JACKSON — Where New Boston excelled during the first half of Saturday’s Division IV district semifinal, Trimble accordingly adjusted.
After living at the rim and hitting two threes during the first 16 minutes to take a 21-19 lead into halftime, the Lady Tigers were held to just four second-half field goals by the Lady Tomcats in their season-ending 44-34 loss in the first stage of district play.
After claiming their first sectional title since the 2017-18 season, New Boston coach Kayla Wiley and her team couldn’t manage enough offensive firepower during the final 16 minutes of play to earn their first win at the district stage since their semifinal win over Miller two years ago — a credit to the Lady Tomcats’ defense, Wiley believes.
“Trimble’s a physical, quick team that did a good job of denying us the ball,” Wiley said following the 10-point loss. “I thought we did a good job of taking it to the rim and getting fouled. When you swing the ball a few times and you have an open shot, it’s hard not to take it. Threes aren’t everything, but when they’re not falling, it’s frustrating. Hats off to Trimble, they made it difficult for us to get open.”
Taylen Hickman banked in a buzzer-beating three to cut the Lady Tigers’ first quarter deficit to one at 12-11.
Prior to that, Kenzie Whitley scored New Boston’s first field goal on a three to give the Lady Tigers a 3-2 lead over Trimble.
The book-end first-quarter threes would be the last for the Lady Tigers in the loss, however.
In the first half, New Boston’s defense kept sophomore six-foot one-inch post player Jayne Six scoreless, a credit to the defensive play of the senior Hickman and junior Shelby Easter.
“I thought Shelby did a great job of doing what we told her, play her (Six) baseline and staying there,” Wiley said. “I thought our guards did a good job of digging in. For the most part, I thought our defense was exactly what we had worked on in practice.”
Six would score a team-high 11 second-half points as the Lady Tomcats’ lead grew to as large as 11 during the final minutes.
Trimble sophomore Laikyn Imler scored a game-high 18 points, 12 of which came during the first half.
On a first-quarter made free throw, New Boston senior Lexus Oiler scored her 1,000th career point after entering Saturday’s district semifinal sitting square at 999 during her time in a Lady Tiger uniform.
Oiler finished with a team-high 12 points on three-made field goals and six-for-eight foul shooting.
“Lexus has started since her freshman year; she’s a great player, and she’s a competitor — that’s what I love about her,” Wiley said of Oiler. “They’re all competitors, but Lexus is always competing, whether it’s with her sister or whoever. You know she’s going to come in and compete in practice no matter the situation.”
Lexus, Sammy Oiler and Hickman are Wiley’s lone three seniors on this year’s New Boston team which played in Saturday’s loss to Trimble, while fellow seniors Adrianne Shultz, Kayla Akers and Morgan Hartley were part of the Lady Tigers’ postseason roster.
It’s a group that means not only a lot to the Lady Tigers’ program, but also to Wiley.
“This is my first group of seniors that I’ve coached for all four years since I’ve been here,”she said. “These girls have meant a lot. They’ve grown so much, they’ve taught me so much — as a coach and as a person.”
Trimble advances to its first district final since 2006 and will face No. 2-seed Peebles on Thursday night at Jackson High School.
New Boston 11 10 7 6 — 34
Trimble 12 7 14 11 — 44
NEW BOSTON (15-9)
Lexus Oiler 3 6-8 12, Cadence Williams 0 0-0 0, Shelby Easter 3 0-0 6, Kenzie Whitley 3 0-0 7, Dylan O’Rourke 1 0-0 2, Taylen Hickman 1 1-2 4, Sammy Oiler 1 1-2 3, Tonya Cook 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 12 8-12 34; Three-point field goals: 2 (Kenzie Whitley and Taylen Hickman 1 apiece)
Grace Adkins 0 0-0 0, Emily Calentine 0 1-2 1, Ashlynn Hardy 0 0-0 0, Laikyn Imler 8 2-4 18, Riley Campbell 1 0-0 2, Madaline Yuska 0 0-0 0, Briana Orsborne 1 0-0 2, Emily Young 4 2-3 10, Sophia Ives 0 0-0 0, Jayne Six 5 1-1 11; TOTALS: 19 6-10 44; Three-point field goals: none
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved