MONROE — Top seeded Legacy Christian and second-seeded Cedarville made quick work of their opening round opponents, while No. 6 seed Yellow Springs went down fighting, in Saturday’s Feb. 16 girls Division IV sectional tournament games at Monroe High School.
The Bulldogs (6-17) got behind 33-10 at halftime, outscored Fayetteville Perry 11-3 to get back into the game after three quarters of play, then ran out of gas. Perry managed a 55-33 win to move on to Wednesday’s second-round game with No. 5 seed Cincinnati College Prep.
Yellow Springs senior Jasmine Davidson led her team with 13 points scored, freshman Annlyn Foster knocked in seven points while senior Amani Wagner and junior Gracie Price each scored six in the loss.
“Defensively we were fine, but we just couldn’t execute our game plan offensively,” Bulldogs Coach Tim Minnich said. “… We’d get an open shot every time down the court, but we couldn’t put them in the hoop!”
Minnich said his players have improved, but he needs more commitment from his returners next season.
“I had two players — Amani Wagner and Haneefah Jones — that didn’t miss a practice all year. And who were our most improved players? Those two, by far. … I believe we came a long way. It was hard to play that first half, because we know that we were better than that. … We’re building a program here, and we’re getting there. It just takes a little time.”
Seniors Elle Peifer, Dede Cheatom, Ayanna Madison, Davidson and Wagner played their final games at the high school level.
Cecelia Murphy led Perry with a game-best 16 points while Hannah Weiderhold finished with a dozen points scored. Rockets coach Toby Sheets thinks Yellow Springs could be headed in the right direction for years to come.
“I thought Yellow Springs did well. They play with confidence, the coach seems like he really knows what he’s doing, and I understand that they have a couple eighth graders coming up that can play. So, I think the future is bright for them,” he said.
LEGACY CHRISTIAN 84, NEW MIAMI 10: The No. 1 seeded Knights jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the opening quarter. It was 45-7 at the break and, per OHSAA rules, a running clock was utilized for the second half. Didn’t matter. LCA outscored New Miami 40-3 the rest of the way.
Five Knights finished with double figures in scoring: Emily Riddle led everyone with 17 points, Emily Hess finished with 14, Danielle Mathews scored 12, while Anne Kensinger and Maddy Combs finished with 11 each.
“Part of this was adjusting to a bigger floor, a bigger gym and a little bit difference surroundings,” LCA Coach Mark Combs said. “That’s what this was for. We’ve gotta get our kids up and down the floor a bit and acclimated to the surroundings, and I thought they did a good job of that. We moved the ball, our kids got shots up. It went as planned, and nobody’s hurt, so we’re good.”
Legacy Christian (20-3) advances to the second round of sectional play. They will take on No. 8 seed Miami Valley Christian at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Monroe High.
CEDARVILLE 50, MIDDLETOWN CHRISTIAN 10: Second-seeded Cedarville (18-5) also utilized a running clock in its dominating win over Middletown Christian. The Indians pitched a shutout after one quarter of play for a 23-0 lead. They led 42-2 at halftime.
Cedarville coach Josh Mason subbed back-up players into the game frequently, and the starters seemed to enjoy cheering on their teammates from the sidelines. Starter Ise Bolender was the only Indians player to finish in double figures. She scored 17 points. Reserve Maddie Kinney was next with eight points, Sydney Wright finished with six points while fellow regulars Maggie Coe and Celeste Rucker scored five points apiece.
“It’s something we’ve focused on from Day 1 about being a great teammate,” Mason explained. “To see that as a coach, it’s why I love them so much. We really do love each other, we support each other, and that really starts with our seniors (Sami Beuttell, Bolender, Abby Camarato, Audrey Waymire and Rucker), they are such great examples of how to be a good teammate, and you saw it today.”
Cedarville returns to action at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21. That’s when the Indians will take on 10th seeded Lockland, also in the Monroe gym.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.