SPRINGFIELD – Kenton Ridge and West Liberty-Salem were locked in a tight battle Monday night in non-league girls basketball, but the visiting Tigers pulled away and beat the Cougars, 62-47.
Kenton Ridge came into the contest averaging 73 points per game.
“They’ve got a lot of talent on that team,” WL-S Coach Dennis McIntosh said. “We kept track of where (Sydney) Bates was and didn’t let her have any open threes and we got rebounds when we needed them. It’s a testament to our defense and how hard they worked tonight.”
Bates, the lone senior on Kenton Ridge’s squad, has surpassed 1,600 points for her career. She scored only 11 against the Tigers on Monday.
It was 15-13 in favor of WL-S after a quarter and 25-23 at the intermission.
During the first half, Kenton Ridge hung tough with a stellar effort from freshman Mikala Morris, who tallied 18 points for the game. The 6-foot-2 post matched up well size-wise with WL-S senior Jamie Peterson, giving the 6-foot-3-inch veteran all she could handle.
“When they started doubling and tripling down on Jamie, we were able to hit the outside shot tonight,” McIntosh said. “It was a great team effort.”
The second half saw the Tigers (19-3) open up a little breathing room in the third quarter with a pair of three-pointers by Mikalia McIntosh. She hit four long-distance jumpers in the game and scored 19 points.
Kenton Ridge (16-6) was able to cut it to a 40-35 deficit after three quarters before the Tigers pushed it to double digits midway through the fourth.
Peterson scored 19 points to aid in the effort, with Lily Yoder hitting a handful of three-pointers and finishing with 12 points. For the game, WL-S hit eight three-pointers to Kenton Ridge’s one.
“Hopefully we’re on the right track right now and getting ready for a tournament run,” McIntosh said. “I feel confident. We’re playing well. We’re shooting the ball well. We’re defending well.”
West Liberty-Salem won the jayvee game, 34-31. Laine Godwin scored 8 points and Kiana Reames added 7 for the Tigers.
WL-S plays Triad in the first round of the Division III sectional tournament at Franklin Monroe High School on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.