VERSAILLES – Versailles celebrated its senior night on Monday by beating previously undefeated Tri-Village, Darke County’s other state-ranked girls basketball team, 54-38.
The game was close in the first half with Versailles, the eighth ranked team in the Associated Press’ Division III state rankings, holding a 4-point lead on Tri-Village, the second ranked team in Division IV. But in the second half the Tigers shut down the Patriots and pulled away for a 16-point victory.
Versailles began the night with five of its six seniors in the starting lineup. The seniors hit three 3-pointers in the opening period, including two from Kami Ording.
“That was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? Kami O with two 3s to start the game,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “That’s what she’s in there for. She’s there to get us going with the 3-point shot.”
Tri-Village was able to keep pace with Versailles in the opening quarter with Allie Downing leading the way with two treys of her own, making the score 9-9 at the end of the first eight minutes.
Kami Ording hit another 3-pointer to regain the lead for Versailles early in the second quarter. Kami McEldowney then scored 7 quick points to put the Tigers up 19-12 midway through the period, giving them a lead they held for the rest of the night. At the end of the first half Versailles held a 24-20 scoring advantage.
Stonebraker credited Versailles’ zone defense, which held Tri-Village to less than 55 percent of its normal offensive output, with helping set up the Tigers for success.
“We haven’t thrown it at hardly anybody this year,” she said. “I just knew with the way we were starting the game with the seniors I thought that was the best way to go with all their weapons that they had. I didn’t know who was going to guard who so we definitely wanted to go to our zone.”
In the second half Versailles found success with its inside game. The trio of Elizabeth Ording, Danielle Winner and Lindsey Winner controlled the paint with the freshman Lindsey Winner especially playing well.
“She played like a senior tonight,” Stonebraker said. “I thought she played really well. She played under control, she plays with a power dribble, and she’s hard to stop, especially when we have those three bigs in there. We’re starting to feel that rotation, starting to find some offense with those three bigs. I like it. I like seeing those girls out there. Sometimes it’s a defense issue that we have to work around, but for the most part I like seeing those three.”
Versailles’ three post players combined for 13 of the Tigers’ 15 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile Tri-Village only managed 4 points in the quarter and found itself down 39-24 at the end of the frame.
Throughout the entire fourth quarter Versailles led by double digits, eventually winning 54-38 and handing Tri-Village its first loss of the season.
McEldowney led Versailles with a game-high 13 points. Also for the Lady Tigers, Kami Ording scored 10 points, Lindsey Winner scored 10, Elizabeth Ording scored 7, Brynna Blakeley scored 4, Clair Schmitmeyer scored 3, Danielle Winner scored 3, Ellen Peters scored 2, and Camille Watren scored 2.
Downing led Tri-Village with 9 points. Also for the Patriots, Danika Mann scored 8 points, Trisa Porter scored 6, Peyton Bietry scored 5, Rachel Miller scored 3, Emma Printz scored 3, Lissa Siler scored 3, and Edie Morris scored 1.
Versailles improved to 17-3 with Monday’s win while Tri-Village fell to 19-1.
“Playing a Tri-Village is what we want to play every single game,” Stonebraker said. “And I think that our schedule is really, really, really packed with those type of teams, and that hopefully will carry us into tournament.”
Prior to the game Versailles honored its six seniors: Brynna Blakeley, Bailey Huffman, Emily Langenkamp, Kami Ording, Clair Schmitmeyer and Camille Watren.
“These six girls, they’re such great kids,” Stonebraker said. “I would not want another kid to be on this team because these kids are such great kids I’d be afraid. I’ve got such great kids that I wouldn’t want to coach another team. I would want to coach another group of seniors. These kids get along well, they like each other, and they’ve got energy. They’ve got spunk. They’ve got that defensive tenacity that every coach wants to have. They’re just a lot of fun to coach.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.