Waterford Defeats Eastern for Third Time to Advance to Regional Finals

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It is often said the hardest thing to do in sports is beat a team three times.  Trying to do it in a regional semi-final seems unlikely, but don’t tell that to the Waterford Lady Wildcats because they’ll prove you wrong like they did on Thursday night.

After winning by seven in the first meeting and four in the second, Waterford beat the Lady Eagles 50-33.  After Alli Kern broke open scoring with a three, Waterford never trailed.

Emily Kern did not get much varsity action in the season, but she used her chance well over Eastern.  Emily Kern grabbed two key offensive boards early and with 6:30 until halftime, picked Eastern’s pocket for a steal and breakaway layup.

Waterford got early separation and held it when role players not named Alli Kern and Megan Ball stepped up and broke Eastern.  During a timeout in the first half, Eastern head coach Jacob Parker let his team know they were being outplayed.

The Lady Eagles scored 10 points in the second quarter, but the scoreboard still read 27-13 Waterford at halftime.  That was a recurring nightmare for Eastern.

The Lady Eagles had bouts of good play where they had runs and forced Waterford turnovers, but it did not make a big enough impact.  After every run, every turnover and every loud Eastern cheer, Waterford could still look at the scoreboard and see a 10 or more point lead.

Laura Pullins and Liz Collins kept Eastern as close as they were.  Pullins scored 16 and Collins had 12 points.  The rest of the team could only help with five points.

Alli Kern was named All-Southeast District Player of the Year and she lived up to the title.  Alli nailed her first two threes and scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half.  Alli Kern also grabbed nine rebounds and snagged two steals.

With Alli Kern limited to two points in the second half, the rest of the Lady Wildcats still came forward.  With Eastern flirting with another run, Megan Ball nailed a three to extend Waterford’s lead to 38-23.  Alli Kern assisted on the trey.

Rachael Adams scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds and assisted on four plays for Waterford.

Eastern finishes 21-4 and District Champions.  Three Lady Wildcats were placed on All-District teams and Coach Parker was named Coach of the Year.

Waterford continued playoff dominance.  Going back to last year’s State Champion season, Waterford has won 11-straight tournament games.  The last tournament loss for the Lady Wildcats was the 2015 State Championship.

Pickerington North will host Waterford (23-3) in the regional final.  The Lady Wildcats will need to defeat Danville to make a return to the Schottenstein Center.