COVINGTON — West Liberty-Salem trounced Northridge, 66-23, in Division III girls sectional basketball on Wednesday.
Despite using a sizable portion of deep bench players in the rotation, the Tigers were able to run over the Polar Bears.
WL-S started on a 17-0 run before Northridge was able to get on the board, and continued to dominate even after letting off the gas pedal.
“They were leaving Selena (Weaver) and Paige (Shafer) and Sophie (Cole) open inside, so we decided to get it inside. We basically told them not to settle for the three so early in the offense and keep the ball moving,” WL-S Coach Dennis McIntosh said. “We were getting the ball inside, and we got a lot of transition buckets off turnovers, which makes it easier. And we were able to knock down some foul shots, so that was good.”
The Tigers led 21-4 after a quarter and 42-12 at the half in what turned into a sloppy, physical game.
The second half was more of the same, with WL-S activating the OHSAA’s running clock with a 35-point lead in the second half. McIntosh elected to stick with his mix of varsity and reserve players.
“We just wanted to get them comfortable playing with the varsity. Down the road, they’re going to have to play at this level, so we got a chance to get them in a little bit. And it got a little sloppy, but I think that’s where Gabby (Hollar) and Paige are good at getting them settled back down,” McIntosh said.
Weaver led WL-S with 21 points, Emily Hollar had 13 and Grace Estes scored 10. Gabby Hollar and Shafer each chipped in 8 points in limited action. Sharpshooter Kelsey Day did not travel with the team due to illness.
“If it was a real big game and we’d thought we’d need her, she’d have played, but we thought it was best to stay home and rest up,” McIntosh said.
The Tigers advance to face Miami East here on Monday, with the tip scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Vikings were the last team to beat WL-S, back on Dec. 1. Since then, the Tigers (21-3) have won 21 games in a row.