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Williamstown girls fall in overtime on senior night

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By Ryan Naus

On senior night, the Williamstown Lady Demons battled with Pendleton County, with the lead going back and forth.

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The Lady Demons ultimately lost in overtime, falling 60-52 on Feb. 16.

“We did a poor job rebounding,” coach Mark Wilhoit said. “That was the key to me. They out hustled us and we have to do a better job of keeping them off the glass. To be small, we’re a pretty good rebounding team, but they exposed one of our weaknesses that we have to improve before the district tournament.”

Against Pendleton County, Williamstown was a team of streaks, building a 9-0 lead to start the game off scores by seniors Jaclyn Stith and Amber Vance. Chelsea West ended the run by splitting two defenders for a short jumper.

The Lady Wildcats ended the first quarter with a run to make it 16-10 with the Demons leading.

Pendleton County tied the game up with a 6-0 run, eventually taking the lead with a three pointer to make it 19-16. Senior Mellissa Snow scored to end a scoreless drought for the Lady Demons and then connected on a pass to Taylor Eldridge to regain the lead for Williamstown.

After a free throw by Pendleton County tied the game, West hit a three to make it 23-20 at the end of the half.

The Lady Demons started the second half with a methodical possession that ended with a Tori Wilhoit basket. Williamstown built a 13-point lead before Pendleton County went on a run to make it 36-32 at the end of the third quarter.

The Lady Demons held a lead for a majority of the fourth quarter until the Lady Wildcats took the lead with two free throws with less than a minute left in the game.

Wilhoit scored with 25 seconds left, but Pendleton responded with a basket of their own with 18 seconds left. Snow was fouled with six seconds left and went to the line with the Lady Demons down 50-49. Snow made one free throw to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Williamstown was without Stith, who fouled out late in regulation, but also lost Wilhoit, who fouled out early in overtime.

Pendleton County took advantage of their chances at the free throw line, making seven out of nine free throws to put the game away for the final score of 60-52.

“We tried to let our athletic ability overtake fundamental basketball and I think that’s why they out rebounded us,” coach Wilhoit said. “We’ve got some work to do, but we’ll get it done. This game doesn’t make or break our season. We have to learn and build upon it to get better. We just need to work on the things to get us to where we need to be. We had a heart-to-heart after the game. We need to come together as a team and play to our strengths.”

“We played hard, but it wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” Vance said. “Stupid fouls are what lost the game for us. They hurt us. Everything we’re doing now will be geared to Walton-Verona and us beating them. That’s our main focus now.”

On Feb. 14, the Lady Demons traveled to Carroll County, falling 48-41.

Carroll County used the second quarter to pull away, outscoring Williamstown 20-7. The Lady Demons held them to 18 points in the second half, but Carroll County had built a lead that was too much to overcome.

“We had too many missed opportunities,” coach Wilhoit said. “It’s things we have to end up finishing. Our concentration level isn’t there. We just have to continue to work.”