Ashland girls hand South Point first loss of season
SOUTH POINT, Ohio — The South Point girls basketball team’s undefeated season came to an end Thursday at the Pointers gymnasium where it fell 57-37 to the Ashland Kittens in an across-the-river matchup.
Ashland (6-2) dominated inside the paint and with outside shooting in near perfect execution of its game plan to hand South Point (5-1) its first loss of the year.
Emilee Whitt scored 11 points for South Point and Emilee Carey scored 10.
Meanwhile, Ashland was led by Mikala Martin with 18 points and Julia Parker had 16.
Ashland’s Jada Miller made a 3-point shot from the right wing to open scoring in the game. The shot, however, also sparked a 9-0 run by the Kittens to give them a lead South Point would struggle to overcome through the entire first half.
Ashland stretched its lead to 14-4 in the first period and closed the quarter with a 17-6 lead.
South Point battled back in the second quarter.
The Pointers scored the first three points of the period to cut the lead to six points and the deficit remained there as the teams traded baskets throughout the quarter. Ashland briefly took a nine-point lead at the end of the quarter only to have South Point’s Sarah Roach sink a triple with :03 left in the half to give South Point hope.
Ashland all but ended that with a 14-3 run to start the third period that decided the game. South Point tried to work the ball in low in the post where it appeared to have a size advantage, but Ashland’s Martin was big on defense and offense.
Martin forced South Point’s forwards and center to alter their shots, allowing her to get the rebound for the Kittens. Additionally, the 5-10 freshman found plenty of opportunities to score in the paint.
“We thought the post would be open and when it was we scored,” Martin said. “We thought we could score inside and shoot 3s.”
Parker delivered on those, connecting on four 3-point shots to give Ashland a threat outside to Martin’s threat inside.
For South Point, the loss, although disappointing, gave the Pointers a learning opportunity.
“We started slow, caught up and I’m proud of our team for that,” Pointers 5-8 junior guard Emilee Whitt said. “We all had to play our roles but we learned a lot from this. We have to finish and we have to play harder.”
South Point will get an opportunity to redeem itself Dec. 29 with a 3:30 home game versus South Webster. Ashland will be in action at Connor, Kentucky, for the LaRosa’s Holiday Classic Dec. 27-29.
ASHLAND 16 8 17 16 — 57: Martin 18, Parker 16, Cullop 7, Bradley 8, Miller 3, Fulton 2.
SOUTH POINT 7 11 10 9 — 37: Whitt 11, Carey 10, Roach 3, Khounlavong 6, Crawley 2, Mundy 2, Perkey 3.