Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Going into a game with the Lynchburg Lady Mustangs, you know that there is little margin for error as the Lady Mustangs are a team that is opportunistic and take advantage of mistakes. So when the West Union Lady Dragons faced Lynchburg in the Division III sectional championship game on Saturday, Feb. 18, taking care of the basketball was an absolute necessity.
Unfortunately for the local squad, they were in far too giving a mood as they turned the ball over 42 times and the Lady Mustangs took full advantage, ending the season for the Lady Dragons by handing them an 82-30 defeat.
West union stayed close for the first five minutes of the game, but that was about it, as a three-pointer by Mackenzie Bickett gave the Lady Dragons a 3-1 lead, but an 7-0 run by Lynchburg quickly wiped out that advantage, and three-point goals by Hannah Binkley and Zoe Fittro put the Lady Mustangs on top 13-5. Bickett answered with another trey but that only proceeded a 10-0 Lynchburg run that ended with a three-point play by McKayla Binkley. The first quarter ended with a basket by West Union’s Harley Silvia but the Lady Dragons were staring at a 23-10 deficit.
Things got no better for the West Union girls in period number two as the Lady Mustangs continued to turn defense into offense and racked up 24 points, closing the first half on a 12-1 run that gave them a 47-18 advantage at the intermission.
The second half opened with a McKayla Binkley three and a bucket by West Union’s Kaylee Welch and then a 17-3 Lynchburg spurt that gave them a 67-25 lead after three quarters.
The Lady Mustangs didn’t let up in the final eight minutes, even as they emptied their bench. A 14-0 run made it 81-25, and the Lady Dragons got a basket from Jaycee Baldwin and a three-pointer from Kaley Daniels, which turned out to be the last West Union score in the 2016-17 campaign as they bowed out with the 82-30 loss.
Even with the disappointing end to the season, the Lady Dragons still have bright hopes for the future and only lose two seniors to graduation, Kendall Gallowitz and Shannon Runyan.
West Union closes with a record of 6-18 and in their final outing were led in scoring by Mackenzie Bickett’s 8 points, with Jaycee Baldwin scoring 6 and Kaylee Welch and Harley Silvia getting 4 apiece. In their final games, Shannon Runyan and Kendall Gallowitz scored 3 and 2 respectively.
The Lady Mustangs were led by 24 points from Hannah Binkley and move on to the district tournament, where they will face Oak Hill on Feb. 27 at Waverly High School.
10 8 7 5 –30
23 24 20 15 –82
W. Union (30): Runyan 0 3-6 3, Welch 2 0-3 4, Bickett 3 0-0 8, Baldwin 3 0-0 6, Silvia 2 0-0 4, H. Daniels 0 0-2 0, K. Daniels 1 0-0 3, Gallowitz 1 0-0 2, Team 12 3-11 30.
Lynchburg (82): Blankenship 4 2-3 11, Fittro 3 0-3 8, Pinkerton 1 0-0 2, Waits 2 0-0 4, Scott 4 6-7 15, Hart 1 0-0 2, H. Binkley 8 5-6 24, M. Binkley 5 3-5 14, L. Binkley 1 0-0 2, Team 29 16-28 82.
W. Union (3): Bickett 2, K. Daniels 1
Lynchburg (8): Blankenship 1, Fittro 2, Scott 1, H. Binkley 3, M. Binkley 1