Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener

Bickett’s 26 leads West Union over Adena, 59-42 –

By Mark Carpenter –

After finishing their regular season at 5-17, the West Union Lady Dragons were looking at a clean slate as they opened sectional tournament play on Wednesday, Feb. 15 on the hardwood at Valley High School in Lucasville.  The number seven seeded Lady Dragons faced off in a sectional semi-final with the number 10 seeded Adena Lady Warriors from the Scioto Valley Conference, winners of just two games in the regular season.
Despite the fact that they committed far too many turnovers, especially late in the game, it was all in all a very successful night for the West Union girls, and a particularly big night for sophomore Mackenzie Bickett.  Bickett fired in a varsity career-high 26 points as the Lady Dragons jumped to an early lead and never really were threatened as they won their second tournament game in two seasons topping the Lady Warriors by a final score of 59-42.
West Union head coach J.R. Kirker has his girls ready to play on Wednesday night as they came out of the gate strong, rushing to an early 12-0 lead, with Bickett accounting for 8 of those points.  The Lady Dragons did not allow a field goal in the first quarter and continued to build on their lead as the game progressed, at one point leading by 31 points at 51-20.  Adena was able to cut into that lead by outscoring the Lady Dragons 20-8 in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late as the West Union girls moved on to the Division III sectional title game on Saturday.
“Our girls come in every day and work hard in practice and we got better as the season went along,” said coach Kirker in his post game radio interview.  “The scores of some of the games looked like we weren’t but we never gave up all year long.  We wanted to come back here this year and get another win.”
“Our girls, though they are young, had to step up this year and be the upperclassmen for the next couple of seasons.”
In the big win, the Lady Dragons placed three players in double figures, paced by Bickett’s 26, with Jaycee Baldwin adding 13 and McKenzie Kirker 11.
“Bickett had an unbelievable game tonight,” added Kirker.
The reward for winning their first round match up will be a trip back to Valley High School on Saturday, Feb. 18, where the Lady Dragons will face off with the number two seeded Lynchburg Clay Lady Mustangs, a team they lost twice to in the regular season.
“If we can handle their pressure and stay calm, maybe we can make it a ball game,” said Kirker.  “We have to stay patient and not have so many turnovers and we won’t be able to get in a running game with them.”