COVINGTON – The rain outside was coming down in buckets Wednesday night in Covington, but it couldn’t compare to the buckets Versailles rained down on Northridge.
The final tally showed Versailles vanquishing Northridge 85-13 in front of about 150 spectators at Covington’s two-year old gymnasium.
Versailles came in as the No. 1 seed in the sectional and also the top-ranked team in the state and did not disappoint from start to finish. The Tigers improved to 22-1 overall and earned a place in the sectional final. Northridge from the Southwestern Buckeye League limped back to North Dixie Drive in Dayton with a 2-21 mark to close out the season.
Incidentally, Versailles throttled its first opponent, Dixie, also from the SWBL in much the same fashion with a continuous clock implemented in the second half. The continuous clock is used when an opponent is up 35 points or more in the second half, and Versailles was up 50-8 Wednesday in a game that took right about an hour to complete.
Versailles now has a date with Dayton Christian on Tuesday night for a chance to go to district tournament.
First quarter offerings showed total domination by the Versailles Tigers as they created fast-break opportunities with their stellar defense and hit two 3-pointers to help with the barrage. The score mounted to 19-0 with 3:09 left, 26-0 with two minutes on the new Buccaneer scoreboard and mercifully ended for the shivering Bears at 28-3.
Northridge popped in a 3-pointer when it was down 26-to-zip by Lorraine Reeder. Versailles lit up the scorebook with seven players scoring at will. Elizabeth Ording led the pack of hungry Tigers with 8 points, following closely was Kami McEldowney with 5 and Mallory Marshal with 4.
The second eight minutes of action saw the Tigers claw to half the century mark of 50 while limiting the Polar Bears to 5 for their halftime total of 8. The Tigers created some more turnovers with their constant pressure and added a couple 3-pointers for good measure in acquiring 22 points. Northridge was led by Leslie Lane who shot outside the lane for a long-range 3.
This quarter the Tigers improved with eight players scoring compared to seven in the previous canto. Versailles was led by Ording again who kept her scoring in order with 4 and was matched by Lindsey Winner.
The winner in the third quarter was definitely the tenacious defense of Jacki Stonebraker’s group. The Tigers completely shut down the cold shooting Bears with zero points for the fast eight minutes of action. The reason it was fast and furious was that a continuous clock was implemented because the Tigers were up by 42 points.
The Tigers were consistent again with their scoring prowess as they pounded home another 22 points in this frame just like the second. The Tigers were led by Kami McEldowney with two long range missiles for 6 points, matched by Lindsey Winner who hit three buckets underneath.
The third quarter was not all glorious as senior Hailey McEldowney hit the floor hard with an ankle injury at 1:42 of the frame. She was helped off the court by her resourceful teammates hoping for her quick recovery.
The fourth quarter showed the Tigers emptying their entire bench for important playing time. They still scored 13, which is the same amount of points the Montgomery County squad of Ken Ford had for the entire game.
This was the closest quarter by far as the Polar Bears came out of the deep freeze and connected for 5 points led by Reeder who launched in another 3-pointer. The Tigers were led by the coach’s daughter, Brooke Stonebraker, who broke loose for 4 points.
Final tallies showed Northridge being led by Reeder’s 6 points, Lane’s 3 and Dejha Lee who piled in 4 for the Polar Bears’ grand total of 13. They had three triples, two buckets and were 0-of-2 from the free throw line.
Victorious Versailles had Kami McEldowney and Ording with a game-high 14 points apiece. Following closely was Lindsey Winner with 12, Marshal hitting double digits with 10, Kelsey Custenborder canning in 9 and Danielle Winner with 7 along with several big time rejections. Caitlin McEldowney had 6 on her two long range missiles, Ellen Peters and Brooke Stonebraker both had 4, Liz Watren 3 and Caitlyn Luthman with a deuce to round out the scoring deluge. Eleven players scored out of the 13 in the scorebook for a remarkable 84 percent, which is quite an achievement considering the running clock in the second half. Tiger tallies showed 29 regulars, six 3-pointers and 9-of-11 from the line for their robust total of 85 points.
“I was definitely pleased with our defense tonight as we were able to use our gap defense to shut them down on the offensive end,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “It is always a learning experience even in a game like this as we were able to do a lot of different things by giving our reserve players valuable playing time. Our league and schedule really give us an edge come tournament time as the (Midwest Athletic Conference) always has some talented teams. On the negative side of the game was senior Hailey McEldowney going down with an ankle injury. She has a week to rest up before our next game, and hopefully she will be good to go.”