PDT Sports Contributor
JACKSON – It’s extremely difficult to beat a top-ranked team when that team is off of its game, let alone when that aforementioned team is on its game.
However, Reedsville Eastern was hitting on all cylinders Thursday night as the Eagles nailed 11 3-pointers – including eight in the first half alone – to defeat Clay by a 84-30 tally Thursday evening in another Division IV District Final held at Jackson High School.
The Panthers, however, never quit playing in the contest and that is what Kelly White admired most about his team on the evening.
“They never quit,” White said. “That’s what we talked about (before the game). We knew they were really good when we saw (Reedsville Eastern) play Notre Dame. They played the whole 32 minutes and that’s all we can ask of them.”
“… (Reedsville Eastern’s) a great team. If they shoot like they did tonight, they have a really good chance at winning the Division IV title. They don’t just score, they play defense and guard you.”
The Eagles got to work right away to start the game as Reedsville Eastern built a 12-0 advantage by the midway point of the first frame before Emily Widdowson’s basket stopped the drought.
White said that Widdowson, who scored a team-high 13 points in the contest, got a hot hand over the last month of the season.
“(Widdowson) had a great senior year,” White said. “She really turned it on the last month of the season.”
“… She led us in scoring, and stepped up and took the shots when they were there. When people sagged off of her, she shot the ball and she did a great job of shooting it. She’s not afraid to shoot; she took it in right into their big players.”
Reedsville Eastern would use the second quarter to go on another run, a 20-5 spurt, to put the margin at 47-15 at halftime. Jordan Parker was the big contributor for the Eagles in the first half as the senior guard scored 17 of her 20 points in the first half of play.
Jenna Fredette’s output in the second half would allow Reedsville Eastern to build upon its lead as the senior scored 13 of her 20 in the second pair of quarters.
Reedsville Eastern would continue to build upon its lead in the fourth quarter until mass substitutions were made late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
For Clay, the Panthers bid farewell to six seniors as Madison Freeman, Shannon Curley, Emily Widdowson, Katie Redding, Mary Shelby, and Larissa Lockwood played their final high school basketball game Thursday evening.
White said that the seniors have set a great example on and off the floor and were also a joy to coach for four years.
“They’ve just been a great group to coach,” White said. “Whatever you need out of them, whatever you ask them to do, they do it to the best of their abilities. They work hard, they’re good leaders, and they’re good role models for the younger players, great kids, and great students. We’re really going to miss them.”
With the win, Reedsville Eastern moves to 23-1 on the season and will move on to play Waterford in the regional semifinals, which will be held at Jackson High School on March 6th.
The winner of that contest will move on to the regional finals, which will be held at Pickerington North High School on March 8th.
Clay 8 7 14 1 – 30
Reedsville Eastern 23 25 24 13 – 84
Clay – Freeman 1-0-3, Whitley 0-1-1, Gilliland 3-0-6, Curley 1-0-3, Widdowson 5-2-13, Redding 0-3-3, Wolfe 0-1-1, Totals 10-7-30.
Reedsville Eastern – Pullins 4-1-11, Parker 8-0-20, Burdette 9-0-20, Keller 3-0-6, Hupp 1-0-3, H. Barringer 2-2-6, M. Barringer 1-0-2, Rigsby 5-0-12, Swatzel 2-0-4, Totals 35-3-84.
3-Point Goals – Clay 3 (Freeman, Curley, Widdowson); Reedsville Eastern 11 (Parker 4, Pullins 2, Burdette 2, Risgby 2, Hupp).
Records – Clay 18-6, Reedsville Eastern 23-1.