Driggs leads big come-from-behind win for Lady Shermans
Thursday night at Southeastern saw two teams beat each other up in an extremely physical SVC battle that had over 40 total fouls called as visiting Paint Valley came from nine down entering the final quarter to win it 41-39. The game was tied 16-16 at halftime as Southeastern dominated the third quarter outscoring PV 16-7 in the period to build a 32-23 lead after three quarters play.
The fourth quarter was Paint Valleyâ€™s turn to make a run, and by the time the game clock ticked under one minute, the Bearcats led 39-36. Southeasternâ€™s Neysa Triplett dialed up a long distance three to tie the game at 39-39.
Paint Valleyâ€™s Abbie Walls pushed the ball on the next possession. Walls let go a three with about eight seconds remaining. The missed shot came off to the left and freshman Laci Stanforth rebounded the miss and delivered the game-winner as time expired.
The win is a big step for Paint Valley. Last year, Paint Valley recorded seven overall wins and a sectional championship, but the Lady Bearcats left a few SVC games on the table. This year is starting to show PV is finding a way to win some of these road games â€“ especially some of the close games that got away from them a year ago. Paint Valley has already won at Huntington and now Southeastern. The Bearcats head to Westfall Saturday, and if they can win, they would enter the second half of the season with a legitimate chance to still win six or seven league games.
As for Southeastern, I realize this is a tough way to lose, but I really like what I saw from a young team tonight. This is a completely different team than the one I saw earlier in the year. The young Southeastern guards are showing incredible potential. The overall ball handling and perimeter shooting is continuing to improve, and their ability to pressure the ball defensively was impressive. I donâ€™t know if the improvement will show up in terms of wins this year, but you take the ability of freshman Kylan Strausbaugh and sophomore Keisha Brown at guards and you have a nice nucleus. Triplett, just a junior, will give SE a perimeter threat again next year, sophomore Erin Uhrig is a great athlete who plays very hard, and Southeastern will be bringing in an eighth-grade group that is a top-half team in this yearâ €™s junior high league.
In other action Thursdayâ€¦It sounds like a very interesting game unfolded down in Pike County Thursday night. Piketon opened up a nine point lead at halftime only to see Unioto come storming back to take the lead entering the fourth quarter. Unioto was clinging to a one or two possession lead for most of the final quarter. Janae Driggs â€“ who scored a game-high 25 points â€“ made plays down the stretch including some clutch shooting at the charity stripe.
I look at this result in a positive way for both teams. For Unioto, they were in my opinion the leagueâ€™s most talented team before losing Mackenzie Arledge to now fighting for everything they get. To their credit, they continue to find a way to win. To be on the road against a good Piketon team, be down by nine, and come back to win, tells me a lot about the character of this team. Without the presence of Arledge in the middle, it probably makes Adena and Zane Trace the new league favorites, but keep in mind Unioto is the three-time defending SVC champions, so you have to believe the Lady Shermans are still going to be a factor in this yearâ €™s race.
As for Piketon, this is a great sign. I did not see this game tonight, but you have to assume Piketon handled the ball and rebounded the ball better. This is a great step for Piketon. I mentioned the other night that I didnâ€™t feel Piketon played their best game and they still were able to hang around with Adena. Tonightâ€™s score proves to me that even though Piketon probably wonâ€™t win the league this year, they could definitely play a key role in terms of who does win it.