FRANKFORT — A heavy dose of Circleville High School senior Casse Mogan and rebounding from Kaitlin Graham helped the Lady Tigers overcome an upset bid by Waverly Wednesday in a 42-32 Division II Southeast District sectional semifinal victory.
“Waverly played very hard and deserves a lot of credit,” Circleville coach Steve Kalinoski said. “We weren’t focused for some reason, and in the tournament it only takes one bad game to go home.
“Right now we’ll take a win if it’s by one point or 15 points, but hopefully this is a wakeup call for us.”
Mogan, who missed over half of the second quarter with foul trouble, posted a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals. Abbey Palmer and Amanda Wade each tallied six points, and Graham had eight rebounds — four coming in the final period.
Waverly senior Chelsie Osborne began the third quarter by draining three straight shots to put her team ahead of Circleville 23-20.
Circleville (19-2) regained the lead for good with Kellie Willis putting in a layup and Wade taking a feed from Willis in for two more, putting CHS ahead 26-23 entering the final quarter.
Mogan ignited the Lady Tigers offense in the fourth quarter, connecting on three of four shots as Circleville outscored Waverly 16-9 to close out the game.
“When I got my second foul in the first half, I had to play a smarter game, especially on defense,” Mogan said. “In the fourth quarter, I was able to let go a little and I wanted to help us get going.
“Overall, this wasn’t our best game but a win is a win. We need to play the way we’re capable of in our next game.”
After being outrebounded 13-6 in the first half, Circleville finished the game outrebounding Waverly 30-23.
Circleville shot 17 of 50 and Waverly converted 11 of 31 shots. Waverly (7-15) had 20 turnovers against 13 for Circleville.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well,” Kalinoski said. “Our intensity level wasn’t there.
“We got outrebounded in the first half and we told the girls at halftime we needed to do a better job. We were able to in the second half and that allowed us some second and third opportunities. We had 15 offensive rebounds in the second half.”
Osborne and McKenzie Gullion both tallied 15 points for Waverly.
Circleville returns to Adena High School Saturday to take on Miami Trace (18-3) in a 1 p.m. matinee for the sectional championship.
The Lady Tigers defeated Miami Trace 50-41 in a non-league home game last month.
“Miami Trace is a quality team,” Kalinoski said. “We need to be ready to go against them.”