Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic

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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2016 People's Defender