By Cody Leist
LUCASVILLE — West’s dreams of returning to the district tournament came a step short Saturday as No. 2 Lynchburg-Clay wore down the seventh-seeded Senators in a 72-49 Division III Southeast Sectional Final at Valley High School.
“We play easily about seven or eight girls, (two of them) coming off the bench so our legs got a little bit tired,” West coach Kayla Wiley said. “We came back, we gave it our all and some things weren’t going our way. Our shots weren’t falling, we got some key people in foul trouble but I’m proud of my girls, they fought hard until the end and that’s all that I can ask for.”
The Mustangs, who never trailed in the contest, used a 14-2 run through most of the opening period to build a comfortable lead at 19-6 before Alex Ridout gave the Senators some hope entering the second when she banked in a 3-pointer before the buzzer.
As both teams played to a 16-16 wash in the second, West made its final push early in the third thanks to a 7-2 spurt to start the third at 27-32, but Lynchburg-Clay countered with a 10-2 run and never looked back. The ringleader of the Mustang offense was Ali Little, who had a game-high 20 points.
Despite fouling out with 6:11 left in the contest, Taylor Conley led West with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Ridout added 16 in the defeat.
“Whether (Conley) is scoring points, which she did tonight, or she’s not, she’s a leader out there,” Wiley said. “She’s our leader out there and and she helps out. The three seniors are leaders but she’s one of the main ones, talking, always giving our team intensity and cheering us on.”
The Senators will graduate Conley, Ridout and Bobbie Jo Howard, who finished with two points.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or on Twitter @CodyLeist.
West 9 16 11 13 — 49
Lynchburg-Clay 19 16 16 21 — 72
West — Coleman 0-1-1, Conley 6-7-19, Whittaker 2-0-5, Throckmorton 1-0-2, Butcher 0-3-3, Ridout 5-5-16, Howard 0-2-2, Williams 0-1-1, Totals 14-19-49.
Lynchburg-Clay — Fittro 2-2-6, Creighton 6-3-16, Little 10-0-20, Waits 0-1-1, Rosselott 4-2-10, Wills 0-3-3, H. Binkley 2—27, M. Binkley 1-4-6, Leininger 1-1-3, Totals 26-18-72.
3-Point Goals — West 2 (Whittaker, Ridout); Lynchburg-Clay 2 (Crieghton, H. Binkley).
Records — West 5-17; Lynchburg-Clay 16-6