Headed to the District Finals Betty D Cox Michael L Evans Thelma R Stamper Therese A Boerger Lady Indians go down in straight sets to Valley in sectional play Manchester hosts the inaugural Southern Ohio Cheer Challenge NAHS girls claim soccer sectional title Seas siblings are SHAC Cross-Country champions Lady Devils will collect fourth consecutive SHAC gold ball trophy Lady Hounds ousted in sectional tourney opener Peebles Lions Club holding Thanksgiving fund raiser FFA Fruit sales have begun, run until Nov. 18 Historical marker is repaired PES will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Eagle Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center Open House showcases new unit PES teacher honored by ACOVSD Board Friends of North Adams Library dedicate new brick Veterans Memorial Senior Profile: Landon Wright Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award

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


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

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2016 People's Defender