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Trio end basketball careers against Walton-Verona

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By Matt Birkholtz

As the final seconds ran down to zero, the careers of Haley Rothwell, Chelsea West and Tori Wilhoit came to an end for Lady Demons’ basketball, falling 54-34 to Walton-Verona Feb. 22 at Simon Kenton High School.

The evening didn’t start out well for Williamstown as they only mustered two points in the first quarter and trailed 15-2.

It was not exactly what West was expecting going into the game.

“We were playing well defensively, which was what we were kind of worried about as a team,” she said. “As a team we worked heavily on our offense, but then we got in the game and Walton-Verona was flustered on offense because our defense was so good. Our performance on offense just wasn’t good. We were getting the shots and drove the ball, but missed a bunch of layups.”

After the first quarter it was a closer game with the Lady Bearcats scoring 39 points the rest of the way and the Lady Demons scoring 32.

Tori Wilhoit fouled out with under a minute to go and began to realize then that this was her last basketball game.

“It was really hard, because I have been playing on the varsity team for six or seven years already and what was really hard was trying not to look at dad,” she said. “I knew if I had looked at him I would have completely broke down.”

Tori Wilhoit said that she is not an emotional girl, but it really hit at that moment.

Lady Demons coach Mark Wilhoit said the hardest moment for him was seeing his daughter walk off the court for the last time.

“It was hard,” he said as his eyes teared up. “We knew this day was going to come, but we didn’t want it to be against Walton-Verona. This is just a tiny step for them, because their next step is going to be to graduate and go to college. They are a great group of players and they will be successful.”

For Rothwell and West the end of their careers struck them close because it was the last time playing a sport for Williamstown.

“I think everyone was just shocked that the moment of us leaving had arrived,” West said. “Coach Wilhoit has been my coach since middle school and he told us that his experience with us couldn’t have been better and that he hopes that we have learned as much from him as he has learned from us.”

With the season over, Tori Wilhoit will begin to focus on her final year of softball at Williamstown.

Rothwell will be heading to the University of Kentucky in the fall and is currently undecided on her major.

West said she is still looking at colleges, but was just accepted into Western Kentucky University. Her plans are to major in health education and has aspirations to be a coach someday.

“I would like to be a physical education teacher or teach home economics,” she said. “I would like to coach, but I don’t necessarily have to be a basketball coach.”

Tori Wilhoit will be heading to UK and is planning on studying biology. She said she does plan on participating in intramural basketball.

As the season is over and the team will look to replace the shoes of the three seniors, Rothwell gave some advice for next year’s seniors.

“They need to set the examples,” she said about upcoming seniors Susan Northcutt, Emma Harris and Carlie Fossitt. “The younger girls see them not trying, then they will feel like they won’t have to give effort. So, play hard and the younger girls will look up to you.”