[Grayson Wolf | WOUB]

Waterford claims Division IV State Title with win over New Knoxville

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DAYTON, Ohio (WOUB) — Waterford Wildcats took on the New Knoxville Rangers in the 2022 division four state championship game.

The first quarter started slow for both team as they both turned the ball over multiple times. Waterford was able to jump out ahead in rebounds and then Mackenzie Suprano with 3:09 left in the first scored the first points of the game with a deep three followed by Madison Heiner hitting another three and a put back layup.

Waterford held New Knoxville to zero points in the first quarter. 9-0 Waterford is leading after one.

New Knoxville scored their first points of the game with a Haley Fledderjohann three pointer. Then Waterford answers back as Lilly Franchino hits a three to respond. New Knoxville has scoring drought as Rebecca Leffel hits a three Late in the second New Knoxville started to heat up hitting back-to-back threes and getting more rebounds.

New Knoxville has been struggling with the Waterford press defense early and they have been failing to crash the board was they only have 9 rebounds at the halfway point, offensively they are shooting 3-19, the Wildcats have 16 rebounds and shooting 40% from the field. New Knoxville however has forced 12 turnovers. At the break Waterford leads 17-9.

The Rangers come out of the break force two turnovers, then Carsyn Henschen hits a wide open three and a layup. Turnovers start to hurt the Wildcats and the Rangers took advantage and the crowd, who is mostly New Knoxville fans, got louder and louder.

Both teams in the third had long scoring droughts with Waterford closing the quarter out shooting 0-7 and New Knoxville had a 3:26 drought. Waterford still leads after three 21-18. The Rangers shooting improved drastically as coming into halftime they were shooting 3-19 then ended the quarter shooting 6-29 and Waterford is 7-25 from the field.

The fourth quarter New Knoxville got off strong Avery Henschen hit a three to begin the quarter, Mackenzie Suprano responded with a three of her own. Both teams going back and forth to open the fourth with the Wildcats Avery Wagner and Franchino hitting shots, and for the Rangers Ellie Gabel hit a mid-range shot and Henschen hit a free throw. New Knoxville has found themselves in foul trouble as they have seven fouls in the second half. Henschen hit a massive three pointer with 1:29 left in the game.

After huge, missed shots from New Knoxville Cara Taylor and Sury hit shots to extend their lead to nine points to end the game.

And your 2022 division champions are the Waterford Wildcats as they won by a score of 35-26. Mackenzie Suprano was asked how she felt “Yeah, definitely feels amazing, honestly.” “It’s kind of like unreal, actually that we’re here now. So It’s still like hard to sink in right now.”

Freshman guard Kendall Sury had a solid performance off the bench, leading the Wildcats in scoring with 8 points. Head Coach Jerry Close had this to say about her “Kendall is a very good athlete.” “She is one of the funniest kids I have ever coached. I think every day in practice we break down and have a Kendall moment.”