WILMINGTON – Utilizing a strong defensive effort in the second half, the East Clinton Lady Astros defeated Seven Hills, 51-30, in Girls Division III sectional tournament action at Fred Summers Court.
With the victory, the No. 9 seed Lady Astros are now 15-8 and advance to the upper bracket sectional final 6 p.m. Feb. 27 against No. 4 seed Purcell-Marian.
Seven Hills ends its season with a 15-8 record.
“The kids really played hard tonight and I’m so proud of their effort, ” said Lady Astros head coach Jeff Craycraft after the contest.
The big difference was East Clinton’s defensive pressure in the second half, as the Lady Astros held Seven Hills to just 11 points in the third and fourth quarters.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and we knew that keeping the ball away from their No. 34 (Maggie Kiersting) was crucial,” Craycraft said.
Kiersting scored 10 points in the first half, but only seven in the second half. She led the Stingers in scoring with 17.
For East Clinton, Mackenzie Campbell was the leading scorer with 16 points, eight in each half.
Non-starter Kayla Hall provided instant offense for the Lady Astros, coming off the bench to add 11 points, including eight in the final period.
“We moved the ball well tonight and we had 11 assists, showing good key passes and really executed well, especially in the second half,” Craycraft stated.
It was a closely played game in the first half, with the Lady Astros taking a 10-5 first quarter lead. EC outscored Seven Hills, 11-9, taking a 21-14 edge at the intermission.
It was a defensive standoff of 6-6 in the third period, but Paige Lilly’s rainbow trey from the right wing beat the buzzer, giving EC a 10-point lead, 30-20, after three periods.
East Clinton had six different players figure in the fourth period scoring, with a 21-10 effort to salt away the win.
Along with eight points from Hall, Campbell accounted for six of the Lady Astros fourth period points.
February 20 2018
Division III Sectional
@Fred Summers Court
East Clinton 51 Seven Hills 30
(30) SEVEN HILLS (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Shupert 1-0-0-2, Rommerill 0-0-1-1, Robinson 4-1-1-10, Kiersting 5-1-6-17. TOTALS 10-2-8-30
(51) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lilly 4-1-0-9, Hall 5-0-1-11, Davis 1-0-1-3, Peterman 4-0-0-8, Durbin 1-0-0-2, Talbott 1-0-0-2, Campbell 7-0-2-16. TOTALS 23-1-4-51.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.