PDT Sports Contributor
LUCASVILLE — When a team features a good one-two scoring punch from the inside and the outside, that aforementioned team can be difficult to beat.
Aleah Pelphrey and Emily Legg acted as that one-two punch as the tandem combined for 36 points to lead the No. 3 Piketon Redstreaks to a 65-42 victory over No. 6 West Union in a Division III Sectional Final Saturday at Valley High School.
Piketon, which moved to 15-7 on the season and stayed undefeated outside of conference play with the victory, went on a 12-2 run to start the game and never looked back for the rest of the contest as the Dragons were not able to either tie the game or take the lead in the contest for the rest of the way.
Brett Coreno was especially pleased with his Redstreaks’ performance in the second half as Piketon, which led by 11 at halftime, extended the lead to 21 points by the end of the third quarter and went up by as many as 25 points during the fourth quarter before both teams began emptying their benches later on in the same frame.
“Just coming out in the third quarter and jumping on (the opponent) a little bit,” Coreno said. “We haven’t been able to do that over the last two games. Tonight, we came out with the right mindset and the right frame of mind in the second half. That was great to see.”
Pelphrey was a force all night long as the 6-0 senior tallied a total of 23 points, 14 of which came in the second half of the contest.
Coreno says that Pelphrey and Kalen Jenkins have shown great leadership throughout the season for the Redstreaks.
“(Pelphrey) and Kay-Kay, my two seniors, have been leaders on and off the floor,” Coreno said. “Aleah had a great game today, making moves in the paint and finishing and being the glue to our defense and offense, and Kay-Kay is coming along from a partially torn ACL and is starting to get back into her rhythm.”
When Pelphrey wasn’t scoring on the inside, it was Legg who would step up and hit the shots from the outside. Legg finished with 13 points on the night and accounted for all three of Piketon’s 3-pointers on the evening.
“Emily Legg stepped up tonight with her threes,” Coreno said. “She opened up our inside game and was just huge for us tonight.”
After the Redstreaks’ started the contest on a 12-2 run, West Union went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to two behind Taylor Martin. The 5-8 junior scored seven of her 11 points for the contest in the first quarter of play.
However, that run was as close as the Dragons would come in the contest as Piketon went on another sizable run (a 15-5 advantage) to extend the lead to 27-15 midway through the second quarter.
Both teams traded baskets and free throws for the remainder of the half as the Redstreaks held a 33-22 lead at the halftime break.
Piketon used the majority of the second half to go on its final big run of the contest as the Redstreaks outscored West Union 22-8 from the beginning of the third quarter to around the six minute mark of the fourth and final frame.
The run put the game out of reach with the margin at 55-30. Pelphrey proceeded to score eight of her team’s final 10 points to help set up the final tally.
With the win, Piketon will advance to play No. 2 Alexander in next week’s district tournament. The Spartans knocked off Chillicothe Southeastern, Piketon’s fellow SVC foe, 40-38 Saturday in a sectional final at Athens High School.
“I don’t know much about (Alexander),” Coreno said. “I sent a scout up (to Athens). We’ll start getting ready for them on Monday. We’ll enjoy this.”
West Union 13 9 8 12 – 42
Piketon 20 13 18 14 – 65
West Union – Runyon 0-1-1, Hanes 1-1-4, Akers 1-2-4, Martin 5-1-11, Grooms 2-2-6, Barr 5-0-11, Boldman 1-1-3, Chaney 1-0-2, Totals 16-8-42.
Piketon – Lawhorn 3-0-6, Legg 5-0-13, Pelphrey 10-3-23, Blanton 2-2-4, Scott 2-1-3, Pack 1-4-6, Ward 3-0-6, Travis 1-0-2, Totals 27-10-65.
3-Point Goals – West Union 2 (Hanes, Barr); Piketon 3 (Legg 3).
Records – West Union 6-16, Piketon 15-7.