Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES

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