South Point, Fairland girls bow out in district play
WAVERLY, Ohio — Basketball season ended for South Point’s and Fairland’s girls basketball teams Saturday, but both went down with plenty of fight in Ohio Division III Waverly District semifinal games at the Waverly Downtown Arena.
Eastern Brown (22-2) edged South Point 51-47 in the early game. Wheelersburg (21-4) rallied from 10 down to beat Fairland 55-45 in overtime in the other semifinal.
Eastern led 18-8 after one quarter, but couldn’t hold it as the feisty Pointers (17-8) stormed back behind strong 3-point shooting to take their first and only lead at 29-28 after two Emilee Whitt free throws with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter.
The Eastern Warriors regained the lead 51 seconds later on a basket by Alexa Pennington and never trailed again. A 6-foot-1 senior and Eastern Kentucky University signee, Pennington scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“A few plays made the difference,” South Point coach David Adams said. “We really played hard. They had some size and got some baskets inside. They’re a good team. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason.”
The Pointers were within 42-40 after a Diamond Crowley 3-pointer with 4:52 left, but Pennington hit two free throws to begin a 5-0 run to make it 49-42 with 1:47 to play. That margin was by no means comfortable, as Ashley Perkey scored inside and Whitt swished a three to cut South Point’s deficit to 49-47 with 58 seconds to play.
Morgan Reynolds made a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left to set the score.
Allison Mallott scored 14 and snared seven rebounds for Eastern Brown, which plays Wheelersburg at 3 p.m. Saturday at Waverly for the district title.
Whitt paced South Point with 17 points. Emilee Carey scored 10.
“I’m tremendously proud of our team,” Whitt said. “We’re a really small team and we knew we had to box out and get rebounds. It’s a hard loss, but we battled.”
SOUTH POINT 8 11 13 15 — 47: Whitt 17, Khounlavong 2, Carey 10, Crawley 8, Mundy 9, Perkey 2.
EASTERN BROWN 18 4 13 16 — 51: Pickerill 3, Frost 3, Reynolds 5, Mallott 14, Edmisten 2, Gloff 8, Pennington 16.
WHEELERSBURG 55, FAIRLAND 45: The Pirates outscored the Dragons 10-0 in overtime, taking advantage of five Fairland turnovers in the extra period.
The game was a battle of Wheelersburg’s quickness and the Dragons’ shooting. Quickness won, as Fairland missed all three of its shots in the extra period.
Kaylee Darnell led the Pirates with 23 points, 13 rebounds and six steals. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard scored seven points in overtime.
Fairland (19-6) led by 10 early, but struggled to prevent the Pirates from driving the lane. Abbie Kallner scored 11 and Ellie Kallner 10 as Wheelersburg found success using its speed.
The Dragons’ shooting nearly was enough. Fairland led 37-31 after Jenna Stone’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left in the third quarter, but the Pirates answered with an 8-0 run to take the lead.
Wheelersburg led 45-40 after a Darnell layup with 3 minutes left in regulation, but the Dragons came back on baskets by Allie Marshall and Harlie Lyons and a free throw by Lyons.
Darnell’s 3-pointer to begin overtime proved to be the winning shot.
Lyons paced Fairland with 16 points. Kelsie Warnock scored seven and grabbed 13 rebounds. Marshall pulled down 10 rebounds.
WHEELERSBURG 12 12 10 10 10 — 55: A. Kallner 11, Keeney 9, E. Kallner 10, Darnell 23.
FAIRLAND 17 4 16 8 0 — 45: E. Marshall 3, Lyons -6, A. Marshall 6, Warnock 7, Thompson 8, Stone 5.