McDERMOTT — Experience is a younger player’s best friend.
Five games into the 2021-22 girls basketball season — and the Minford Lady Falcons are playing with a winning record.
Their 41-25 win over Northwest on Monday — Minford’s third road game in four league contests — in Southern Ohio Conference Division II play pushed it over the .500-mark for the first time this season.
Lady Falcons coach Shane Davis said his team, which utilizes one senior, a sophomore, and five freshmen in its rotation is rounding into form with more game experience.
“They’re young but they’ve come along. Effort level on the defensive end, they’re really starting to figure it out. They’ve played a lot of basketball together, and the more basketball we play the better off we’ll be.”
Minford (3-2, 2-2 SOC II) doubled up Northwest (1-4, 0-4 SOC II) in the first half, taking a 16-8 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Lady Falcons scored a game-best 13 and 15 points in the second and fourth quarters in the crunch time of each half.
“They (Northwest) did a good job defensively, they have good defenders. Once we settled in and were able to penetrate and kick, we were able to get some open looks and shots at the rim,” Davis said.
Freshman Lexi Conkel led the Lady Falcons with a game-high 16 points on six made field goals (three-three pointers) and a free throw.
Freshman Lindsee Williams scored 10 on four field goals and a perfect 2-of-2 clip at the foul line.
Sophomore Kynedi Davis scored six points, all in the second half, freshman Ava Cronin had five, and senior Bella Reffit and freshman Savannah Cantrell had two apiece.
“She’s (Conkel) so quick off the dribble. There were a lot of times tonight we’d get out in transition out of a rebound and she’d run the floor in space with the ball,” Davis said, of his leading scorer. “Defensively if you cross over in front of her, she forces a turnover. And her sense on the floor, more she plays the better it gets.”
Northwest was led in scoring by senior Reagan Lewis’ six points.
Ava Jenkins and Faith Jewett each scored five, Daria Compton scored four, and Harley Rigsby three in the contest.
Lady Mohawks coach Dave Frantz said although his team’s defensive effort was evident, they lacked enough juice on the offensive end to end ahead on the scoreboard.
“Scoring eight points in the first half, 12 points in three quarters, we need more production on offense. Our defense was really strong, battling, and it kept us in the game,” Frantz said. “We make a run in the fourth because we were aggressive on the offensive end.”
Northwest hosts Oak Hill on Thursday (Dec. 9) in SOC II play.
Tip time is set for 6 p.m.
“With (Chloe) Chambers inside and they’ve got some guards that can shoot, it can be a tough game,” Frantz said, of facing the Oaks. “But it’s one that if we start attacking them more and be aggressive, it’ll be a good matchup.”
Minford will look to extend its two-game winning streak to three — when it hosts South Webster on Thursday (Dec. 9).
“We’ve got to keep the intensity up because we’ve got a tough stretch coming up. South Webster returning four of five, we have to keep up our energy against them,” Davis said. “When you get in the game or are out of the game, keep your energy high and be your team’s biggest cheerleader.”
Minford 3 13 10 15 — 41
Northwest 4 4 4 13 — 25
MINFORD 41 (3-2, 2-2 SOC II)
Ava Cronin 2 1-2 5, Bella Reffit 1 0-0 2, Kynedi Davis 3 0-0 6, Lexi Conkel 6 1-3 16, Lindsee Williams 4 2-2 10, Maggie Risner 0 0-0 0, Savannah Cantrell 1 0-0 2; TOTALS: 17 4-7 41; Three-point field goals: 3 (Lexi Conkel 3)
NORTHWEST 25 (1-4, 0-4 SOC II)
Harley Rigsby 1 0-0 3, Daria Compton 2 0-0 4, Ava Jenkins 2 1-2 5, Faith Jewett 1 3-6 5, Reagan Lewis 2 2-4 6, Audrey Knittel 0 0-0 0, Kloe Montgomery 1 0-2 2; TOTALS: 9 6-14 25; Three-point field goals: 1 (Harley Rigsby 1)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved