Minford 56, Eastern 40
BEAVER —An 11th-hour site switch to Eastern High School did little to deter the Minford Falcons for Friday night.
With its originally-scheduled Southern Ohio Conference Division II tilt against the Eastern Eagles moved to Eastern with weather-related concerns, Minford made good on the relocation —and captured a 56-40 victory to sweep the season series.
Buoyed by grounding the Eagles to a pair of seven-point periods, the Falcons forged leads of 10-7 after the opening quarter, 23-19 at halftime and 36-26 following three frames.
The Falcons flew for 20 fourth-period points, including two of their three made three-point goals in the game.
With the win, Minford concluded its regular season at 13-8 —and at 9-7 in the SOC II.
Trenton Zimmerman, on eight baskets and 2-of-2 fourth-quarter free throws, poured in 18 points to pace the winners.
Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis and Matthew Risner also reached double figures for the Falcons — contributing 12 and 10 points respectively as both made four field goals.
Vogelsong-Lewis landed a fourth-frame three-pointer and meshed 3-of-4 second-stanza free throws, while Risner recorded four twos and 2-of-4 foul shots.
Skyler Knore knocked down a first-quarter deuce and a third-quarter trey for five points, while Drew Skaggs scored two twos for four — the same amount Nathaniel Knight notched on a fourth-quarter three and split of free throws.
Adam Crank with a first-quarter bucket, and Devan Parker with a split of fourth-quarter charity tosses, rounded out the Falcons’ scoring.
The Falcons finished with more made free throws (nine) than the Eagles even attempted (eight).
Eastern’s Isaac Richardson registered a team-high 11 points on five field goals —one of which was a first-quarter three-pointer.
Jake Tribby tallied 10 points on three field goals and 4-of-4 foul shots, as Neil Leist with two triples and Lance Burnett (five points) and Brennen Slusher with one apiece (three points) accounted for the Eagles’ other made threes.
Dillon Mattox managed four points on two fourth-quarter baskets.
The Falcons, the ninth-seeded squad in the Division III Southeast District sectional tournament, returned home on Monday night for its sectional semifinal game.
Minford was set to host 24th-seeded Crooksville — with the winner to face the winner of another sectional semifinal between eighth-seeded North Adams and No. 25 Nelsonville-York.
Western 56, Clay 37
LATHAM — Outscored by a doubled-up 29-15 margin in the middle two quarters, the Clay Panthers lost their final regular-season game of the season on Friday night — falling 56-37 to the host Western Indians in a Southern Ohio Conference Division I bout.
Clay trailed just 16-12 following the opening quarter, but Western won the second stanza 15-9 and the third frame 14-6 to put some distance between itself and the Panthers.
The loss concluded Clay’s regular season at 4-18, and 4-10 in the SOC I.
Shaden Malone, the Panthers’ senior standout, poured in a game-high 17 points on six baskets and 5-of-11 free throws.
Gavin Cayton connected for the Panthers’ two three-point goals en route to eight points, as Clay Cottle chipped in four on two twos.
Evan Balestra bagged 2-of-3 second-stanza free throws, and Jack Holbrook, Jaden Jessee and Bobby Deal dropped in a bucket apiece to round out the Clay scoring.
The Indians amassed 11 three-point goals —almost outscoring the Panthers by themselves from beyond the arc.
Kolten Miller made three en route to a team-high 14 points, as Reed Brewster buried three towards nine points — and Colton Montgomery and Sean Kerns canned two apiece towards eight points each.
Noah Whitt, with six baskets, wound up with a dozen markers.
Riley Beekman with a first-quarter three-ball, and Gavin Myers, with a fourth-frame two-pointer, rounded out the Western scoring.
The No. 18-seeded Panthers return to the road on Wednesday night, and travel to face 15th-seeded Paint Valley for a Division IV sectional semifinal.
Tipoff time is set for 7 p.m.
Ironton St. Joseph 87, East 34
IRONTON — In a Saturday Southern Ohio Conference Division I matinee makeup matchup, the Ironton St. Joseph Flyers coasted to an easy 87-34 victory over the visiting East Tartans.
The Tartans trailed 18-10 after the opening quarter, 37-19 at halftime, and 64-30 following three frames.
They were then outscored 25-4 in the final period — with their only points coming on an Ethan Base bucket and a pair of Levi Justice foul shots.
Eight East players scored, but only eight points was the high mark —by Landehn Pernell on three field goals and 2-of-3 freebies.
Austin Baughman bagged six points on two baskets and 2-of-3 free throws, while Jaylon Mayhew had three field goals for six points.
Justice was 3-of-4 from the stripe.
Devan Allard added five third-quarter points — on a deuce and the team’s only trey.
Base, Keagan Jackson and Kellen Grey garnered a bucket apiece.
J.C. Damron dialed up a game-high 25 points to pace the Flyers —on 10 total field goals and 2-of-4 foul shots.
East returned to the road, and returned to SOC I makeup action, on Monday night at Notre Dame.
The Tartans travel to South Gallia on Wednesday night for their Division IV sectional semifinal tilt.
Waverly 53, Jackson 38 (Girls sectional final)
WAVERLY — Nothing like waiting an extra day for your first sectional championship in over two decades.
That’s because the seventh-seeded Waverly Lady Tigers, for the first time since the year 2000, are Division II sectional champions — following Friday night’s 53-38 victory over 10th-seeded Jackson at Waverly High School.
Prior to Friday night’s final, the Lady Tigers last played on Feb. 6 — and were originally set to host Jackson on Thursday night, but the game got postponed a day due to inclement weather.
With the win, the Lady Tigers raised their record to 15-5 —and advanced to face second-seeded Vinton County in Tuesday night’s Division II district semifinals.
Waverly senior Paige Carter collected a hefty 23 points on seven total field goals and 8-of-13 free throws, including scoring her 1,000th career point in the game’s final stages.
Carter canned an important three-point goal in the fourth quarter, as Ava Little landed the only other Lady Tiger trey.
Carter completed a double-double with 11 rebounds, as Kelli Stewart scored 13 points on five baskets and 3-of-7 foul shots — and grabbed five boards.
The Lady Tigers took a 22-20 halftime lead, but outscored the Ironladies 31-18 in the second half en route to the win.
Little scored seven points on three total field goals, Zoiee Smith scored six points and dished out seven assists, and Carli Knight netted four points and made five steals.
Smith and Knight also had four rebounds apiece.
T.J. Carpenter, on four field goals and three made free throws, led the Ironladies with 11 points.
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