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Lady Demons roll off three straight wins

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By Ryan Naus

The Lady Demons had a busy week.

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The Williamstown girls’ team had four games in a week, coming away with three wins over Gallatin County, North Oldham and Trimble County and a loss against Simon Kenton.

Starting the week by hosting Gallatin County, the Lady Demons came away with a 62-56 win on Dec. 15.

“Our focus coming in was working on our defense,” coach Mark Wilhoit said. “I thought we improved on it, but we’re still in some locations we don’t need to be. But it was a good win. I’m proud of the girls. They’re maturing as a team.”

Gallatin County came out with two quick baskets before Chelsea West hit a three pointer. Gallatin hit another basket to extend their lead, but Williamstown’s defense stepped up, forcing two turnovers and took the lead with a fast break score.

The defense forced another turnover and Williamstown capitalized, taking a 10-6 lead.

The Lady Demons pressed Gallatin County’s offense, getting a turnover as Tori Wilhoit scored and then scored again on another fast break, putting the Lady Demons ahead 14-6.

Williamstown kept expanding their lead, making it 19-6 before Gallatin County answered. West hit a three as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter with Williamstown ahead 22-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Gallatin County scored first in the second quarter, trimming the lead to 12 points before West scored off the inbounds when she was left alone under the basket.

On defense, Wilhoit took a charge and was fouled while trying for a layup on the Lady Demon’s next possession. Off a missed shot, the Demons fought for the rebound and scored for a 26-10 lead.

Following a Gallatin County score, the Lady Demons forced a turnover and Amber Vance scored. Gallatin County’s coach was looking for a foul and was given a technical foul, but it energized her team, as they started to chip away at Williamstown’s lead.

Forcing turnovers and rebounding on the offensive glass, Gallatin County scored six straight points before Vance scored to end the Wildcats run. But Gallatin County kept scoring and were down by nine points before Melissa Snow scored to put the Lady Demons ahead 32-24.

Gallatin missed an opportunity to cut the lead to four points on two missed free throws and added to their misery by putting six players on the floor for another technical foul. The Lady Demons went into the half up 32-26.

Using up-tempo defense, the Lady Demons forced a backcourt violation. Even though their shots weren’t falling, Williamstown’s defense preserved the lead. Wilhoit scored twice and Taylor Eldridge got a tough basket in the paint for a 10-point lead.

Williamstown kept working for rebounds and Wilhoit scored again before Gallatin County went on another scoring streak, making it 42-40 with Williamstown leading after three quarters.

Both teams traded baskets, before Williamstown’s defense stopped Gallatin’s offense as Eldridge and Stith both fought for steals before Wilhoit and West stepped up to put the Demons ahead for good, leading the Lady Demons to the 62-56 win.

“We were definitely ready to play,” Wilhoit said. “Coming into the game, our defense wasn’t where we wanted it to be, but against Gallatin County it was. I’m glad we started off with a bang and got an early lead. When they started to come back, we didn’t freak out. One of our goals is to be over .500 the whole season and this is one step to achieving it.”

“It’s very important because I think Gallatin County is one of our rivals,” West said. “We knew we had to be aggressive and everyone was looking forward to the game. I think after playing them in the All A last year and winning two of three, we felt we had to win. It was a game we should have won.”

Against Gallatin County, Wilhoit had a career high 25 points and set a school record with 19 rebounds.

“I said I had raised the bar early and I’m going to keep raising it. Anything I can do to help the team, I’ll do it and keep pushing myself,” Tori Wilhoit said. “It honestly didn’t feel like I had that many points. It definitely makes it sweet to have it in a win.”

West scored 16 points and had seven assists and five steals, Vance scored six points and had five rebounds, Stith had six points and nine rebounds, Snow had six points and Eldridge had three points.

The Demons won their next two games against North Oldham (56-41) and Trimble County (57-29) before facing district foe Simon Kenton. The Lady Demons came away with a 71-39 loss.

“Mentally, we have to get over the mental block of playing Simon Kenton,” coach Wilhoit said. “They’re a very good team, but we got shook early. We weren’t mentally prepared to play, but they played with pride in the fourth quarter. We need to do that the whole game.”

Against North Oldham, Stith scored 22 points and dished seven assists, Wilhoit had 15 points., 10 rebounds and nine steals, Vance scored eight points and had six assists, Snow scored seven points and West and Haley Rothwell each scored two points.

Against Trimble County, Stith led the Lady Demons with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Snow scored 15 points and had five steals, West scored nine points along with four assists, Wilhoit scored six points and pulled down 12 rebounds, Vance scored four points, Erika Osborne had three points, Bobbie Williams scored two points and Eldridge, Morgan Potter and Susan Northcutt each had one point.