Lady Wildcats scratch Southern, 58-19

By Alex Hawley -

WATERFORD, Ohio — Simply outmatched.

The Southern girls basketball team dropped its third straight game, on Thursday night in Washington County, falling to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host and defending OHSAA Division IV state champion Waterford by a 58-19 margin.

The Lady Wildcats (7-0, 6-0 TVC Hocking) — who’ve now won 43 consecutive league tilts — didn’t allow a single field goal in the opening eight minutes, as they built a 15-2 lead.

Southern (5-3, 3-3) freshman Baylee Wolfe sank the team’s first field goal, a two-pointer, to start the second period, but Waterford answered with a 18-4 run and led 33-8 at halftime.

The Lady Tornadoes were held off the board entirely in the third quarter, as WHS pushed the lead to 52-8 with eight minutes remaining.

The Green and White showed mercy in the finale, scoring just six points. Meanwhile, Southern scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and fell by a 58-19 final.

Southern outrebounding WHS by a narrow 29-to-26 margin, but Waterford won the turnover battle by a sizable 32-to-12 clip.

SHS shot just 7-of-31 (22.6 percent) from the field, including 0-of-3 from beyond the arc. The Lady Tornadoes were 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from the free throw line, while Waterford was 7-of-11 (63.6 percent). The Lady Wildcats shot 23-of-51 (45.1 percent) from the field, including 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from three-point range.

The Lady Tornadoes were led by senior Faith Teaford — the newest member of the SHS 1,000-point club — with a double-double effort of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Wolfe, Lauren Lavender and Ashley Acree each scored two points in the loss, while Sierra Cleland added one point and Jaiden Roberts led the team with two assists.

The SHS defense was paced by Josie Cundiff and Macie Michael with two steals apiece.

Waterford was led by Alli Kern with 16 points and seven rebounds, followed by Rachel Adams with 14 points. Megan Ball contributed 10 points and a game-best five assists, Kenzie Dietz added six points, while Hayley Duff scored five points and led the WHS defense with five steals. Hannah Duff scored three points in the triumph, while Brianna Hart and Ashley Offenberger both finished with two markers.

Waterford has now won 25 consecutive regular season tilts against Southern, and the Lady Tornadoes will try to snap that streak on February 2, when these teams do battle in Racine.

Southern returns to action on Wednesday, when Sciotoville East invades Racine. Waterford is back in action on Tuesday, at Fort Frye.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley