Good win now
and a good look
at the future
By Shayne Combs,
Piketon  =  54
Huntington  =  24
The league round Thursday night for SVC girls did not have a match-up of league leaders, but I was
interested in watching Piketon play a game in which they were considered by most the favorite to win. In
an earlier game this season, I watched Piketon play Adena in a game that caused Piketon some mismatch
issues and the Lady Redstreaks were forced to do some things that perhaps they are not as comfortable
doing. The match-up at Huntington Thursday night contained a Lady Huntsmen group that plays
extremely hard but is inexperienced and simply not as talented as Piketon. The interesting thing about
watching Piketon in this match-up was the chance to see them play more man-to-man and a little more
up-tempo. I like seeing Coach Coreno use this strategy in a game like this because it takes a young team
and shows the ability they have not just now but in the future as well. As Piketon continues to get better
from last year to this year and this year to next year, the Lady Redstreaks are going to find themselves in
the role of favorite more and more. Often times last year and even on occasion this year, the Lady
Redstreaks have been hurt by not being able to play multiple styles, and this can sometimes put teams in
serious jeopardy of being knocked off by teams of lesser ability. I have always believed when a team
reaches an elite status it is when they can play and win games in different ways. The Piketon boys are a
great example of this. They are a team that can win 80-79 one night and 50-49 the next. They can
outscore you in a track meet and they can defend you and out execute you in a defensive, half court
struggle. This is why I believe tonight’s defensive look is an example of Piketon’s growth as a
program. Moving forward, I believe Piketon is a threat to shorten a game and give one of the top three
teams a scare. This was evident in Piketon’s first-round meeting with Unioto. On the other end, both
Paint Valley and Southeastern were successful in doing the same to Piketon as both the Bearcats and the
Panthers gave the Redstreaks a first-round scare.

I realize in many of the games against the league’s top three teams that Piketon will have to utilize
some zone and play some slower tempo; however, I slowly see Piketon’s style starting to evolve.
With a talented 6-0 point guard in Alex Southworth running the show, Piketon is starting to show more
offensive punch. Senior Tori Pelphrey gives the Lady Redstreaks a nice inside threat and Piketon’s
freshmen duo of K.K. Jenkins and Aleah Pelphrey continue to get better. You add in a hard-working
Elisha Manley, an improving bench, and some very talented pieces from Piketon’s junior high group
and I believe the future Piketon squads are going to start to quicken their pace. As for now, their
continued push at a possible 13 win regular season and possible sectional championship is probably
going to consist of some slower, hard-fought games when it comes down to some of the quality
opponents that they will have to beat to accomplish these goals. I feel a key to this style is Tori Pelphrey.
Being a senior, Pelphrey is the one Piketon player that contains experience of battling in the paint in a
varsity game. As Piketon starts to play in more championship level games – be it SVC or sectional –
their young kids are going to start to sense how the game is played and officiated with a physical nature.
Every screen, every box out, every loose ball, and every basket cut is going to lead to contact, and the
teams who learn to handle this and play through it are usually the teams who are going to succeed in big
games. This is one area I will give credit to Huntington tonight. Even though Piketon was more talented, I
felt at times tonight Huntington was the more aggressive team. Throughout the game, Piketon’s
basketball talent showed up on the scoreboard, but there were several instances where I saw some of
Piketon’s youth in terms of their reaction to Huntington’s aggressiveness. I started to think back
to Piketon’s problems on the glass against Adena and about Coach Coreno’s comments about
his young team not handling Unioto’s second-half push. These are all normal issues for a young team,
and the more Piketon faces these situations, the better they will get.

In other action Thursday night around the SVC, Unioto put three players in double-figures as they
recorded a big win over Westfall. Jenny Grigsby had a big night as Adena defeated visiting Paint Valley,
and Zane Trace continued their defensive domination as they held the Panthers to 21 points.
Click here
to see tonight’s McDonald’s i’m lovin' it SVC Girls’ Basketball Scoreboard for all the
scores, stats, and standings.