VERSAILLES – The Versailles Lady Tigers got back to their winning ways Saturday afternoon by defeating the Miami Valley School 66-61 in non-conference action.
As the game began, both teams unveiled tight man-to-man defenses, which caused the offenses to struggle to mount much of an attack early on. Midway through the quarter saw the Lady Rams find the range for two 3-pointers and an old fashioned three-point play, but a personal five-point run by Lady Tiger Kami McEldowney made the score 13-10 Miami Valley after one period.
The second quarter still saw defensive pressure, but it began to take its toll on the Lady Rams in the form of foul trouble. Yet, by spreading the floor they were able to tally three more triples in the period. Versailles simply could not get enough offense going to pull away from Miami Valley and in fact trailed 31-27 at the half.
“You can tell as I start to coach this team more this year that we’re a very defensive oriented team,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “We play well defensively, talk on defense and rotating our defense well and we play much better on the offensive side. That’s what you saw tonight.”
Play well defensively they did. The Lady Tigers caused three early Miami Valley turnovers that keyed the start of a 13-0 run to begin the quarter. Typically, it was a team effort as Lauren Monnin, Danielle Winner, Kristin Langston and Kami McEldowney all contributed.
“We just weren’t moving well (in the first half),” Stonebraker said. “I felt like we were out of sync again. Trust this offense. This offense has worked for a long time. You have run this offense for a long time. Trust it. It will work. I thought in the second half we did a much better job running the offense.”
Although Versailles now led 40-31, Miami Valley would not go away. The Lady Rams began to find some offensive rhythm. As Versailles ran its offense to get shots from inside the paint Miami Valley managed to stay close as the third quarter ended at 46-42.
The Lady Tigers maintained the lead through the opening moments of the fourth quarter and stretched it to 54-46 with under four minutes remaining.
“When we got up by eight, we didn’t think we were running away with it,” Coach Stonebraker said. “We used the clock to our benefit.”
Versailles scored 10 of its final 12 points from the free throw line. The Tigers were 13-20 in the period.
“Nice job down the stretch hitting those free throws,” Stonebraker said. “If we don’t hit those free throws, we don’t win the game.”
Miami Valley just couldn’t overcome the Versailles free throw shooting to draw closer than four points in the final moments.
The Lady Tigers were 21-66 from the field and 21-32 from the free throw line. They out-rebounded the Lady Rams 41-25.
McEldowney led Versailles with 15 points in the game. Also for the Tigers, Monnin scored 14 points, Danielle Winner scored 12, Ellen Peters scored eight, Camille Watren scored seven, Langston scored four, Kami Ording scored four, and Haley Winner scored two.
Versailles raised its season record to 4-3 with the victory and the Tigers’ next game will be at New Knoxville on Thursday. The junior varsity also won 68-23, moving to 5-2 on the year.