SOUTH WEBSTER — It took the Portsmouth West Lady Senators about four minutes to settle in, but once they did, the results bore out their motivation.
After South Webster junior Bri Claxon began the game on a personal 7-0 run on a trio of made field goals in the first three-and-a-half minutes, the Lady Senators’ defense managed to take over.
Over the course of the final 28 minutes on Monday, West (8-6, 7-5 SOC II) surrendered just 30 points to South Webster (11-7, 7-6 SOC II) while passing the half-century mark itself — in its 52-37 road win in Southern Ohio Conference Division II play.
After the initial slump, the Lady Senators outscored the Lady Jeeps 12-4 to close out the first — holding Claxon to just a pair of field goals in the final 12 minutes of the half.
West coach Megan Artrip said following the win that the Senators’ defensive adjustments after SW’s opening run helped pay off throughout the course of the game.
“We made adjustments after Bri (Claxon) scored seven unanswered points,” Artrip said. “Lexi Deaver stepped up and Claxon only scored four points the rest of the half. Our help side defense was lights out.”
Five different Lady Senators scored at least four points during the first half, with sophomore Haley Coleman leading the way with a team-high six on three made twos.
Junior Eden Cline connected on her first field goal in the second quarter — her first of three three-point makes en route to her team-high 15-point effort.
Ten of Cline’s 15 came in the second half, five coming in the third period when West outscored SW 18-3.
Maelynn Howell scored each of her three made field goals in the third — to go along with her 4-of-4 foul shooting in the second period.
Sophomore Lexi Deaver connected on a pair of three-pointers — one each in the first and third periods as part of her eight-point outing.
Keima Bennett scored five of her seven points in the first half, whereas sophomore Charlie Jo Howard scored each of her four in the fourth.
Claxon led the Lady Jeeps with a game-high 19 — on eight made field goals and 2-of-3 foul shooting.
Freshman Skylar Zimmerman scored five of her six points in the second half, while junior Faith Maloney scored each of her five in the first.
Senior Liz Shupert made a pair of two-point goals in the second for four points, and Kerith Wright knocked down a triple in the fourth for her three.
Although both teams had already received their respective seedings in the upcoming Southeast District sectional/district tournaments, both still have at least three SOC II contests left — to solidify their places in the league race.
West’s win over South Webster on Monday was just its second game following a coronavirus quarantine, the other being Saturday’s 71-36 win over Eastern.
With a slate of regular-season games to play before its subsequent postseason journey, Artrip says her and her team’s focus is on continued improvement.
“Absolutely glad to be back playing,” Artrip said. “We still have five regular-season games left. Our focus is improving each and every game.”
West will host Ironton St. Joe on Wednesday (Feb. 3) in a non-league contest, while the Lady Jeeps are set to travel to Wheelersburg on Thursday (Feb. 4) in SOC II play.
* * *
Portsmouth West 12 13 18 9 — 52
South Webster 11 10 3 13 — 37
PORTSMOUTH WEST 52 (8-6, 7-5 SOC II)
Maelynn Howell 3 4-6 10, Abby Adkins 0 0-2 0, Eden Cline 5 2-4 15, Haley Coleman 4 0-0 8, Emma Sayre 0 0-1 0, Lexi Deaver 3 0-0 8, Charlie Jo Howard 1 2-2 4, Keima Bennett 2 3-5 7; TOTALS 18 11-20 52; Three-point field goals: 5 (Eden Cline 3, Lexi Deaver 2)
SOUTH WEBSTER 37 (11-7, 7-6 SOC II)
Faith Maloney 2 1-2 5, Liz Shupert 2 0-0 4, Brooklyn Blanton 0 0-0 0, Bri Claxon 8 2-3 19, Kerith Wright 1 0-2 3, Skylar Zimmerman 1 3-4 6, Riley Raynard 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 14 6-11 37; Three-point field goals: 3 (Bri Claxon, Kerith Wright and Skylar Zimmerman 1 apiece)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved