Category: Waverly

Lady Mohawks outlast Tigers in 2OT thriller



Lady Mohawks outlast Tigers in 2OT thriller

By Paul Boggs


WAVERLY — For the Northwest Lady Mohawks, it indeed wasn’t the prettiest of outings on Thursday night, but it did make for the happiest of new years.

That’s because visiting Northwest — thanks to its overload of missed shots, turnovers, missed free throws and excess of execution mistakes — ended up working overtime on a rainy night at Waverly High School.

But in doing so, and fighting through their amass of adversity, the Lady Mohawks managed to rally — and escape — for a thrilling 49-47 double-overtime triumph over the Waverly Lady Tigers in a key Southern Ohio Conference Division II tilt.

That’s correct.

It took two overtimes on Thursday to clear up the second-place picture in the rugged SOC Division II race, as Northwest now stands out as that current runner-up club to Wheelersburg — as the Lady Mohawks raised their record to 10-1 and 6-1 in the SOC II.

Wheelersburg (7-0 SOC II), with its 30-point (70-40) runaway win at Eastern, remains in first-place in the division by a full game — having handed the Lady Mohawks their only league loss.

Waverly was trying to stay within common-sense striking distance of the Lady Pirates, but instead slipped and joined a pack of now four squads with already three SOC-II defeats.

The Lady Tigers are now 7-3 — and 3-3 in the SOC II.

But Thursday’s affair inside “The Jungle” was indicative of this season’s SOC II campaign.

Contests are close, teams are young, games go down to the wire and, in this instance — take two overtimes to eventually decide.

While acknowledging his Lady Mohawks have a lot of aspects to improve upon, Northwest coach Dave Frantz said the girls’ growth and grit guided them to the win at Waverly.

“Both teams had a lot of turnovers, missed shots, missed free throws, and you can blame that on anything, but there were 10 girls on the court tonight at all times just battling. Neither team gave up or gave in. There was one senior on the court tonight combined. You look at the missed shots, you look at the missed free throws and the turnovers, but in the end, you overcome your mistakes by not putting your head down and keep fighting,” said Frantz. “We didn’t quit fighting. I think our girls grew up and proved that to themselves.”

For the Lady Mohawks, which had led by as much as seven points twice including 11-4 at the end of the first quarter and 14-7 at the four-and-a-half minute mark of the second stanza on an Ava Jenkins old-fashioned three-point play, faced their biggest deficit in the second overtime — trailing 46-40 following a steal and layup by Waverly’s Zoiee Smith to cap a 10-2 run over the opening two-and-a-half minutes.

However, Northwest never surrendered — and instead suddenly stunned the Lady Tigers with a 9-1 run over the remaining 1:27 to win the game.

Taking advantage of two Tiger turnovers, three missed foul shots and a missed rebound putback, the Lady Mohawks made an incredible charge with very little time.

On the ensuing possession following Smith’s steal and score, Valerie Copas came right back and knocked in a three-pointer a dozen seconds later — slicing the deficit in half to 46-43.

With 64 seconds to play, Haidyn Wamsley made a pair of one-and-one free throws, as Keirah Potts posted a pair of double-bonus makes for the 47-47 tie — following a split by Smith of the double-bonus for the Tigers.

Then, a Lady Tiger turnover on a pass that went out of bounds gave the Lady Mohawks the ball back with 35 seconds left — and Copas came through in the clutch with a driving baseline basket with 22 seconds showing.

It was the eighth — and ultimately final — lead change, as the Lady Tigers turned the ball over again with 13 seconds remaining.

However, the outcome indeed came down to the final possession — thanks to the Lady Mohawks missing two free throws with 5.4 seconds left, allowing the Lady Tigers a chance for the tie or even the win.

Waverly’s Carli Knight, whose basket forced the second overtime tied at 36-36, once again drove the lane in transition and put up a good shot at the buzzer — but it rimmed out and the Lady Mohawks had survived the slugfest.

It was a difficult defeat for the Lady Tigers — battling back from down seven points early and enduring eight ties and eight lead changes, including seven ties and all eight lead changes in the second half and overtimes.

Waverly, with only four first-period points and a first-half scoring drought which spanned seven minutes and 48 seconds, went just 9-of-19 at the free-throw line.

“Down the stretch, they made plays. That was just an old-fashioned SOC II battle with two teams showing a lot of grit, a lot of hustle, a lot of heart and a lot of effort. I was proud of my team for battling back after getting down early,” said veteran Waverly coach John Bonifield. “It just came down at the very end that Northwest executed and we didn’t. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but hopefully, we will learn from it and grow and get better as we move forward.”

Indeed, the Lady Mohawks — especially their more experienced players — made plays in the overtimes.

Prior to her game-tying free throws, Potts — the game’s sole senior in fact — put in buckets to open both extra sessions, giving the Lady Mohawks leads of 36-34 in the first and 38-36 in the second.

Potts posted a game-high 17 points on seven field goals and 3-of-4 freebies, as she split a pair of first-quarter foul shots before her seven field goals.

Her back-to-back baskets broke the first tie of 14-14, as she also scored three times in the second half.

“Keirah had been struggling a little lately, but tonight I think she put it back together. I told her on the bus ride up here tonight that we needed to have a strong game out of her. She’s our senior and she leads us,” said Frantz. “I put a challenge to her and I think she stepped up to that challenge and did what we know she can do.”

Wamsley went for 13 points on three field goals and 6-of-8 free throws — none bigger than her pair in the second overtime which trimmed the deficit to 46-45.

She scored five of Northwest’s third-period points in which Waverly made its rally and took its initial advantage — making a three-pointer for the 21-21 tie and splitting a pair of free throws.

Copas canned two deuces and two treys, including her first three as part of the 11-point first-quarter, towards 10 points.

Jenkins scored seven points on three field goals and her free throw, as only seven Lady Mohawks played compared to nine for the Lady Tigers.

Kloe Montgomery made a basket for a 30-29 Northwest edge, which was the final of the six second-half lead changes.

Northwest overcame a poor 10-of-23 from the foul line, as its defensive length in its zone made it tough on the Lady Tigers to shoot or even pass the basketball with consistency.

“Our defense all year has been our strong point. I thought we played real well defensively. We gave up four points in the first quarter and only 47 for the whole game, and that was in two overtimes,” said Frantz. “Ava Jenkins had some turnovers tonight to where I could tell she was frustrated, but she is a very tough defender and was again. We put her on everybody’s best player almost all the time.”

For the Lady Tigers, that top player would be Smith, who scored 14 points on four field goals and 5-of-6 free throws.

Her lone three-point goal tied it at 24-24 at the end of the third frame, as Paige Carter followed with five field goals for 11 points, including her basket that tied it at 38-38 with an opportunity at a three-point play in the second overtime.

Knight netted four field goals for eight points, including the Tigers’ only first-overtime points — but with seven seconds left to make it 36-36.

Kelli Stewart, who added two field goals for four points, set up Knight with a nice pass on the inbounds play — as Knight made the drive and got the game-tyer.

Michaela Rhoads recorded five points — and drained the Lady Tigers’ other three-pointer with 1:48 remaining in regulation for the tie at 34-all.

Northwest held a slim 19-18 advantage in total field goals.

For Waverly, if only it had made one more basket or one more free throw — or committed one less turnover.

“In the league, you have to win at home and try to steal some on the road,” said Bonifield. “So losing this one and at home is almost twice as bad. It’s a great win for Northwest and we just have to regroup.”

Indeed, although not the prettiest of outings for the Lady Mohawks, it made for a super start to the new calendar year.

It was easily Northwest’s most important victory since it won with Reagan Lewis’ last-second shot at Oak Hill (46-45) on Nov. 29.

“There’s only one way to stay in second (in the SOC II), and that was to win tonight,” said Frantz. “And just like tonight, every night in this league is a battle. The girls just kept fighting and not let up. That was what won it for us.”

* * *

Northwest 11 7 6 10 2 13 — 49

Waverly 4 11 9 10 2 11— 47

NORTHWEST 49 (10-1, 6-1 SOC II)

Valerie Copas 4 0-2 10, Haidyn Wamsley 3 6-8 13, Keirah Potts 7 3-4 17, Ava Jenkins 3 1-3 7, Reagan Lewis 0 0-2 0, Audrey Knittel 0 0-0 0, Kloe Montgomery 1 0-4 2; TOTALS 18 10-23 49; Three-point goals: 3 (Valerie Copas 2, Haidyn Wamsley 1)

WAVERLY 47 (7-3, 3-3 SOC II)

Kelli Stewart 2 0-2 4, Carli Knight 3 2-5 8, Michaela Rhoads 2 0-0 5, Lydia Brown 0 0-2 0, Raelynn Dale 1 0-0 2, Delaney Tackett 1 0-0 2, Zoiee Smith 4 5-6 14, Sarah Thompson 0 1-2 1, Paige Carter 5 1-2 11; TOTALS 18 9-19 47; Three-point goals: 2 (Michaela Rhoads and Zoiee Smith 1 apiece)






Date League Season
January 2, 2020 SEO 2019-20



Lady Pirates cage Tigers to stay perfect



Lady Pirates cage Tigers to stay perfect

‘Burg moves to 8-0 with win over Waverly

By Paul Boggs


WHEELERSBURG — Simply put, there was little visiting Waverly could do — and did.

But don’t blame the Lady Tigers here — not when Wheelersburg’s defense was in definite lockdown mode, or as Kaylee Darnell was torching the Lady Tigers’ 2-3 zone.

The host Lady Pirates put the clamps on Waverly, Darnell almost outscored the Lady Tigers by herself, and undefeated Wheelersburg rolled to another Southern Ohio Conference Division II victory on Thursday night by a final count of 56-25.

With the win, the Lady Pirates pushed their perfect record to 8-0 — and to 6-0 and still atop the SOC II.

Wheelersburg, the defending division champion which defeated Minford 44-37 on Monday night for its closest encounter of the season so far, remains one game ahead of the Northwest Lady Mohawks (7-1, 5-1 SOC II) in the conference standings.

Northwest was idle on Thursday with the SOC II’s rotating weekly bye, while Waverly fell to 3-2 — part of 5-2 overall.

For the talented and highly-touted Lady Pirates, most observers thought the senior-less Lady Tigers could possibly pose a challenge — but by halftime in which Waverly scored just two second-period points, those thoughts were long gone.

That’s because the Tigers, after being tied 5-5 with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening quarter, tallied just four points over the first half’s final 10-and-a-half minutes — and the only two of the second quarter with six minutes remaining.

Thus, the Lady Pirates extended a 13-7 advantage after the opening quarter to 28-9 at halftime — which only increased to 45-16 with 28 seconds showing in the third frame.

While Waverly scored 10 points in the third, it only scored six more in the fourth — as the Lady Pirates played strictly reserve-role players over the final eight minutes.

Wheelersburg’s largest lead stood at 56-23 with only a minute and 40 seconds remaining.

The Lady Pirate defense, once again, didn’t allow an opponent to reach 40 points for the sixth straight affair.

It was also Wheelersburg’s third bout of not allowing an opponent to score at least 28.

“Defensively, honestly, we were very good,” said Wheelersburg coach Dusty Spradlin. “They run a lot of different sets, but I thought our kids did a good job of contesting and getting rebounds.”

While Wheelersburg was after Waverly with a traditional man-to-man defense, the Lady Tigers came out in the 2-3 zone.

After a minute and 45 seconds of passing the basketball around it, Ellie Kallner connected on a baseline jumper — before popping one of her two three-pointers.

Zoiee Smith
Current Team
SEO, All Time Leaders, SOC2
2018-19, 2019-20
Waverly standout Zoiee Smith, who paced the Lady Tigers with a dozen points including the club’s only three-pointer, scored the next five for the 5-5 tie — but that’s when Darnell started busting the zone, and the Lady Pirates’ pullaway began.

Darnell went off for 23 points for the second time this season — as her first was against Northwest when Wheelersburg scored 44.

On Thursday, she netted nine field goals including five threes, as her back-to-back pair late in the first made it 11-5 with a minute and five seconds to go.

She scored her first deuce with time winding down at the end of the opener, and made it 16-7 with her third three-pointer only 45 seconds into the second stanza.

After Carli Knight notched a field goal for Waverly’s only period points at the 5:58 mark, Wheelersburg reeled off the final dozen points over the final five minutes — with Darnell drilling two more treys to make it 21-9 and 28-9.

For the junior Darnell — who is closing in on the 1,000-point total for her career — she scored at least 15 points for already the fifth time this year, at least 19 markers for the fourth time, and at least 21 for the third game.

She scored three more buckets in the third quarter, and sat out the entire fourth.

Darnell does run the Lady Pirates’ point position, but did attack the zone and found holes in it — and also found spots for set shots.

“There’s an inside to the zone (defense) too, and you have to make sure the ball gets in there some, whether it is off a pass or dribble. And obviously, we shot the ball really well, with Kaylee (Darnell) doing most of it. I think the first possession lasted a long time, but once we settled in, we moved the ball well and got it to an open person,” said Spradlin. “It’s a balance, and we share the ball well with good ball movement.”

But other Lady Pirates got in on the act, as they combined for 11 three-pointers, including one by Alaina Keeney that made it 24-9 — as her third-period three-ball upped it to 33-13.

Keeney and Kallner added eight points apiece, as Kallner — coming back from two first-quarter fouls and not playing in the entire second period — splashed her second trifecta halfway thru the third.

In fact, she was fouled on the shot, but missed the free throw for the extremely rare four-point play.

Makenna Walker with a three for Wheelersburg made it 45-16, as Smith promptly answered for the Lady Tigers.

Annie Coriell, a fellow freshman for the Lady Pirates along with Walker, connected on the final three with 1:40 remaining.

Coriell was one of 10 Lady Pirates, and four freshmen, to dent the scoring column — as Madison Whittaker made her varsity debut and scored three points as well, including the team’s only made free throw on five attempts.

Another freshman, Macee Eaton, added a second-quarter field goal — as did sophomores Lindsey Heimbach and Isabella Hamilton in the fourth and senior Brittani Wolfenbarker for the final points of the third.

Spradlin said the lopsided score allowed his younger Pirates more playing time, and ability to stretch their bench before some more big games coming up.

“When you have not just young kids, but new kids, in key positions, it just takes time. We are just now starting to scratch the surface of what we can be, both offensively and defensively. We have a lot of kids that have talent, it’s just making sure that everybody fits together,” he said. “I think we have come a long way in eight games, and our bench has developed. And our older kids — Kaylee and Ellie (Kallner) — have settled into that leadership role. It’s not about where we are, it’s where we want to be. We still have a lot of things that we can do better.”

Although, on Thursday night, there was little Waverly could do — and did — against the red-hot Lady Pirates.

Wheelersburg was actually playing its eighth game on Thursday — in a span of 18 days due to not playing its first until Dec. 2.

The Lady Pirates play at another one-loss squad for their next tilt — at Ironton on Monday, Dec. 30.

“We started a week late, so we could use a little break before Ironton in 10 days. That’s going to be a tough task,” said Spradlin. “They are big, they are physical and they guard.”

* * *

Waverly 7 2 10 6— 25

Wheelersburg 13 15 19 9— 56

WAVERLY 25 (5-2, 3-2 SOC II)

Carli Knight 2 0-0 4, Michaela Rhoads 0 0-1 0, Raelynn Dale 0 0-0 0, Zoiee Smith 5 1-4 12, Paige Carter 0 0-0 0, Lydia Brown 2 1-4 5, Delaney Tackett 0 0-0 0, Sara Thompson 1 0-0 2, Kelli Stewart 0 0-0 0, Ryane Bond 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 11 2-9 25; Three-point goals: 1 (Zoiee Smith 1)


Annie Coriell 1 0-0 3, Lauren Jolly 0 0-0 0, Madison Whittaker 1 1-2 3, Brynley Preston 0 0-0 0, Brittani Wolfenbarker 1 0-0 2, Lani Irwin 0 0-0 0, Alaina Keeney 3 0-0 8, Isabella Hamilton 1 0-0 2, Ellie Kallner 3 0-1 8, Kaylee Darnell 9 0-0 23, Lindsey Heimbach 1 0-0 2, Makenna Walker 1 0-0 3, Lexie Rucker 0 0-0 0, Macee Eaton 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 22 1-5 56; Three-point goals: 11 (Kaylee Darnell 5, Alaina Keeney and Ellie Kallner 2 apiece, Annie Coriell and Makenna Walker 1 apiece)


# Player Class PTS REB AST STL BLK
Alaina Keeney-80000
Ellie Kallner-80000
Isabella Hamilton-20000
Kaylee Darnell -230000
Lauren Jolly-00000
Lindsey Heimbach-20000
Annie Coriell-30000
Madison Whittaker-30000
Brynley Preston-00000
Brittani Wolfenbarker-20000
Lani Irwin-00000
Lexie Rucker-00000
Makenna Walker-30000
Macee Eaton-20000
 Total 560000


# Player Class PTS REB AST STL BLK
Carli Knight-40000
Michaela Rhoads-00000
Lydia Brown-50000
Raelynn Dale-00000
Delaney Tackett-00000
Zoiee Smith-120000
Sarah Thompson-20000
Paige Carter-00000
Kelli Stewart-00000
Ryane Bond-20000
 Total 250000


Date League Season
December 19, 2019 SEO 2019-20