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 get “W” in sectional opener, first tourney win since 2008

It may not look like it in the final standings but head coach Jason Claytor and his West Union Lady Dragons have had a season to remember. In a program that has struggled to escape mediocrity in recent years, the Lady Dragons won eight games, their highest total since the 2002-2003 season and also picked up their first tournament win since 2008 when they upended the Northwest Lady Mohawks 48-38 on Feb. 10 at Valley High School in the Division III sectionals.

“Defensively we played very well tonight,” said Coach Claytor. “Any time you give up just 13 points in half you have a chance to win. We’ve got some quick guards that can force turnovers and when we can consistently capitalize on that I think we can play with anybody. We finished tonight, made some free throws, and we did an excellent job of moving the ball and finding the holes in their zone.”

“I thought if we went small tonight we would have an advantage and that small lineup really helped us tonight, especially with the help we got from our bench.”

The sectional opener got off to a good start for West Union when senior Mikayla Akers opened the scoring with a three-pointer out of the corner. The Lady Mohawks rallied back to take the lead but West Union tied the score on a bucket inside by Alexa Pennington and took the lead when Akers scored five straight, including another three. A three ball by Northwest’s Hannah Breech left the two sides even at 11 after the first quarter.

There was not much scoring to be had int he second period, but the West Union defense made a stand and held the Lady Hawks to just a single basket over the eight minute span. Meanwhile, the Lady Dragons took the lead for good, getting a reverse layup from Pennington on their first possession, then two free throws by senior Kristen Grooms, a basket from Jaycee Baldwin, and another by Akers. Those scores left the West Union girls on top 19-13 at the intermission.

After finishing the first half on a 6-0 run, the Lady Dragons added to that by scoring the first seven points of the third quarter, fueled by three-point goals from Pennington and Grooms. That stretched the West Union advantage to 26-13 with 4:42 left in the third. The Lady Mohawks answered with a 6-0 spurt of their own, but an offensive rebound that resulted in a three-point play for Akers helped give West Union a 30-20 lead heading into the fourth and final quarter.

A little over a minute into the final stanza, a long three-pointer by Pennington gave the Lady Dragons a 35-24 advantage, only to see the Lady Mohawks come back to cut the margin to single digits with 4:21 to go. The experienced Akers rose to the occasion again, hitting two free throws and then turning a steal and pass from Jaycee Baldwin into an old-fashioned three-point play and a 41-28 lead. Baskets by Pennington and Grooms kept the lead in double digits and the Lady Dragons were never seriously challenged after that.

With 20 seconds left, Grooms nailed a pair of free throws to finish off the West Union scoring in a much overdue tournament win as the Lady Dragons advanced with the 48-38 victory.

Three players hit double figures for the winners, led by 18 points from Mikayla Akers, including 7 for 10 from the foul line. Alexa Pennington added 13, with Kristen Grooms also going 7 for 10 from the line on her way to a 12 point effort, that also included 6 steals in the first half alone.

“Grooms was fantastic tonight on both ends,” said Coach Claytor. “Akers gave us the effort tonight that we usually get from her and it’s nice to have three girls in double figures. The girls were excited in the locker room, it’s been a long time since West Union won a tournament game.”

Northwest was paced by 12 points from Hannah Breech and 11 from Alexis Lisath.

The win earned the Lady Dragons something they had not heard of in many years, a trip to the Division III sectional championship game. Unfortunately, waiting for them there were the number two ranked in the state of Ohio Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs. Look for a full report on that game, one where the Lady Dragons made a pretty good shoe for themselves, in the Feb. 21 edition of The People’s Defender.

NHS 11 2 7 18 —38

WUHS 11 8 11 18 —48

NHS (38): Swavel 2 3-4 7, Lisath 5 1-5 11, Patty 0 2-3 2, Osburn 2 0-2 4, Baer 1 0-0 2, Breech 3 4-7 12, Team 13 10-23 38.

WUHS (48): Baldwin 1 0-0 2, Kirker 1 0-1 3, Akers 5 7-10 18, Grooms 2 7-10 12, Pennington 5 1-2 13, Team 14 15-23 48.

Three-Point Goals:

NHS- Breech 2

WUHS- Kirker 1, Akers 1, Grooms 1, Pennington 2

West Union senior guard Mikayla Akers scored 18 points to help lead the Lady Dragons to a 48-38 win over Northwest in their sectional tournament opener.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Akers.jpgWest Union senior guard Mikayla Akers scored 18 points to help lead the Lady Dragons to a 48-38 win over Northwest in their sectional tournament opener. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender

West Union’s Kristen Grooms, left, scored 12 points as the Lady Dragons won their first tournament game in eight years, downing the Northwest Lady Mohawks 48-38 on Feb. 10.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Grooms.jpgWest Union’s Kristen Grooms, left, scored 12 points as the Lady Dragons won their first tournament game in eight years, downing the Northwest Lady Mohawks 48-38 on Feb. 10. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender
West Union tops Northwest 48-38

By Mark Carpenter

mcarpenter@civitasmedia.com

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

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