A stingy defense that allowed Sheridan only seven field goals and a balanced offense was plenty for the Circleville Lady Tigers Thursday evening in a 60-35 win at Southeastern High School.
Brad Morris has the details.
CHILLICOTHE – A stingy defense that allowed Sheridan only seven field goals and a balanced offense was plenty for the Circleville Lady Tigers Thursday evening in a 60-35 win at Southeastern High School.
“This was one of the better games we've played this season,” Circleville coach Steve Kalinoski said. “We scouted them (Sheridan) three to four times and we knew they were a strong team that liked to be aggressive.
“We packed in our man-to-man defense a little tighter and we forced them to take outside shots.”
The Lady Tigers (21-2) advance to the Southeast District Division II championship game Wednesday to face Unioto.
Casse Mogan contributed a game-high 21 points along with 10 rebounds for Circleville. Abbey Palmer followed with 13 points and six assists, Kaitlin Graham had seven points and Kellie Willis gathered six points and six rebounds.
“We were ready to go at the beginning of the game,” Palmer said. “We've been very focused over the past several days in practice. We're playing our best basketball of the season right now and this is the time to do it.”
Sheridan (16-7) was led by Allie Krofft with 11 points and Kristy Swinehart with seven.
Circleville established the tone of this district semifinal game in the first period. The Lady Tigers had four players score in the quarter on seven of 15 shooting, leading to a 14-6 advantage after one. Palmer and Graham each had four points for Circleville. Defensively, Sheridan was held to two of nine shooting.
“Circleville is 21-2 for a reason. They took away a little bit of everything we like to do,” Sheridan coach Doug Fisher said. “We couldn't hit shots early on and we got down 15 points. It's hard to come back with a deficit like that, especially against a team like Circleville.”
Mogan got in on the act in the second quarter, scoring the first eight points of the period for the Lady Tigers. Circleville hit six of 10 shots in the stanza against one of seven by Sheridan, and took a 29-14 lead into the half.
“We had a balanced game on offense from the girls,” Kalinoski said. “Casse didn't score a point in the first quarter, but we had Abbey and Kaitlin hit some buckets to get us going. Then Casse got into a flow at the beginning of the second quarter. Our girls set some screens for her and once Casse gets the ball, she is hard to stop.”
Sheridan, which finished third in the ultra competitive Muskingum Valley League, finishes with nine more wins than a year ago.
“A lot of people weren't expecting much from us this season, and I told our seniors while this might hurt now, they can look back and see what they accomplished and built,” Fisher said. “The experience we had this season was a difference. Our two leading scorers started as freshmen, but learned from the experience and have become better players as sophomores.”