TIPP CITY — After a little bit of a slow start on Tuesday, Versailles stormed past Preble Shawnee, defeating the Arrows 84-34 in an Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament game.
Versailles faced an early 4-2 deficit in its first game of the postseason tournament before going on a 21-0 run that propelled the second-seeded Tigers to the win against the eighth-seeded Arrows.
“We came out a little slow,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “It was 4-4 at one point, and then they struggled with our pressure a little bit, and we got a lot of easy baskets in transition.”
Versailles’ pressure caused havoc on Preble Shawnee in the first quarter as the Tigers forced numerous turnovers that led to easy layups. The Tigers also dominated in the paint with Emily Harman scoring 10 points in the first quarter.
“Huge factor,” Stonebraker said of Harman. “She is a quiet monster out there. She really is. You just never know what’s going to be happening behind you when Emily’s behind you. She can sneak up behind you and get a steal, she can pull down a board, she’s great defensively, and she can finish offensively.”
With scoring from Harman, Christa Puthoff, Rachel Kremer, Lauren Bruns, Kayla McEldowney and Katie Heckman, Versailles built a 23-8 lead in the opening period.
Versailles held Preble Shawnee to single digits in the second quarter as well, building a 43-15 lead by halftime. Amanda Winner, Harman, Courtney Prenger, McEldowney, Heckman, Olivia Schlater and Puthoff all contributed offensively in the period for the Tigers.
Preble Shawnee scored 13 points in the third quarter, its best offensive output of the evening, but Versailles still extended its lead to 58-28 with scoring from Puthoff, Kremer, Bruns and Prenger.
Versailles’ defense was stifling again the fourth quarter, limiting Preble Shawnee to a pair of 3-pointers, while Kremer, Bruns, Winner, Prenger and Lauren Monnin scored to lead the Tigers to the 84-34 win.
Kremer led Versailles with a team-high 16 points. Also for the Lady Tigers, Bruns scored 13 points, Harman scored 12, Puthoff scored 10, Monnin scored eight, Prenger scored seven, McEldowney scored six, Winner scored six, Heckman scored four, and Schlater scored two.
Maddie Woodard led Preble Shawnee with a game-high 17 points. Also for the Arrows, Adrianna Moore scored nine, Elise Walker scored six, and K. Wilson scored two.
Versailles now advances to play fourth-seeded Arcanum at 7:30 p.m. today at Tippecanoe in the sectional final. Versailles beat Arcanum 56-43 on Dec. 7.
Prior to Arcanum’s win against Dixie, Stonebraker said Versailles’ win against Arcanum earlier this season, in which post players Heckman and Puthoff didn’t play, gives the Tigers a sense of what to expect in the sectional championship.
“Arcanum, we’ve already seen them play; we already played them so there’s no surprises with them,” Stonebraker said.