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 Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam WUES recognizes November Bus Riders of the Month NAHS Beta Club sponsors canned food drive Peebles Elementary announces November Students of the Month Crisis text line reaches out during the holidays Paul Wesley Ailshire

Good year for Lady Dragons ends with sectional finals loss to Lynchburg

Though the final record and the final statistics may not reflect it to the casual basketball fan, it certainly was a successful season for head coach Jason Claytor and his West Union Lady Dragons varsity girls squad. First off, the Lady Dragons won 8 games in the season, the highest total for the program since the 2002-03 season, when that Lady Dragons team won 9. Also, the West Union girls won their first tournament game since the 2007-08 season when they topped Northwest 48-38 on Feb. 10.

“There’s been more positives for our high school progam this year than there has the last couple,” said Claytor. “We’re going in that right direction and building up from where we started. We did a lot of things this year that we weren’t capable of doing in years past.”

That first tourney win in eight years earned the Lady Dragons a trip to the Division III sectional championship game on Feb. 13 at Valley High School, where they matched up with the number-two ranked in the state Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs. That sounds like overwhelming odds and again the casual fan might just look at the final score of 64-39 in Lynchburg’s favor and think it was the expected blowout. Think again.

The Lady Dragons gave their highly favored opponent all they wanted on Saturday, leading through most of the first quarter before the Lady Mustangs pulled away and earned their trip to the district tournament.

“I thought we all really battled today,” said Coach Claytor. “We made some mistakes that ended up costing us but we battled the whole game and gave them all they wanted for a quarter and a half. Very few teams pushed them like that this year.”

Anyone who may have arrived at Valley High School a few minutes late on Saturday may have been in for a shock when they entered the gym and looked up at the overhead scoreboard. On the strength of three-pointers by Alexa Pennington and McKenzie Kirker, the Lady Dragons led the number two team in the state 10-4 more than halfway through the first quarter. The rusty Lady Mustangs, who had been off for a long period of time since completing their regular season, regained their composure with the aid of a McKayla Binkley trey to to battle back to within 12-11, but a bucket by senior Mikayla Akers proceeded another Lynchburg three that tied the game at 14, to the surprise of many, after the end of the initial eight minutes.

Lynchburg took its first lead of the game with five straight to begin the second frame, but West Union answered with a Shannon Runyan three-pointer. A later basket by Pennington and Kristen Grooms free throw kept the Lady Dragons within striking distance, but the explosive Lady Mustangs scored the final 12 points of the first half to open up a 37-20 advantage and seal the fate of their Adams County opponent.

The Lady Mustangs won the second half by a score of 27-19 as they improved to 22-1 on the year and moved on to district tournament play.

In the season-ending loss, the Lady Dragons were led by 14 points from Alexa Pennington, ending a fine freshman season for her. The loss also meant the end of the careers of three seniors, Kristen Grooms, Mikayla Akers, and Hannah Riddle, who combined for 8 points in their final outing.

“Kendall Gallowitz played excellent today, huge for us early,” added Coach Claytor. “Alexa played another stellar game for us-14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks.”

“We say goodbye to three fantastic seniors, who have given so much to our program, and we will certainly miss them.”

The Lady Mustangs put five players in double figures, led by 16 points from McKayla Binkley. sister Hannah Binkley and Ali Little added 11, with Peyton Scott and Vanessa Thiel getting 10 apiece.

WUHS 14 6 7 12 —39

LCHS 14 23 15 12 —64

WUHS (39): Runyan 2 0-0 6, Baldwin 1 1-2 4, Kirker 1 0-0 3, Akers 1 2-2 4, Riddle 1 0-0 3, Grooms 0 1-4 1, Gallowitz 2 0-0 4, Pennington 6 0-1 14, Team 14 4-9 39.

LCHS (64): Roush 1 2-2 4, Little 4 3-4 11, Scott 4 2-3 10, Thiel 3 4-8 10, Wills 1 0-0 2, H. Binkley 4 2-3 11, M. Binkley 5 4-4 16, Team 22 17-24 64.

Three-Point Goals:

WUHS- Runyan 2, Baldwin 1, Kirker 1, Riddle 1, Pennington 2

LCHS- H. Binkley 1, M. Binkley 2

In her final high school game, West Union senior Hannah Riddle (4) drilled this long three-point shot in the fourth quarter of the sectional final game with Lynchburg.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_WUHSgirls1.jpgIn her final high school game, West Union senior Hannah Riddle (4) drilled this long three-point shot in the fourth quarter of the sectional final game with Lynchburg. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender

Lady Dragons’ senior Kristen Grooms is surrounded on the baseline by a trio of Lynchburg defenders in action from last Saturday’s sectional final game at Valley High School.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_WUHSgirls2.jpgLady Dragons’ senior Kristen Grooms is surrounded on the baseline by a trio of Lynchburg defenders in action from last Saturday’s sectional final game at Valley High School. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender
West Union finishes at 8-16

By Mark Carpenter

mcarpenter@civitasmedia.com

Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscopsorts, Instagram-defendersports15.

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2016 People's Defender