Lady Indians defend to win


LUCASVILLE — For members of the Valley Lady Indians girls basketball program, Wednesday’s win was a long time coming.

With their 38-24 home win over New Boston in a Division IV sectional final, the Lady Indians earned the program’s first sectional title since the 2013-14 season.

“It’s so exciting — I’ve been wanting this since my freshman year,” Valley senior Madison Montgomery said, after the game. “We’ve worked so hard to get here and it feels so good to finally cut down that net.”

It’s a goal the program’s been working toward for the last three years under head coach Tyson Phillips, and with their 14-point victory, they’ve punched their ticket into next week’s Division IV Southeast No. 1 district semifinals.

“That was a goal at the start. Get a sectional championship and move onto district play. It’s great to see the girls work paying off and see some success,” Phillips said. “They’re excited, have another chance to extend their season again, get to go play Notre Dame next week. This is the spot you want to be in.”

Valley’s defensive effort and execution showed up in a big way against the Lady Tigers.

In the first and third quarters, the Lady Indians held their guests to a combined two points — taking a 31-16 lead into the final period of play.

“In practice we focus a lot on our 2-3 defense, jumping to their passes and trying to get steals,” Valley senior Lucie Ashkettle said. “The deflections were really important for us.”

“That’s something we’ve got to hang our hat on,” Phillips said. “Twenty-three games so far and we’ve had our struggles on offense. But the last few weeks, they’ve been really paying attention to detail in the scouting report. Forcing people to beat you that you’d want, and I felt like we did a good job of taking their couple leading scorers away. We had help on both sides, coverage on their ball screens which was good to see.” ‘

The Lady Indians were led by Montgomery’s game-high 17 points on seven field goals and three-of-three foul shooting.

Senior Savannah Easter and juniors Lexie Morrow and Emilie Johnson all scored six points apiece for Valley, while Ashkettle added three points.

With the win, the No. 8-seed Lady Indians (9-14) advance to the Southeast No. 1 district semifinals — where they’ll face No. 1 seed Notre Dame (21-2) on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Southeastern High School.

Tipoff between the two Scioto County programs is set for 6:15 p.m.

“Definitely going to have to practice and prepare hard if we want the victory,” Easter said. “But I think we can do it.”

“It’s a position we’ve been in all year — we’re the underdogs,” Phillips said. “We’re coming in with nothing lose and coming in to battle. Hopefully if we can make a few more shots than we did tonight we can make it a game and see what happens.”



New Boston 0 14 2 8 — 24

Valley 11 11 9 7 — 38

New Boston (12-11, 8-6 SOC I): Julie Maynard 0 0-0 0, Arenda Gosselin 1 2-4 5, Cadence Williams 1 0-0 3, Myah Smith 0 0-0 0, Dylan O’Rourke 1 1-4 3, Brookyln Boyer 2 0-0 4, Cassie Williams 3 1-2 9; TOTALS: 8 4-10 24; Three-point field goals: 4 (Cassie Williams 2, Arenda Gosselin and Cadence Williams 1 apiece)

Valley (9-14, 6-10 SOC II): Bella Fultz 0 0-0 0, Kelsey LeBrun 0 0-0 0, Lucie Ashkettle 1 1-2 3, Karsyn Davis 0 0-0 0, Lani Spradlin 0 0-0 0, Savannah Easter 2 2-4 6, Emilie Johnson 3 0-0 6, Emilie Barr 0 0-0 0, Lexie Morrow 2 2-5 6, Mya Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Emily Roberts 0 0-0 0, Madison Montgomery 7 3-3 17, Cassidy Montgomery 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 15 8-14 38; Three-point field goals: none

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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