defending champion, returns several key pieces from the championship
squad but simply did not have an answer for a young, talented Unioto
team. The Lady Shermans used a swarming defense and great balance on
offense to roll in the conference opener 59-41.
“This is a big win for the program,” said Unioto coach Cyndy Driggs. “We had been working hard for this game throughout the summer and throughout conditioning. Adena has a nice program with a lot back off of their championship team from last season, and we knew this was a big game for us.”
Shiann Ray and Mackenzie Arledge led the inside-out attack for the Tanks. Ray dominated off the dribble creating for others, and she did some scoring of her own as well connecting on three triples and scoring 16 points. Arledge owned the paint. The freshman post player scored 16 points matching Ray for the game-high total.
As impressive as Unioto (2-0, 1-0) was on the offensive end, both coaches pointed more to Unioto’s defense as the main reason for the runaway victory for the purple and gold.
“We turned the ball over too much as result of us just being careless with it,” said Adena coach Lee Snyder. “Unioto was applying some good pressure, but at the same time, we made some poor decisions and did some things wrong fundamentally.”
“We want to be a pressure team that can really get after people,” said Driggs when asked about her team’s defensive effort. “We have a lot of people that can give us quality minutes and I think our pressure defense will be a big key for us throughout the season.”
After Unioto led 15-8 at the end of the first-quarter, Adena did start to show some life in quarter number two, but a big Unioto finish to the half sparked by sophomore Chloe Cottrell took the two teams to the locker room with Unioto up 32-19. Cottrell ended with eight points as she combined with Ray and a host of other fine Unioto perimeter players to spread Adena out in the second half making it impossible for the Warriors to spark any real threat of coming back.
In fairness to Adena (1-1, 0-1), the Lady Warriors have not been in the gym with a basketball in their hands for very long. Several Adena players were key ingredients to the recent Adena volleyball team that made it to the regional finals. This is something Adena has had to handle in the past and have battled through it. A year ago, Adena suffered some big early season non-conference losses before coming together to go on the impressive championship run through the SVC.
This loss obviously stings a little more because it comes in the league, and it comes to one of the top league contenders; however, Coach Snyder does see some light at the end of the tunnel again this season.
“We are a little ahead right now than we were this time last year,” said Snyder. “Last year we took it on the chin a few times early in the season. We did beat (Washington) Court House in our opener in a really competitive game, and tonight I felt like we played hard but we just didn’t make shots. When you can’t make shots and you can’t stop them that’s not a good combination.”
Adena’s Ashley Jordan led the Warriors with 15 points and Kristin Snyder added five. The two-shade blue will return to action next Tuesday night when they welcome Paint Valley for another SVC contest. Unioto will remain at home for a non-conference game with Waverly this Saturday.
In other action Tuesday night around the Scioto Valley Conference, Huntington improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in league play with a 66-33 victory over Southeastern. Lydia Bridenbaugh scored 18 points and had six steals while teammate Jess Fraley scored 17 and grabbed 10 boards. A much improved Piketon team got 19 points from Heather Burns as it beat Zane Trace 53-50 and Cassie Zimmerman scored 10 points to lead Westfall to a 38-33 win over Paint Valley.