Winchester- How an interstate highway changed the face of one small town Facebook – a growing marketplace for local entrepreneurs When kids know best Giving some love to those dog days Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr

Lady Dragons take third place in McDonald’s Classic, topping Manchester 42-30

Rarely does a team that does not score a single point in the first quarter of a high school basketball game come out the winner, but the West Union Lady Dragons proved that wrong on Dec. 29 at North Adams High School in the consolation game of the 2015 McDonald’s Holiday Classic. Battling the Manchester Lady Greyhounds for the third place hardware, the Lady Dragons were shut out in the first quarter for the second game in succession, but rallied with a big 16-0 run over the second and third periods to come from behind and knock off the Lady Hounds 42-30.

“The last couple of years we haven’t been able to get a win in this tournament so it’s nice to finally win one,” West Union head coach Jason Claytor told C103 radio after the game. “We had more people here tonight than we might have in 4 or 5 games combined. We have two pretty good rivalries going on here.”

The Manchester defense was the story of the first eight minutes of action as their very active zone kept the Lady Dragons out of the paint and just as in the semi-final game with Peebles, West Union got very few open looks at the rim in the first period. Unfortunately for the Lady Hounds, they were not able to capitalize on their own offensive end, scoring just six points of their own in the opening quarter, getting two baskets from C.J. Hobbs in the first three minutes, then after nearly a five-minute drought for both sides, a Morgan Johnson bucket in the final seconds gave Manchester the 6-0 lead.

“Manchester came out in that 1-3-1 zone which I didn’t expect it all and it stifled us in that first quarter,” said Coach Claytor.

West Union finally got on the board in the opening minute of the second quarter when Alex Pennington hit a pair from the foul line, but two free throws by Manchester’s Kylie Lucas and a coast to coast score by Johnson put the Hounds up 10-2, but that was to be the end of the Manchester offense for the next 10 minutes of play.

A three-pointer from Pennington began a 14-0 run for the Lady Dragons to close out the first half. A pair of freshmen, Pennington and Jaycee Baldwin did the damage with Pennington adding two more baskets plus another trey while Baldwin hit a pair of buckets in the paint as the Lady Dragons surged in front for good, leading 16-10 at the intermission.

“We got ball movement and player movement in the second quarter and that was something we preach over and over,” said Claytor. “We let the ball find the open girl.”

No one scored for the first 90 seconds of the third quarter before a pair of Mikayla Akers free throws extended the West Union run to 16-0 and their lead to eight points. Finally, after nearly ten minutes of offensive futility, Johnson went to the charity stripe and canned two shots to make it 18-12.

In the third quarter as a whole, neither team did much offensive damage as they combined for just 11 total points. A basket by Akers gave the Lady Dragons back their eight-point advantage, but Johnson countered with the “basket and one” to keep her team within striking distance at 20-15. The final basket of the third stanza came at the 1:52 mark by West Union’s Kristen Grooms, sending the teams to the final period with West Union up 22-15.

Any hope that the Lady Hounds had of a come-from-behind fourth quarter win were extinguished quickly as West Union scored the first 9 points of the period, driving a dagger on back-to-back possessions with nothing but net three-pointers from McKenzie Kirker and Akers. An offensive rebound and score by Johnson temporarily stopped the run of the Lady Dragons, but Akers dialed long distance from the corner this time to give her team a comfortable 34-17 lead.

Two free throws by Kiersten Rowe stretched the lead to its longest of the game at 36-17, before the Lady Hounds showed some resiliency with a pair of free throws from freshman McKenzie Smith and a Johnson three with just over four minutes to play.

Johnson converted another three-point play with 2:32 to play that made it 37-25 but the Lady Hounds were just running out of time. West union sealed the deal for good with a quick 5-0 run capped by a Kendall Gallowitz basket and even with Manchester’s Hobbs getting the final two buckets of the game, it wasn’t enough as the third place trophy headed for the case at West Union High School with a 42-30 Lady Dragons victory.

“We just need to be consistent,” said Coach Claytor. “We can’t have first quarters like we had tonight and get away with it very often. We’ve got to be consistent in our execution on both ends and I thought tonight was one of our best defensive efforts since I became coach here.

In the consolation win that upped their season record to 5-5 on the year, the Lady Dragons placed two players in double figures, led by 13 points from Alexa Pennington and 12 from Mikayla Akers. Kristen Grooms and Jaycee Baldwin each scored 5 points for the winners.

The Lady Hounds, who again had just 8 players available for Coach Jacie Simon, dropped to 1-9 on the season, and were led in scoring in the loss by Morgan Johnson, who gives every ounce of effort from start to finish, and had 18 of the 30 Manchester points in the consolation defeat. The improving C.J. Hobbs scored 8 for the Lady Hounds.

Both teams will be back in action as school resumes at the start of a New Year. West Union will play two non-conference games, hosting Blanchester on Jan. 4 and then traveling to Northwest on Jan. 6, before coming back home on Jan. 7 to face the unbeaten Lynchburg Lady Mustangs in Southern Hills Athletic Conference play.

The Lady Hounds are off until Jan. 7 when they make the very long bus ride to Fairfield High School to battle the Lady Lions, looking to avenge a 64-39 defeat on Dec. 10.

MHS 6 4 5 15 —30

WUHS 0 16 6 20 —42

MHS (30): Smith 0 2-2 2, Johnson 6 5-6 18, Hobbs 4 0-4 8, Lucas 0 2-4 2, Team 10 9-18 30.

WUHS (42): Baldwin 2 1-4 5, Kirker 1 0-1 3, Akers 4 2-2 12, Rowe 0 2-2 2, Grooms 1 3-4 5, Gallowitz 1 0-0 2, Pennington 4 3-8 13, Team 13 11-21 42.

Three-Point Goals:

MHS- Johnson 1

WUHS- Kirker 1, Akers 2, Pennington 2

By virtue of their 42-30 win over Manchester on Dec. 29, the West Union Lady Dragons claimed the third place trophy in the 2015 McDonald’s Holiday Classic.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_WUHSgirls1.jpgBy virtue of their 42-30 win over Manchester on Dec. 29, the West Union Lady Dragons claimed the third place trophy in the 2015 McDonald’s Holiday Classic. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender
West Union 42 Manchester 30

By Mark Carpenter

mcarpenter@civitasmedia.com

Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.

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