COVINGTON – The Versailles Lady Tigers cruised into the Division III sectional finals after easily dispatching Springfield Northeastern in the semifinals round last Thursday at Covington by a score of 61-4.
The win, coupled with a win by the Anna Rockets in the other semifinal, sets up a rematch between the two teams, one that was won by Anna earlier in the season.
The Lady Tigers (19-5) opened the flood gates immediately on the Jets jumping out to a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Northeastern (0-23) did not score until midway in the second quarter on a free throw by Katelyn Dietrich making the score 24-1. Versailles closed out the second period with an 11-0 run to lead 35-1 at the break.
“We needed to get up and down the court with the game we have coming up next,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “We needed to race up and down the court like we are used to playing, so we didn’t want to slow our tempo down. We just wanted to keep going and keep forcing what we like to play.
“We also wanted to get into our half-court sets which I thought we did a pretty good job of too tonight,” she added.
The Jets showed plenty of spunk though and did not give up. They finally scored their first – and only – regular basket in the third period by Katie Baneck. Later, Katie Thompson added another free throw for their final point of the game.
But clearly it was all Versailles in this one as the Lady Tigers got plenty of floor time for everyone on the roster. Fourteen of the 15 rostered players got into the game – Danielle Kunk is injured – and nine of them found the scoring column led by junior Lindsey Winner with 12 points. Senior Elizabeth Ording was next with 11 points and senior Liz Watren reached double digits with 10 points.
“We shot a lot better tonight and I thought we were more focused on offense,” Stonebraker said. “Defensively we swarmed really well. I thought the girls did a nice job of just sharing the ball tonight and not caring who got the points.
“Now it is game time. We’re excited to play the next game whoever it may be and we are ready for a battle,” she added.
Also scoring for Versailles were Kelsey Custenborder with 8 points, Caitlin McEldowney and Savannah Toner with 6 points apiece, Brooke Stonebraker with 4 points, and Abby Stammen and Caitlyn Luthman with a bucket each.
The Anna-Versailles rematch in the sectional finals will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25 at Covington as the second of three sectional final game on the slate that night.
Score by quarters
Northeastern – Katie Baneck 1 0 2, Katelyn Dietrich 0 1 1, Katie Thompson 0 1 1. Totals: 1 2 4.
Versailles – Liz Watren 4 0 10, Abby Stammen 1 0 2, Caitlin McEldowney 2 2 6, Savannah Toner 3 0 6, Elizabeth Ording 4 3 11, Lindsey Winner 6 0 12, Caitlyn Luthman 1 0 2, Kelsey Custenborder 3 0 8, Brooke Stonebraker 2 0 4. Totals: 26 5 61.
3-pointers – Northeastern 0, Versailles 4 (Watren 2, Custenborder 2).
Records: Northeastern (0-23), Versailles (19-5).
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.