By Cody Leist
LUCASVILLE — Most of the main cast that last year’s magical West girls basketball team may have left to graduation, but those who remain want to reclaim that glory.
Wednesday night, the seventh-seeded Senators took one step closer to the goal of revisiting the district finals with a 62-38 win over No. 10 Adena in a Division III Southeast Sectional Semifinal at Valley High School. West advances to Saturday’s championship against No. 2 Greenfield McClain.
“All my seniors have that taste of getting to play at The Convo (Ohio University’s Convocation Center),” Senators coach Kayla Wiley said. “They’re hoping to make it far this year and hopefully get to play in that atmosphere. They like the competitiveness, that’s what they told me all year, ‘coach, I can’t wait until tournament time, I can’t wait to play.’”
Once Alex Ridout scored the two points of the game, West was never behind nor in a tie throughout the contest. Wiley felt Ridout, who chalked up the first eight points of the contest for the Senators and went on to a game-high 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting and added nine rebounds, played her best game of the season.
However, Megan Wilburn’s basket closed the Warriors’ deficit to 11-10 after the first. Wiley’s speech and adjustments in-between periods fired up the West attack with a 22-8 edge in the second, which resulted in a 33-18 lead at the half.
Wiley said the big change was switching to a zone then turning up the heat on the Adena ballhandlers. Of the 19 turnovers committed by the Warriors in the first half, West converted them into 17 points.
“We played them previously in the year and they had some trouble with pressure,” Wiley said. “I told them that we had to be up on them and pressuring the ball.”
When the final horn sounded, Adena was guilty of 34 miscues. The Senators turned them into 26 points.
McKenzie Whittaker added 10 points while Taylor Conley finished with eight points and 10 rebounds in the first tournament victory for Wiley in her first season at the helm.
“It’s always great to get your first tournament win out of the way,” Wiley said. “It was a little bit crazy, we had a little trouble shooting tonight but we ended up pulling off a win. I’m happy with that and on to the next game.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Adena 10 8 9 11 — 38
West 11 22 10 19 — 62
Adena — Rawlings 1-0-2, Lamb 1-0-2, C. Shea 2-0-4, Foster 3-0-7, Wilburn 5-4-17, Putnam 3-0-6, Totals 15-4-38.
West — Oiler 2-2-6, Coleman 1-0-2, Conley 3-2-8, Whittaker 4-0-10, Throckmorton 0-2-2, Butcher 2-1-5, Ridout 12-3-27, Williams 1-0-2, Totals 25-10-62.
3-Point Goals — Adena 4 (Wilburn 3, Foster); West 2 (Whittaker 2).
Records — Adena 1-22; West 5-15.