Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9
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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