By Jeff Harrison
Midway through the second quarter of “Round 2” of the Noble County girls’ basketball showdown between Shenandoah and Caldwell, it was a four-point game.
The Lady Zeps turned up the heat and intensity at that point, however, and outscored the Lady Redskins 46-16 the rest of the way to score a lopsided 62-28 repeat victory on Wednesday.
The win was Shenandoah’s fourth in the last five games and boosts Coach Sami Hall’s squad to 9-6 on the season while Coach Gary ‘Tut” Turner’s Lady Redskins dropped to 3-10. The Lady Zeps had defeated the Lady ‘Skins 56-24 in early December.
Shenandoah led 12-11 after the first quarter and it was still a close game at 16-12 four minutes into round two, but the Lady Zeps started to gain control with an 8-3 run to close the half and take a 24-15 lead at the intermission. Freshman Brenna Leach gave SHS a lift with six rebounds and four points in the quarter.
The Lady Zeps caught fire in the third period, outscoring the Lady ‘Skins 26-7 to take command at 50-22. Junior Brylee May tossed in nine points to lead Shenandoah while juniors Mya Leach and junior Kadence Noll had six and five tallies, respectively.
A 12-6 edge in the final eight minutes resulted in the 34-point final margin.
“We had just played Barnesville in a physical game and we had to adjust to how things were being called,” said Coach Hall. “Playing them (Caldwell) is more of a mental game in front of a big crowd and I think we handled the pressure and mental part of the game better in the second half.”
The Zeps had four players reach double figures, led by Mya Leach with 14 while May, Noll and senior Charli Wickham each had 11. Mya Leach had a strong all-around game with eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists; Brenna Leach finished with six boards and Wickham had five steals.
“We needed somebody to step up and Brenna has been consistently improving, but tonight she showed her composure in a varsity game and gave us a nice boost,” Coach Hall stated. “Mya gets a little frustrated because teams are keying on her, but that opens things up for her teammates and it’s expanded her game to where she’s seeing her teammates, hitting the boards and playing better defense. Charli has been playing very well and is attacking more; Kadence played very well and Brylee got some big rebounds and scored off of them.
“Overall as a team, I thought we played very well,” she added.
For Caldwell, the downfall was once again turnovers as the Lady Redskins were charted with 28 miscues.
“Turnovers have been our bugaboo all year,” said Coach Turner. “We had almost 40 last night (against Wheeling Central) and almost 30 tonight, and you just can’t do that because they’re getting too many easy buckets from them.
“We played well early and had them in a bit of panic mode,” he continued, “but once they started applying more pressure, things went south for us. We have to keep things in the 30s or low 40s to have a chance because we don’t have a lot of scoring.”
Freshman Lyla Lowe led Caldwell with 10 points and eight rebounds, but no other Lady Redskin had more than four points. Junior Jaden Haught contributed seven boards.
Shenandoah was 24-of-58 from the field; 3-of-14 on three-pointers and 13-of-18 at the free throw line while Caldwell made 11-of-43 floor shots; 2-of-13 “treys” and 4-of-12 at the line. The Lady ‘Skins had a 37-31 rebounding edge, but had the 28 turnovers to 11 for the Lady Zeps.
On Monday, the Lady Zeps started strong and finished strong to score a 54-26 repeat victory over visiting Barnesville.
The Lady Zeps jumped out to an 11-0 lead at the outset and were in front, 19-6, at the first quarter stop.
Barnesville used a 14-10 edge in the second period to get within 29-20 at the half, but Shenandoah gained a 9-2 edge in the third period to build the lead to 38-22 and a 16-4 edge in the fourth frame finished it off.
Wickham tallied 17 points and Mya Leach had 14 to lead the Lady Zeps while May chipped in eight and Noll had six.
Mya Leach also contributed nine rebounds and four steals; Wickham had four assists and four rebounds; May had five rebounds and three steals; Sarah Irvin had five rebounds; House had four assists and Noll had four steals.
The Zeps finished with 20 rebounds, 18 steals, 15 assists and 10 turnovers.
- Welch and A. Carter had six points apiece for Barnesville.
Shenandoah won the JV game, 23-17. Brenna Leach and Alyssa Crum each had eight points for the Zeps.
The Lady Zeps host Buckeye Local on Monday and visit Monroe Central on Thursday.