West wins at Burg…again


WHEELERSBURG — Apparently, at least in the regular season, the tide has indeed turned in the annual girls basketball rivalry that is West and Wheelersburg.

That’s because, for the third time in four meetings with all three coming consecutive in the regular season, the West Lady Senators are victors over the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates —as West won Thursday night’s Southern Ohio Conference Division III tilt by a count of 51-37 in Pirate Country.

With the win, the Lady Senators raised their record to 12-3 — and to 4-1 in the SOC III, remaining a game back of the 5-0 (SOC III) Minford Lady Falcons for first place in the league.

The difference in the standings you ask?

Minford’s Maggie Risner rose up and hit a buzzer-beater to down the Lady Senators —a 39-37 outcome two weeks ago at Minford.

But credit to West — a week later winning at archenemies Wheelersburg for the second straight season.

It was a battle for outright second-place in the SOC III, as the Lady Pirates fell to 7-6 —and to 3-2 in the division.

Last year, the Lady Senators swept Wheelersburg in the regular season —en route to winning their first-ever SOC championship in girls basketball.

In fact, the first win — which was also at Wheelersburg — marked the end of the Lady Pirates’ 60-game SOC II winning streak.

Wheelersburg won the third matchup —the Division III Region 11 championship for the Lady Pirates’ first all-time state tournament appearance.

But on Thursday night, now meeting as SOC III squads in the first year for the three-division setup, West led after each stop — and ultimately won by double digits.

The Lady Senators held a 16-9 advantage after the opening period, extended it slightly to 29-20 at halftime, and then outscored the senior-less Lady Pirates 10-6 in the third frame to lead 39-26 following three cantos.

All Wheelersburg could counter in the third quarter with was a field goal apiece by Jaylinn Prather, Peyton May and Emma Smith.

The Lady Pirates graduated seven standout seniors off last season’s squad, so Wheelersburg is undergoing a rare reload for this year.

Still, per second-year West head coach Larry Howell, there is never an apology necessary when the Lady Senators defeat the Lady Pirates.

“I’m just proud of how hard our kids competed in a tough atmosphere. Any time you can get a win against Wheelersburg it’s well-deserved. It was a complete team effort offensively, defensively and rebounding for four quarters,” said Howell. “The kids have been working hard in practice, and it’s paying off for them at a crucial time in the season.”

West is spearheaded by four seniors, including Katie Rollins, who scored 16 points and made 2-of-2 free throws —and also canned both of the Lady Senators’ two three-point goals.

Emma Sayre, the (Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association) all-Southeast District Division III second-team senior standout point guard, added a dozen points —on four field goals and 4-of-6 free throws.

Both Rollins and Sayre shot 4-of-7 apiece from inside the three-point line, and both grabbed four rebounds — while Sayre tied freshman Hailey Carver with three steals.

Then seniors Emily Moore made two baskets and Kamryn Spriggs had one.

But a freshman, six-foot Macey Whisman, was West’s leader in points —scoring a tied for game-high 17 on seven field goals and 3-of-3 foul shots.

Whisman, who tallied 10 points after halftime, shot 7-of-11 from the field — and nearly notched a double-double with nine rebounds.

West held a 20-12 advantage in total field goals, and was 9-of-11 at the line —with Rollins and Sayre sinking two apiece in the opening quarter, and Whisman adding an old-fashioned three-point play.

Sayre and Whisman went 2-of-2 from the charity stripe in the fourth.

The 5-8 sophomore Prather, with five field goals including three threes and 4-of-4 free throws, posted 17 points to pace the Lady Pirates.

Two of her three treys came in the first period —when Wheelersburg scored nine points, but fell behind 16-9.

The fellow 5-8 sophomore May —with three field goals and five first-half made free throws — added 11.

Mia Vastine made two buckets for four points, and Makenzie Mullins made a second-stanza three-pointer.

West, with Monday’s 55-24 rout of visiting Waverly, remains right behind the Lady Falcons (6-0 in SOC III) for the league lead.

Minford and West will rematch on Monday night (Jan. 29) at The Rock.

* * *

West 16 13 10 12— 51

Wheelersburg 9 11 6 11 – 37

WEST 51 (12-3, 4-1 SOC III)

Macey Whisman 7 3-3 17, Allyson Buckner 0 0-0 0, Adi Stephens 0 0-0 0, Kate Rollins 6 2-2 16, Kamryn Spriggs 1 0-0 2, Emma Sayre 4 4-6 12, Hailey Carver 0 0-0 0, Emily Moore 2 0-0 4; TOTALS 20 9-11 51; Three-point goals: 2 (Kate Rollins 2)


Mia Vastine 2 0-0 4, Mylee Gleim 0 0-0 0, Laynee Walker 0 0-0 0, Emma Smith 1 0-0 2, Makenzie Mullens 1 0-0 3, Jaylinn Prather 5 4-4 17, Ava Estep 0 0-0 0, Peyton May 3 5-8 11; TOTALS 12 9-12 37; Three-point goals: 4 (Jaylinn Prather 3, Makenzie Mullens 1)

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on X @paulboggssports © 2024 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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