Warriors cruise past Hillsboro in sectional final

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Warren’s Savannah Banks, left, and Kelly Jackson, right, force a held ball with Hillsboro’s Mya Bell (13) during Thursday’s high school girls basketball sectional final in Vincent. Warren won, 48-21.

VINCENT — Warren’s defense forced 33 Hillsboro turnovers here Thursday night in an Ohio Division II sectional final and the Indians shot less than 23% from the floor as the Warriors rolled to a 48-21 victory.

Head coach Amy Way’s squad scored the first 16 points and led 19-1 after one. The 12-5 Warriors are now set to play host at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a district semifinal versus Fairfield Union, which defeated Meigs 66-37.

“We got some film on them,” Way said of FUHS. “We haven’t watched too much of it. We were focusing on this one. We’ll be watching and coming up with a game plan.

“I think the girls will be ready and they will be excited to play again. We got to clean up some things from today and hopefully we got the nerves out of the way and we’ll be ready to go.”

Chad Hills’ Indians (5-13) missed all seven of their shots in the opening stanza, got their lone point via an Eden Edenfield free throw and allowed 11 steals on their dozen turnovers.

Savannah Banks had five of her game-high seven steals in the opening stanza as the Warriors led for good just 25 ticks in when Alex Frazee assisted on an Olivia Alloway deuce. Abbie Smith had seven of her game-high 15 points in the first quarter. Millie Ryan, who had eight points, four boards, four dimes, five steals and a pair of blocks, assisted on Kelly Jackson’s 3 for the 18-point cushion heading to the second.

Edenfield, who had a team-high seven counters, made a steal and scored the Indians’ first basket with 5:53 left in the half to make it 21-3. Smith, who also had game-highs of seven rebounds and three stuffs, followed with consecutive field goals before Ryan scored for a 27-3 advantage. After another Edenfield make, Mya Bell got a putback to cut it to 20, but Frazee swished in a 13-foot jumper and a Bryanna Bledsoe charity stripe toss set the halftime score at 29-8.

Warren scored the first 11 points of the second half to squash any thoughts of a comeback. Following a defensive board by Alloway, she made an outlet to Frazee, who assisted on Banks’ make to start the spurt. A trifecta by Frazee, who finished with nine points, made it 40-9.

By the time Madison Taylor sank a free throw with 2:23 left in the third, the Indians had missed their first six shots and made seven turnovers. Following a steal by Jackson, Alloway assisted on a Leah Way deuce to make it 44-9, but Edenfield got the final bucket of the third as HHS trailed by 33.

Hillsboro opened the fourth with a Susanna Barney 12-foot bank shot via a Rylie Scott assist. Gracie Dean, who had four rebounds, three steals and a block, scored all six of her points in the fourth via a pair of 3s.

The lone field goal of the fourth by the Warriors came with 38 seconds left when Madison Lynn hit from downtown via a Raylen Shotwell feed to make it 48-19. Ramsey Haines’ deuce from an Addyson Miles assist set the final score.

“I thought we had a lot of energy at the beginning,” added coach Way. “We got some quick steals and got some easy layups and got on the board pretty quick and that kind of freed us up a little bit. Definitely, the defense sparked us. It’s been a long layoff (12 days) and the girls were excited to get back on the court. I think maybe a little too excited.

“Offensively, I thought we were a little out of sync tonight and I think that’s a little bit due to the layoff and a little bit due to just nerves and the excitement of it being a sectional game and wanting to get out here and play. Sometimes it got a little too hyped, but overall I thought the girls played hard.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com


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