After dropping four consecutive game, the West Union Lady Dragons got back on the winning track on Jan. 25, avenging a defeat from earlier in the season by downing the Ripley Lady Jays 55-48 in a game played at West Union High School. The Lady Dragons had lost to Ripley back on Dec. 14, but this time the West Union girls overcame the turnover bug and the fact that Ripley took twice as many shots from the field to post their seventh win of the season, and second in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
“To say this was a hard-fought game is an understatement,” said West Union head coach Jason Claytor. “I thought both teams played very hard and the game was extremely physical. The first half was so physical that we just couldn’t get into a flow and we turned the ball over way too many time and that let them take the lead at halftime.”
“In the third quarter, we came out and played like we are capable of and shot the ball really well”
The Lady Dragons were 9 for 11 from the field in the third quarter, including 5 out of 6 from beyond the three-point line. “I like our odds if we shoot the ball well,” added Claytor.
West Union led 44-31 early in the fourth quarter, but saw the Lady Jays go on a huge 17-1 run to take a 48-45 lead, but that was all the offense for the visitors. The Lady Dragons regained their composure and finished the game on a 10-0 run to hang on for the 55-48 win.
“Once we calmed down, we were able to make the big run that we needed to win the game,” said Coach Claytor. “We got some really big free throws from Kristen Grooms down the stretch, but Alexa Pennington and Mikayla Akers really were huge for us tonight.”
Pennington led the winners with a double double performance of 21 points and 10 rebounds, adding 3 assists and blocking 3 shots. Akers also pulled off a double double night with 13 points and a career high 14 rebounds. Between the two, they were 6 of 8 from three-point land. Grooms also put up a solid stat line, getting 8 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 4 rebounds.
The win improved the Lady Dragons to 7-10 on the year, 2-9 in the SHAC. They were back in conference play on Thursday, Jan. 28, playing host to the Eastern Lady Warriors and on Saturday, Jan. 30 will be at Portsmouth in a make-up game cancelled earlier because of winter weather.
RHS 12 8 11 17 —48
WUHS 11 7 24 13 —55
RHS (48): Kirk 6, Arnett 7, Abbott 7, Prater 10, Daulton 5, Gilkerson 13
WUHS (55): Runyan 6, Baldwin 4, Kirker 3, Akers 13, Grooms 8, Pennington 21
RHS- Arnett 1, Prater 2, Daulton 1, Gilkerson 1
WUHS- Kirker 1, Akers 2, Pennington 4