quarter holding Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy to two points. That
sparked a 43-26 win, sending East to the D-III regional semifinals
where they will play Newark Catholic Wednesday night at Vandalia
Butler. The Loss was CHCA’s first this season.
Playing an aggressive man-to-man defense, East was able to control CHCA most of the game. Offensively Miami East didn’t get a lot offense, but they got enough.
CHCA playing without its’ leading scoring Kaci Kust lost to a knee injury struggled offensively the entire game.
“I knew this was going to be a defensive struggling coming into the game,” said Miami East coach Chad Widener. “CHCA is a good team and they play solid defense.”
Katie Mengos led East with 11 points and Ashely Rice recorded 7. CHCA’s Courtney Kust led all scorers with 12 points in the defense struggle.
“Katie Mengos is one of the most under rated players in the area,” said Widner. “The second half of the season Katie has been doing it all from scoring to rebounding.”
At times neither offense looked confident playing on the big floor of the Butler Student Athletic Center. Four minutes into the game the two teams had combined for seven points with East up 5-2.
As the period wore on both teams settled in a bit and were able to found a resemblance of offense. With East up 10-4, Kust drained a three ball making it 10-7 after one period of play.
It was in the second period where the East defense roared to life and for all tense and purposes the game was decided.
The Vikings opened the stanza on an 8-0 run, building a 18-7 advantage. But that was just the beginning. Miami East completely shut down the Eagles, leaving them frustrated offensively. That frustration carried over to the defense as CHCA gave up a number of easy shots and Miami East took control of the game.
“We had more turnovers today then we have had all season,” said CHCA coach Lisa Elam. “We practiced against their press all week, but could not break tonight.”
When the buzzer mercifully sounded on the second stanza Miami East was up 23-9 and in complete control of the contest.
Even with the big lead East and Coach Widner were prepared for a CHCA run in the third period and they got it.
The Eagles came out in the second half looking to use defense to fire up the offense. That is exactly what happened.
CHCA ripped off a 6-0 run to open the half and just like that it was 23-15 Vikings. Things got even more interesting as the period wore on. Kust hit a bucket making it 25-18 and after a defensive stop CHCA had a chance to get it to five, but could not.
After that point Mengos settled her Viking team down and squashed the Eagles comeback. East closed out the period on a 4-0 run and were up 29-18 after three periods of play and back in control.
“I like how we responded to their run and really kept it short lived,” said Widner.
CHCA managed to cut the deficit to nine in the opening minutes of the final stanza, but that was as close as they would get. From that point East took the game over again using defense and cruised to the District title, their first since 1997.
“The last few years we have been knocked off by Versailles who has done some pretty good things the last few years,” said Widner. “We are happy but we are looking for a lot more.”