Minford sinks late FTs in win at Valley


LUCASVILLE — With the game on the line, the Minford Lady Falcons hit some clutch free throws.

During Monday’s Southern Ohio Conference Division II tilt between the Lady Falcons and host Valley, Minford sophomores Ava Cronin and Lexi Conkel went four-of-four at the foul line — helping secure a 46-39 win over the Lady Indians.

After a bucket by Valley senior Madison Montgomery cut the Minford lead to one possession at 42-39 with 1:01 left, Conkel and Cronin stepped up to the charity stripe and sank their shots.

“When you have a season of 22 games, you’re going to have games like this. You’re going to have games where you have to grind away and we did,” Minford coach Chuck Miller said, after the win. “We would extend the lead, they would hit a three or have a three-point play, and we’d extend it back. Told the girls that I was very proud of them tonight because Valley played very well. Knew we were in for a battle.”

Minford led by as many as 11 points in the contest, taking a 19-8 lead in the early second quarter.

From then on, Valley chipped and chipped away some more at the Falcon lead.

By halftime, the Lady Indians had made it a two-point game, entering the break trailing 21-19.

“It’s something we’ve stressed, competing for four quarters. Both teams really battled tonight,” Valley coach Tyson Phillips said. “That’s something you want every game to be like. Two evenly-matched teams and a possession either way could be the difference.”

Minford saw a balanced scoring sheet in the road victory, led by Conkel’s team-high 11 points.

Sophomore Lindsee Williams scored 10, Cronin finished with eight, and sophomore Marlee Pendleton finished with seven.

Valley was led in scoring by senior Madison Montgomery’s 16 points and junior Lexie Morrow’s 12 points.

“We’re very solid defensively. Sometimes we struggle to score the basketball. But game in game out, our defense has been a constant,” Miller said. “Any team wants to be balanced. In the first half, our bigs did a chunk of our scoring, second half our guards stepped up. We’ll take it in a win.”

Minford earned a 47-45 win over Waverly on Thursday, improving their record to 11-4 (9-2 SOC II).

Valley fell to South Webster 55-40, dropping their mark to 5-9 (3-7 SOC II).



Minford 13 8 16 9 — 46

Valley 6 13 12 8 — 39

Minford (10-4, 8-2 SOC II): Lexi Pendleton 1 0-0 2, Maggie Risner 2 2-2 6, Ava Cronin 3 2-2 8, Emma Carter 0 0-0 0, Lexi Conkel 3 2-2 11, Lindsee Williams 5 0-2 10, Marlee Pendleton 3 1-3 7, Lainey Howard 1 0-0 2; TOTALS: 18 7-11 46; Three-point field goals: 3 (Lexi Conkel 3)

Valley (5-8, 3-6 SOC II): Kelsey LeBrun 0 0-0 0, Lucie Ashkettle 0 1-3 1, Karsyn Davis 0 0-0 0, Savannah Easter 4 0-0 10, Emilie Johnson 0 0-0 0, Lexie Morrow 5 0-0 12, Madison Montgomery 6 3-3 16; TOTALS: 15 4-6 39; Three-point field goals: 5 (Savannah Easter and Lexie Morrow 2 apiece, Madison Montgomery 1)

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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