were outscored, 17-2.
“I thought defensively in the first half we did pretty well, especially against (Warren’s 6-0 sophomore Abbie Smith),” Leach said. “I was impressed with how we were defending her.
“Offensively, we just struggled,” Leach said. “We kept turning the ball over. We were not passing well. We weren’t able to score. We were rushing our shots. We needed to be more patient and we failed to execute that in the first half.”
Warren outscored Washington 17-9 in the third quarter to take a 45-16 lead into the final period.
That’s when Conger really shined for the Lady Lions, scoring 16 points.
Conger had already scored five points, leaving her six away from 1,000 with 6:12 to play in the game.
On back-to-back possessions, Conger drained three-point shots, the one that put her at 1,000 points came with five minutes to play in the game.
The officials stopped play momentarily and tournament director Leonard Steyer presented Conger with the ball, which she quickly gave to her parents in the stands before the game resumed.
Ball control was a key factor that worked against the Lady Lions, especially in the first half.
“We had us for 14 or 15 turnovers in the first half,” Leach said. “I think in the second half we only had four or five. We were a lot more patient with the ball in the second half.”
Leach spoke about her three seniors: Shawna Conger, Halli Wall and Abby Tackage.
“This is the first class I’ve had all the way through,” Leach said. “They are just a really special group. We’re going to miss them a lot. They all bring something different to the team.
“They really know what it’s like to work hard every day and see results,” Leach said. “They’ve been a part of three Sectional championships and a league championship. They’ve been to the District finals twice and they’ve won a District championship (in 2019). They’ve had back-to-back 20-win seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19). I’m very proud of all three of them.
“I think in the second half, Shawna started to be more aggressive,” Leach said. “She was taking more looks. She hit some really deep threes that were nice. She was getting a few more opportunities. Shawna’s a tremendous player. She worked really hard this off-season and in the pre-season to get to where she’s at. She went from averaging 7 or 8 points a game last year to 16 points a game this season. I’m really proud she was able to get 1,000-points tonight.”
Washington ends the 2019-20 season with a record of 12-12.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
WCH 5 2 9 20 — 36
War. 11 17 17 8 — 53
WASHINGTON — Allie Mongold 0-0-0; Aaralyne Estep 2-0-4; Kaelin Pfeifer 0-0-0; Kendall Dye 1 (1)-0-5; Abby Tackage 0-0-0; Megan Sever 0-0-0; Natalie Woods 0-0-0; Halli Wall 1-2-4; Shawna Conger 5 (4)-1-23. TOTALS — 9 (5)-3-36. Free throw shooting: 3 of 5 for 60 percent. Three-point field goals: Conger, 4; Dye. Field goal shooting: 14 of 43 for 33 percent. Turnovers: 21. Rebounds: 22 (5 offensive). Steals: 7. Assists: 7.
WARREN — Abbie Smith 1-4-6; Olivia Alloway 3 (1)-4-10; Elizabeth Burdiss 1-0-2; Caspen Ford 2-0-4; Sommer Saboley 2 (2)-0-10; Molly Grayson 2 (1)-2-9; Savannah Banks 1 (1)-0-5; Alexis Frazee 1-0-2; Emme Bowe 1-1-3; Millie Ryan 0-2-2. TOTALS — 14 (5)-10-53. Free throw shooting: 10 of 15 for 67 percent. Three-point field goals: Saboley, 2; Alloway, Grayson, Banks. Field goal shooting: 19 of 47 for 40 percent. Turnovers: 10.