By Doug Kimsey
SVCsportszone.com Contributor

When the top two teams in the Scioto Valley
Conference clash on the hardwood, it's only fitting that
a tense struggle develops, going down to the wire.

That was exactly the case Saturday when the
undefeated Unioto Lady Shermans held off the
determined Adena Lady Warriors 54-47 in girls
basketball action before a big crowd at the “U.�

Unbeaten at 11-0 overall and 8-0 in the SVC, the Tanks
gave Coach Cyndy Driggs her 201st career victory at
Unioto and her 244th overall.

Adena (8-4, 6-2 SVC) whittled a 14-point third-quarter
deficit down to four points in the final two minutes,
but the Shermans' tightened their defense to close the
deal.

“Adena has come a long way,� said Driggs in a
radio interview with WKKJ's Mike Smith, reflecting on
an earlier Unioto win at Adena. “They hurt us on
the boards in the first half.�

The score was deadlocked at 14-14 going to the second
quarter, but junior forward Chloe Cottrell and freshman
Erin Bane gave the Tanks a huge lift to lead Unioto to a
31-23 halftime advantage. Cottrill scored 15 first-half
points and Bane came off the bench to add six.

Blanked in the second half, Cottrell still led with 15
points. Bane finished with eight.

Adena senior Ashley Jordan led all scorers with 24
points and 14 rebounds. Jordan, headed to Ohio
University to play volleyball in the fall, scored 14
second-half points. Her two free throws with 1:37 left
in the game cut the Unioto lead to 51-47, but the
Warriors failed to score the rest of the way.

Tanks Mackenzie Arledge and Janae Driggs dominated
on the inside in the second half, Arledge with her
scoring and rebounding and Driggs with her penetration
and ball-hawking defense. At only 5-foot-5, Driggs
picked up eight steals and four rebounds to go with her
eight points.

“The strength of this team is going to the hoop,�
Coach Driggs said. “We still know we have a lot of
room for improvement and we're working on that. We
need to be pushed like this, we need games like this.�

The Lady Tanks overcame a sub-par game from their
floor leader, senior point guard Shiann Ray who
finished with only six points. Still, Ray had three
steals, four assists and three rebounds.

For the Warriors, senior Britney Snyder added 10
points and junior Kirsti Yates eight.
SHERMANS WIN SHOWDOWN
Tanks now 11-0 with win over Adena
UNIOTO BECOMING MORE COMPLETE
AS PERFECT SEASON CONTINUES
By Shayne Combs, SVCsportszone.com
In today's game, I thought Coach Lee Snyder and his staff had a wonderful
plan, but throughout the game, Unioto proved to be too much. Unioto is
so "complete" as a team and no matter how you attack them, they always
are going to have things they can do to be successful.

Adena was really solid for the first 12 minutes of today's game. The Lady
Warriors were keeping the ball in front for the most part on the defenisve
end, and on offense, I felt like Jordan was much more involved compared
to the first meeting between these teams earlier this year.

The next quarter-and-a-half belonged to Unioto, and the thing I was so
impressed with was the Shermans did it with things that many people feel
are their few weeknesses.

I have heard so many people say Unioto can't shoot from the outside;
however, the first half saw Chloe Cottrell knock down three tirples and
Erin Bane also provided some outside shooting.

Another weakness I have heard - and I will admit that outside of Arledge
this is an area that I was a little skeptical of as well - is their inability to
rebound, but what makes them capable of being solid on the boards is their
versatile guards. Cottrell is capable of defending all five positions and can
really rebound. Guards Shiann Ray, Janae Driggs, and Erin Bane also are
solid rebounders. In the third quarter today, Driggs kept so many key
possessions alive with offensive rebounding when the purple and gold
started to break things open.

Through all the athleticism, talent, and unmatched defensive pressure that
this team is made up of this season, the thing that really completes them is
their chemistry. When I watch this team play, I can see how much they
like one another. I have always thought one of the most untrue statements
in all of sports is the one that says "You don't have to like one another,
you just have to play together." I think it is impossible to have one
without the other. During a year you are going to face adversity, and the
close teams are going to play through it better than the teams that are not
close.

I think Unioto is a very unselfish team. They have four or five players
who could score 20 on any given night, and they all are so willing to share
the basketball.
JORDAN AND ADENA STARTING TO HIT THEIR STRIDE
By Shayne Combs, SVCsportszone.com
Ashley Jordan's 24 point, 14 rebound performance is a great example of
how Adena is starting to play their best basketball. The Warriors have
been finding a way to win games, but several times that I have seen them
in the past few weeks they have struggled to play with any consistency.

I thought Adena played really well today. They got contributions from
several kids. The Snyder twins shot it well early, Kirsti Yates had a great
second half, Brytan Givens did a nice job handling the ball against Ray -
who I think is probably the best perimeter defender in the league, and of
course, Jordan was outstanding.

I realize Adena probably can't win the league now, but I think if this team
is able to clean-up a few things, they could be a very tough "out" in this
year's Division III tournament.
PV wins second straight SVC game
Paint Valley's big three of Tristan Rumfield, Erica
Barker, and Abbie Walls combined for 34 points as the
Lady Bearcats defeated visiting Westfall 44-35.

Westfall did jump out to a 12-5 advantage, but
leading-scorer Makenzie Wippel was forced to the
bench with foul trouble. Paint Valley took advantage
outscoring Westfall 21-9 to open up a five-point
advantage.

When Wippel returned to the floor, the Lady Mustangs
did close the gap to one at 29-28 entering the fourth
quarter, but PV was able to take control in the fourth
quarter. The Lady Cats had a chance to put the game
away much earlier, but 23 turnovers and 9-27 from the
free throw line kept the Mustangs close.

In the loss, Wippel scored 10 points and grabbed five
boards. Jess Brown added nine points and four
rebounds, while freshman Alex Phillips gave some nice
minutes off the bench recording four rebounds and an
assist. Westfall was also playing without Jess Shannon
for the second straight game due to injury.

For the winners, Barker scored a game-high 13 points,
grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out four assists.
Rumfield also had a nice all-around game recording 11
points, 10 rebounds, five steals, and four assists.
Sophomores Abbie Walls and Dacia Posey added 10
and 7 points, respectively.
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Roepke responds in road win for Zane Trace
After a huge start to the season, Zane Trace's Jessica Roepke
had been going through some struggles over the past few games;
however, Saturday, she was able to breakout in a big way. The
ZT forward scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead
the Lady Pioneers to a 58-45 victory over Piketon.

In the win, Erin Dailey added 12 points and Makinzee Tatman
returned to the starting line-up and produced eight points, eight
rebounds, and eight assists. Tatman also joined Sierra Sigman
and Tasha Harrington in holding Piketon's Heather Burns in
check. Burns scored seven late points to end the game with nine
points on the day.

For Piketon, Holly Brabson scored 18 points and Tori Pelphrey
added 10 points.
Huntington wins defensive
struggle over Southeastern
The Lady Huntsmen allowed only
eight points in each half Saturday as
they ended up on the winning side of
a 31-16 defensive struggle at
Southeastern.

Bridgette Neighbors scored nine
points in the win for the green and
white and Mika Bowles added eight
points and nine rebounds.

In the loss, Olivia Arledge led the
Lady Panthers with five points.