McDERMOTT – The South Webster Lady Jeeps made a statement Thursday evening at Northwest High School. Their statement was not of the verbal variety, rather it was a statement of play. The Lady Jeeps dominated the Paint Valley Lady Bearcats, sending a message to the rest of the OHSAA Division IV field that South Webster is ready to compete, and win.
In a game that was only close in the first few minutes, the Lady Jeeps were never contested, as they dominated the Paint Valley Lady Bearcats 57-29.
With the win, South Webster claimed a Sectional Championship, and an advancement to the district round.
The Lady Jeeps controlled the game from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer. South Webster jumped out to a 5-0 lead, before giving up the first, and only basket to Paint Valley in the first quarter.
After Paint Valley’s Lea McFadden scored the only field goal in the first quarter for the Lady Bearcats, South Webster scored an additional 18 points in the quarter to take a 21-point lead at the end of the period, 23-2.
The Lady Bearcats were able to out-perform their first quarter offensive production, but could not stop the Lady Jeep scoring machine. South Webster still outscored Paint valley 15-9 in the second quarter, expanding their already commanding lead.
At halftime, South Webster led Paint Valley 38-11.
The Lady Bearcats had their best period in the third quarter. They scored a game high 11 points in the quarter, and held South Webster to only one free throw in the first few minutes of the third quarter, and to only nine points in the entire quarter.
That would be the only quarter Paint Valley outscored or outperformed South Webster in the entire game.
In the final quarter of the game, South Webster continued to roll against Paint Valley. South Webster coach Kristie Johnson started filtering in her bench players to pick up some essential tournament minutes.
As time continued to fade out to zeros across the board, the Lady Jeeps held a 26-point lead over Paint Valley, defeating the Lady Bearcats, 57-29.
“We were eager to play,” Johnson said. “The thing about tournament, especially around here, our sectional and district, we’ve got a week between games, but we were just eager to play.”
The Lady Jeeps came out ready to play. They were hot right from the opening tipoff.
“We kind of settled in, and then broke down a little bit on some things,” Johnson said. “All in all, I’m happy. Sectional Championship, you know, you’re always happy about that, but you can tell they want more. So, hopefully we can do that.”
Tournament play is always a big deal for South Webster, it is a part of the Lady Jeep culture, according to Johnson.
“We work for the tournament,” Johnson said. “The league, of course, is great. We love to win the league, but our season is to get us ready for tournament. That’s the reason we always focus on it.”
The first game of tournament play is always an intangible, which Johnson knows very well.
“You never know about that first game of tournament,” Johnson said. “You don’t know how they’re going to come out. I could tell they were ready to play, but sometimes nerves get in the way. All in all, I’m very pleased with the way we started.”
The Lady Jeeps will remain out of action until February 20th, when they will have their first game of the district round. That game will take place at Jackson High School.
Johnson is not overjoyed with the fact her team will have to wait nine days until they hit the hardwood again.
“I hate it,” Johnson said. “The only good thing about it is we are expecting some snow, so if we have to cancel some practices, it’s not that big of a deal. I hate this long delay, trying to keep everybody focused, but in one way it does help us because when the time comes, we’ll be ready to play.”
South Webster will face Racine Southern in their first district game. Racine Southern defeated Symmes Valley 48-40 at Meigs High School Thursday night.
South Webster – Hall 8-2-21, E. Johnson 5-4-15, K. Johnson 6-1-13, Weakley 2-0-4, Stamper 1-0-3, Wilson 0-1-1
Paint Valley – McFadden 3-0-8, Woods 1-4-6, Newland 2-0-4, Dunn 2-0-4, Hackworth 1-1-3, Smith 1-0-2, Kirkbride 1-0-2
Three-point field goals – South Webster 5 (Hall 3, E. Johnson, Stamper) Paint Valley 2 (McFadden 2)
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.