Girls end season

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The West Liberty girls’ basketball team ended their season with an 81-12 loss at Davenport Assumption in first round regional action Feb. 9.

“They’ve got a really good team,” West Liberty Head Coach Jeff Morris said of the Davenport Assumption Knights. “They were very aggressive. To me, the way you attack a team that’s super aggressive is to attack them and punish them for pressuring you. That’s hard for us to do because we don’t handle the ball very well. Teams that are super aggressive really cause us a lot of problems. They’re really well-coached, and they do a lot of good things.

“I was proud of our girls. They competed the whole game and I think this last part of the season we played five really good teams, and they’re just mentally worn down. They didn’t quit. I told them they just have to keep working hard in the off-season. They’ll continue to get better, and the future will look pretty good for us.

“I told them the other day in practice that they really don’t realize how much they’ve improved. We’ve been blasted so much, it’s hard to see the little things that (have improved).

“I’m sad the season’s over. I liked seeing them every day, and working with them. I don’t care what our record is, I just enjoyed being around them and teaching them how to play. They’re a fun group of kids and they’re good kids. They just need to hang in there and stick with it.”

The Knights jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Haylee Lehman me a basket, assist Austyn Crees for a 12-2 score. The score at the end of the first quarter was 21-2.

The second quarter was the Comets’ best quarter as far as offense. They scored eight points. After an offensive rebound by Cora Wickham, Lehman made a three-point basket for a 23-5 score. At the 4:55 mark, Haddie Anderson was fouled on a shot. She made the first of two free throws for a 29-6 score. Wickham scored, assist Crees, for a 29-8 score. With about a minute left in the half, Crees scored with a jumper for a 38-10 score. The score at halftime was 41-10.

Shortly into the third quarter, the Comets were behind by 35 points, and the continuous clock rule was in effect for the rest of the game.

West Liberty did not score in the third quarter. With 38 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, Anderson made a basket with 38 seconds left in the game for a 81-12 final score.

The high school basketball career of one Comet ended with the loss. The team’s only senior, Anderson, will be missed.

“I’m really lucky for this opportunity,” Anderson said about the opportunity to be a leader on the team. “I feel I’ve grown so much as a leader, and it’s really helped me not only for basketball but for the next two sports I’ll be in, and for college and the rest of my life. I think I’m going to take these leadership skills that I’ve learned this year and use them for the future.

It was completely different from last year. Last year we had five seniors who were leading the team, and I really had to step up this year. I love basketball, so it’s fun to teach other girls how to do it. The scores didn’t show that we improved at all, but we did, so much. Especially toward the end of the season, coach was saying you guys have really improved so much. You could barely dribble the ball up and down the court, and now look at you guys. We play our hearts out every time, whether people can see it, we know it. That’s all that matters. It’s been a great four years.”

Davenport Assumption’s head coach had some good things to say about the Comets. “West Liberty played with a lot of heart tonight,” Davenport Assumption Head Coach Katelyn McNamara said. “It’s hard for any team to end the season on any night. There’s a lot of emotion with the thought of it being your last game. That’s on our minds, too. Everybody’s 0-0 right now, and you’re just looking to go 1-0 at the end of the day. That was our main goal today. Our game plan was basically to deny (Haddie Anderson) access to the ball. I think we did that well. She’s a good ball player, she’s a go-getter.”

The Comets’ record for the 2016-17 season was 0-22.

1 2 3 4 T

WL 2 8 0 2 12

DA 21 20 18 22 81

West Liberty stats: Haylee Lehman 2 0-0 6, 1 3-pointer, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Cora Wickham 1 0-0 2, 4 rebounds; Haddie Anderson 1 1-4 3, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks; Austyn Crees 1 -0 2, 3 rebounds; Madison McIntosh 3 rebounds; Miranda McHugh 3 rebounds; team 5 rebounds
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