Girls Basketball: Playoff Preview

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Nelsonville-York – The Lady Buckeyes ended regular season play in familiar fashion: with a win.  Now that playoff time is upon the Lady Bucks, winning has suddenly become the only option for this young team.If you take a look at the Jackson sectional, however, it won’t take long to figure out that winning will be harder to come by.

Amanda Dalton’s squad drew a six seed in the 14-team sectional and will square off against the 11-seeded Ironton Lady Tigers this Thursday at Jackson High. Ironton has struggled this season, finishing with a 5-13 record, but the Lady Tigers managed to defeat the same Zane Trace squad that beat Nelsonville-York by 15 back in December.
This game will be a golden opportunity for NY to find its offense again, as the Lady Bucks have tallied more than 50 points just once in their previous five games.
If Nelsonville-York successfully executes its bread-and-butter offensive style of using Angela Meade and Jennah Addis to drive the lane and pound the ball down low to the likes of Shelby True, Madison Davis and Abbie Talbert, the Lady Bucks should grind out the win against Ironton.
However, the next round figures to present a much greater challenge.The Alexander Lady Spartans are coming off a deflating 44-21 loss to NY. Now, Denton Guthries girls are tasked with knocking off Valley, the same team that defeated both NY and Alexander in the 2011 playoffs behind the outstanding play of guard Whitney Bear. Barring an upset of enormous proportions, NY would find itself pitted against Valley for the second time in as many years.
It would be quite the challenge for a young Lady Buckeyes squad to knock off Valley, but upsets can and will happen on a grand stage such as this. Just ask the seven-seeded Lady Indians from a year ago. –Pat Chiesa

The Alexander Lady Spartans are set to face off against the Lucasville Valley Lady Indians on Thursday night at Jackson High School in the first round of the state tournament.

The Lady Spartans (2-18), are looking to avenge their first-round loss from last year to the Lady Indians when Alexander was the second seed. Lady Spartans’ Coach Denton Guthrie still has a bad taste in his mouth from that upset, as he saw his team miss numerous free throws down the stretch, which allowed Lucasville Valley to steal the win.

This season’s draw has the roles reversed as the Lady Indians possess the number three seed while Alexander is the 14th seed. The two teams have had quite a change from last season.

It’s no secret the youth of the Lady Spartans has led to a struggle of a season for Guthrie and his team and although Alexander has clearly made strides forward throughout the year, they didn’t close out the year with good performances. Bad losses to Nelsonville-York and Athens left Guthrie pleading for some fight from his girls.

“I want us to play with all kinds of fire,” Guthrie said. “Play the way we talk about playing. I want to win the effort battle.”

One thing the Lady Spartans will have to do well is defend Lucasville Valley’s senior guard Whitney Bear. Bear dominated with 33 points in last year’s matchup so if Alexander wants to give the Lady Indians a battle, they must contain Bear.

The winner of Thursday’s game will take on either Nelsonville-York or Ironton. –Jerod Scheetz

The Lady Bulldogs are heading into this years High School State Tournament on a 10-game winning streak and haven't lost in 2012. This team is very solid in all aspects of the game. They play lockdown defense and haven't given up more than 45 points in a contest since their winning streak began.
The offense is also dangerous led by a balanced scoring attack inside and out. Senior Elena Lein will have to continue to play solid basketball if the Lady Bulldogs want to make a deep run in this year's tourney. Also, freshman Dominique Doseck will have to continue to produce big numbers for Athens. It may be a lot to ask of a freshman, but she has really stepped up to the challenge this year and can handle any pressure thrown her way.

The Lady Bulldogs will be playing the Lady Falcons of Fairfield Union on Thursday, February 16 at 6:15. This game will be played at Alexander High School. This contest is sure to be exciting, and one you will not want to miss. –Billy Hartman


The Trimble girl’s basketball team squares off against Miller High School, on Monday, to open the first round of tournament play.

The Lady Tomcats are 0-2 against Miller this season, losing 57-55 in the middle of the season and 56-48 in their second to last regular season contest of the year.

Trimble will look for leadership out of Janena Cain who has been a constant threat to opposing teams all year on the offensive side of play.

Trimble also has a weapon in Demi Moore who recently earned “Hero of the Week” from Hardwood Heroes. She has become strong on both ends of the court in the Tomcats’ recent success at the end of the regular season.

The Lady Tomcats will also look to Tia Altier and Tia Savage for support on the offensive end, pushing the ball up the court and passing the ball efficiently.

In Trimble’s recent success at the end of the season, they focused on team oriented basketball and getting the whole team involved. They will have to be even more efficient against a Miller team that has already played them twice and knows what to expect.

Even though they lost both times to Miller, the Lady Tomcats are still feeling the success of their end of the season run and feel confident in their abilities to defeat a Miller team that has just one more win than Trimble and sits just two spots ahead of them in the TVC-Hocking standings. –James Massara


Federal Hocking

The Fed Hock Lady Lancers will get a chance at revenge in their first round sectional matchup, as they will face off against the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings Monday in a rematch of last year’s opening round game.

The Lady Vikings got the better of the Lady Lancers last year, winning by a 46-31 score, but things are very different this time around. Fed Hock is no longer playing with just five players, and has benefited from the influx of freshmen talent.

The Lady Vikings will come into the game with a 7-13 overall record, while playing to an even 7-7 mark in SOC play.

Both teams come into the playoffs shuffling. The Lady Vikings have lost six of their last seven games while the Lady Lancers bring the stench of a seven game losing streak into the contest.

In addition to the losing streak, Fed Hock is battling the injury bug. Alex Putman is out for the year with a concussion after taking a nasty charge against Wahama on February 2. According to head coach Jeff McKibbon, a few girls have been held out of school and practice this week with sickness.

If Fed Hock wants to win, they will need to play better defense, as they have allowed 70 or more points in three of their last four games. The Lady Lancers will also need solid games from freshmen Meghan Thompson and Carley Tabler if others are not 100 percent for the game.

The Lady Lancers and Lady Vikings will go at it on Monday at Meigs High School with tip-off set for 6:45 p.m.  –Steve Uhlmann