Lady Buckeyes Brush Past New Lexington

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Nelsonville-York is a team that finds most of its success and a lot of its despair from behind the 3-point line. It’s cause-and-effect. If the Lady Buckeyes shoot well behind the arch, they will win. If they don’t, they will lose.

On Thursday night, the Lady Buckeyes made 12 3-pointers.

So, you can guess what happened.

Sixth-seeded Nelsonville-York (13-10) defeated 13 seeded New Lexington (6-11) 62-33 at Jackson High School to advance to the Division III sectional finals.

“When we’re hittin’, we’re a tough team to beat,” said Nelsonville-York coach Bobby Cassidy.

The Lady Buckeyes found numerous ways to score the ball, but they found the easiest way was to jack up 3-pointers.

“I thought our girls shot with confidence,” Cassidy said. “Not only did we have confidence that we’ll make it, but if we miss shots, we did a good job {with} offensive rebounding.”

After trailing 5-2 early in the first quarter, Nelsonville-York quickly got the lead and never relinquished it. The backcourt of Joscelyn Heller (11 points) and Mary-Kate McCullough (17 points) kept the Panthers a step behind the entire night.

The Lady Buckeyes also shut down the Panthers. New Lexington shot 30 percent from the field and was dominated on the glass 29-12.

With Nelsonville-York’s ability to shoot, snuff and snag; they entered the locker room up 30-14 at halftime.

“We all around played pretty good team ball,” Heller said.

The Lady Buckeyes well-rounded play continued into the second half and New Lexington’s deficit stayed at double digits until the end.

The blowout was exactly how Cassidy wanted to cruise to the second round after being bounced out of the playoffs last year following a 59-57 overtime loss to Crooksville.

But that was last year, and the Lady Buckeyes are ready to make noise in the playoffs.

“We can do this,” Heller said. “We can advance and keep moving forward as a team.”

Nelsonville-York will face the third-seeded Oak Hill on Saturday at Jackson High School at 6:15 in the Division III sectional finals.