Clay falls to Lady Vikings in sectional


WILLOW WOOD — The Clay Lady Panthers, under second-year head coach Drew Emnett, improved immensely from last season’s two-win campaign —and a winless winter the year before.

Unfortunately for the 10th-seeded Lady Panthers, which played with just six players on Wednesday night, their continued improvement must wait — until picking up again next year.

That’s because a deeper and seventh-seeded Symmes Valley Lady Vikings unit simply wore down the low-numbers Lady Panthers —and pulled away with a 66-39 triumph in a Division IV sectional championship bout.

Clay, which finished at 9-13, was a sweep victim to the Lady Vikings in the regular season —losing both Southern Ohio Conference Division I matchups, including one just two weeks ago, by at least 22 points.

Clay kept things close for the first half, trailing 16-9 after the opening canto and 34-24 for halftime.

But the Lady Vikings vanquished what had to be some exhausted Lady Panthers in the third frame —outscoring Clay 22-4.

The Lady Panthers’ third-period points consisted of only a Maggie Swayne field goal and a pair of Sophia Craft free throws.

Sarah Cassidy, a sophomore, connected for seven three-point goals for a game-high 21 points —including four in the second stanza to keep the Lady Panthers within striking distance.

Swayne — a senior — scored eight points, including a deuce and a trey in the fourth frame.

Craft also had a first-quarter basket, as senior Morgan McCoy scored all six of her points in the first half —on two buckets and 2-of-4 free throws.

The only other Lady Panthers playing on Wednesday night were fellow seniors Amadea Everman and Ava Davis.

The Lady Vikings placed three players in double figures —Hailee Beckett with 15 points on six field goals and 3-of-4 free throws, Desiree Simpson with 12 points including a first-quarter three-pointer, and Breanna Tibbs with 10.

Jordan Ellison added nine points, including a second-quarter three.

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