PIKETON — No matter the metric, the Notre Dame Lady Titans were simply firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s Division IV district championship game versus Eastern Meigs.

Inside the confines of the Piketon High School gymnasium, the Lady Titans earned a 69-34 win over the Lady Eagles to claim their program’s first win in a district final and trip to the Region 15 tournament since the 2019-20 season.

69 points is the fourth-most points Notre Dame has scored thus far this campaign and was a result of stellar execution — both in the half court and in transition.

The Lady Titans shot 27-of-39 (69.2-percent) from the floor and seven-of-12 (58.3-percent) from three. They assisted on 17 of their 27 field goals and out-rebounded the Lady Eagles 30-13.

“We shot the ball well and I thought we executed very well,” ND coach J.D. McKenzie said, after the game. “We were sharp in our sets, we screened and spaced better than we did the other night. We were more fundamentally sound offensively and it showed on the scoreboard.”

Junior Gracie Ashley led Notre Dame with a game-high 17 points on six-of-nine shooting and 10 rebounds.

15 of her 17 came in the first half as the Lady Titans took a 39-19 lead into halftime.

Notre Dame junior Gracie Ashley (34) led her Lady Titans with a game-high 17 points during their 69-34 victory over Eastern Meigs in a Division IV district final.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

“We came out super energized and hot,” Ashley said. “I think we executed very, very well. Only had a few mistakes offensively, we ran our plays and did a good job of doing what we were supposed to do.”

A buzzer-beating three pointer by senior Annie Dettwiller at the halftime horn is what allowed the Lady Titans to take a 20-point edge into the locker room.

Dettwiller finished with 14 points on six-of-eight shooting, as she also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists on ND buckets.

Notre Dame senior Annie Dettwiller (11) goes for a layup during the Lady Titans 69-34 win over Eastern Meigs in a Division IV district final.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

“It’s unreal,” Dettwiller said. “These past few years we’ve come up short in the district championship. To be able to come out on top in this one, it’s such a great feeling.”

With a 20-point lead at the half, Notre Dame showed zero signs of slowing down as they doubled-up Eastern Meigs 30-15 in the second half.

Senior Kamryn Bradford caught fire in the final 16 minutes, scoring each of her 15 points as the Lady Titans expanded their lead in that time.

Bradford knocked down three-of-four three pointers in the win on a five-of-eight shooting day overall.

Notre Dame senior Kamryn Bradford (10) scored 15 points in the second half of the Lady Titans’ 69-34 win over Eastern Meigs in a Division IV district final.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

“It’s nice have those options inside and it makes us really hard to stop,” Bradford said. “It’s a confidence boost because no matter what they (defense) does, we always have options to score.”

Sophomore Annabelle Ball gave Notre Dame 20 minutes off the bench in a reserve role, scoring eight points on four-of-five shooting with two steals on defense.

Junior Ella Kirby sank a pair of three pointers in the first half as part of her nine-point outing, adding five assists and three steals to her stat line.

Junior Katie Strickland scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

“We’re better shooting from outside when it’s coming inside-out,” McKenzie said. “Ella got some open looks early and knocked those down, Kam was shooting with confidence. Gracie had a heck of a game inside and showed she can shoot it outside too. Annabelle had a great game, running our offense and not turning it over. Probably one of the best games I’ve seen her have in a long time.”

Notre Dame advances to the Region 15 semifinals where they’ll face a familiar foe — Lancaster Fisher Catholic.

The Lady Titans earned a 59-43 win on their home court over the Irish back on Dec. 30.

Tip-off between the Lady Titans and Irish is set for 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 at Pickerington North High School.

“We’re going to get back to watching film on them,” McKenzie said, of facing Fisher Catholic a second time. “We played pretty well against them at our place, but it will be different. I’m sure they’ve gotten better. They’re going to be a mainly zone team with two big girls, going to have to shoot it well again and be patient. Try and limit their bigs and they’ve got a couple of good guards as well.”



Eastern Meigs 7 12 6 9 — 34

Notre Dame 24 15 16 14 — 69

Eastern Meigs: Julie Durst 3 1-1 7, Hope Reed 2 0-0 5, Erica Durst 1 0-1 2, Sydney Reynolds 2 2-2 7, Kimerly Lyons 0 0-0 0, Abby Guthrie 1 2-3 5, Maddison Johnson 0 0-0 0, Ella Carleton 4 0-0 8; TOTALS: 13 5-7 34; Three-point field goals: 3 (Hope Reed, Sydney Reynolds, Abby Guthrie 1 apiece)

Notre Dame (23-2): Ella Kirby 3 1-2 9, Kamryn Bradford 5 2-2 15, Annie Dettwiller 6 1-4 14, Savannah Holtgrewe 0 0-0 0, Bree Hicks 0 0-0 0, Annabelle Ball 4 0-0 8, Kaylyn Darden 0 0-0 0, Gracie Ashley 6 4-6 17, Katie Strickland 3 0-0 6; TOTALS: 27 8-14 69; Three-point field goals: 7 (Kamryn Bradford 3, Ella Kirby 2, Annie Dettwiller, Gracie Ashley 1 apiece)

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