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WHS girls fall to Walton-Verona

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Lady Demons rebound with win at Trimble

By Ryan Naus

With a two-week break between games, the Williamstown Lady Demons were hoping to shake off their rust against Walton-Verona.

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The Lady Demons were sluggish and came away from the district showdown with a 42-31 loss.

“I thought the first half we didn’t come out ready to play,” coach Mark Wilhoit said. “We were never really in sync. We weren’t ready. We talked about everything Walton was going to do and what we needed to do to stop them and we didn’t do it. Until we learn to listen, this is going to be continue to happen.”

The Lady Demons took an early 5-2 lead off of scores by Chelsea West and Mellissa Snow, but allowed the Lady Cats to go on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter.

Walton-Verona extended their lead with a score to start the second quarter before West hit a free throw to make it 15-6. Susan Northcutt hit two more free throws to cut into the lead before Walton-Verona scored again.

Taylor Eldridge took advantage of an opportunity to score in the paint to make it 17-10, but the Lady Cats went on a mini-run to make it 21-10.

Eldridge and Snow scored to end the half and make the score 23-15.

Walton-Verona scored first in the second half, but Snow answered with a basket of her own. Walton-Verona ran their lead to 14 points before West and Amber Vance each made two free throws. The duo stepped up their defense, trapping a Lady Cat and forcing a turnover.

The Lady Demons weren’t able to take advantage, turning the ball back over and letting Walton-Verona score off the turnover. Tori Wilhoit made two free throws for the Lady Demons to end the third quarter and cut the Lady Cats lead to 33-23.

In the fourth quarter, the Lady Demons went to the free throw line several times, but missed the opportunity to cut into Walton-Verona’s lead when they missed their free throws.

Jaclyn Stith scored to make it 36-28, but the Lady Demons were never able to get closer as Walton-Verona won 42-31.

“We left 15 points out there at the free throw line,” coach Wilhoit said. “We missed so many point blank shots that we have to hit. We did not do what it takes to stop them. There weren’t any positives other than my players played hard, especially in the second half. They did a good job on Jaclyn and Tori, holding them to five total points. We failed to execute.”

Williamstown and Walton-Verona are scheduled to face off in the first round of the district tournament and will use this loss as a motivator when they match up again.

“We didn’t come out ready as a team,” Snow said. “During our warm-ups, we didn’t look ready. Our heads weren’t in it. We’ll use it as motivation to show Walton in the districts that we’re a better team.”

“I thought our heads weren’t totally in it,” Vance said. “We need to keep our heads in the game and play as a team. We need to push the ball and work on our defense. We didn’t give up and played hard. This game was a fluke and we’ll come at them pretty hard in the district tournament.”

Fortunately for the Lady Demons, they didn’t have to wait too long to get back in the win column as they traveled to Trimble County and earned a 62-49 victory.

The Lady Demons forced several Lady Raiders turnovers at the end of the second quarter to build a 27-19 lead heading into the half.

Trimble County started the second half on a streak, making it 29-25 before Wilhoit and Vance scored to extend the Lady Demons lead. Stith hit a three pointer to end the third quarter to make it 44-31.

Stith, who had been out with a sprained ankle, regained her shot, hitting several three pointers to help the Lady Demons earn the win. Williamstown also had a strong performance from Northcutt, who stepped up and ended the game with nine points.

“It was a much better effort than when we played Walton-Verona,” coach Wilhoit said. “It’s nice to get a win on the road. My players responded really well. Jaclyn’s getting her legs back. Tori played well, taking it to the hole and they didn’t have anyone who could guard her. Susan’s starting to play better and better and she could be a key for us in the district.”