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Lady Demons fall short in finals

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By Matt Birkholtz

It may have not been the best game the Lady Demons have played this season, but it was a surprise for many to see Williamstown in the championship game against Walton-Verona Jan. 15.

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“Nobody thought we were going to make it to this level,” Lady Demons coach Mark Wilhoit said after the game. “Everybody had written Owen County and Walton-Verona in for the championship game.”

The atmosphere was electric with both Walton-Verona and Williamstown’s bands performing at the game, providing a deafening sound during timeouts. The Lady Demons fell 45-25 to the Lady Bearcats.

“It was great to see the community come out and support us,” coach Wilhoit said. “The outcome was not what we wanted, but coaching in that environment with all of them cheering was great.”

The Lady Demons were not expected to get past the top team in the 8th region, Owen County, in the semi-final match Jan. 14. Even with the win over the Lady Rebels, winning the All “A” Classic was the ultimate goal for Williamstown.

“I think just by getting here, we surpassed many people’s expectations,” senior point guard Chelsea West said. “We can’t settle for second place however.”

A highlight for the Lady Demons in the tournament was that three players were named to the All-Region team. Seniors West, Tori Wilhoit and junior Susan Northcutt received the honors.

“It feels good to be a part of the all-region team,” West said. “But I would have rather had the win over Walton-Verona instead.”

Coach Wilhoit was unhappy with the offense’s performance, but the defense side of the ball kept his team in the game. In the two games of the tournament, the defense allowed an average of 44.5 points, but the 18 percent shooting from the field didn’t help their cause against Walton-Verona.

“I thought that Hayley Rothwell did a tremendous job on defense,” coach Wilhoit said. “She had six rebounds in the game.  Especially in the second half, she tried to attack the basket.”

Now with the All “A” Classic behind them, the Lady Demons have two games this week, including county-rival Grant County Jan. 24 at GCHS.

In the last game against the Lady Braves, West hit a three-point shot with 20 seconds remaining to lift Williamstown to a 46-45 win Dec. 17.

For the Lady Demons to get the season sweep over the Lady Braves, West feels they will need to focus on Grant County sophomore Billie Hearn, who scored 26 points against Williamstown in the last game.

“When we played Grant County the first time, I think we were prepared, but we were not expecting Hearn’s output” West said. “We’ve got to focus on our offense. Our defense has been improving constantly, but we’ve got to be putting the ball in the basket.”

Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.