UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley broke an 18-game losing streak Saturday afternoon as the Lady Hawks beat Twin Valley South 74-49 in their regular season finale.
Saturday’s victory was Mississinawa Valley’s first since defeating Fairlawn 42-40 on Dec. 6 and gave the MV seniors a victory in their final home game.
“I wish these seniors would have had a better record than what they did,” Mississinawa Valley girls basketball coach John Hershey said. “They deserve a better record. But you know there were some games they were in the ball game, and they just didn’t know how to finish, and that was the problem. But it was good to get that win. They needed it. The seniors wanted it really bad.”
Mississinawa showed its determination to get a win right away. Kelsie Hunt scored the first 6 points of the game and helped the Hawks build a 7-0 advantage, a lead they held the rest of the game.
Twin Valley South recovered from its slow start and cut its deficit to 13-9 by the end of the opening quarter.
After a strong start defensively Mississinawa Valley played even better in the second quarter. The Blackhawks held the Panthers to just 1 point over the final 4:42 of the first half, which helped the home team build a 39-15 halftime lead.
“My girls, they can get after it,” Hershey said of his team’s defense. “I’ve got some good girls, and we’ve been playing that man-to-man almost all year long.”
Mississinawa kept rolling early in the third quarter, scoring the first 8 points of the second half and increasing its lead to a game-high 32 points. Twin Valley South turned its fortunes around with a 14-0 run that reduced its deficit to 47-29, but Mississinawa Valley maintained its double-digit lead and went into the fourth quarter up 53-35.
In the fourth quarter Mississinawa Valley again added to its lead and finished the game with a 25-point margin of victory, 74-49.
“I thought they played excellent,” Hershey said. “My bench came in and really contributed. The girls went out with a game plan and by golly they stuck with it today. It was very impressive offensively, defensively.”
Mississinawa Valley needed the bench contributions as it had three players foul out.
“It was a rough game,” Hershey said. “A lot of aggressive play on the defensive side from both sides. I thought it was very well officiated both ways, but it was aggressive, and it wasn’t our style.”
Olivia Murphy led Mississinawa Valley with a game-high 18 points. Also for the Blackhawks, Mikayla Stump scored 14 points, Kylie Willis scored 12, Kelsie Hunt scored 11, Sidnie Hunt scored 9, Madison Stachler scored 7, and Arianna Caixba scored 3 in MV’s highest scoring game of the season.
Kelsie Shafer led Twin Valley South with 16 points. Also for the Panthers, Taylor Bowers scored 7 points, Mylan Crews scored 6, Madison Johnson scored 5, Emily Hutchings scored 4, Abby Robertson scored 4, Sydney Vorhis scored 3, and Abby Bingham scored 2.
Mississinawa Valley improved to 2-20 overall and 1-12 in the CCC with Saturday’s win. Twin Valley South fell to 4-18 overall and 0-12 in the CCC.
Mississinawa Valley will play either Jackson Center or Fairlawn in the Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in Sidney.
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.