By Garth Shanklin,
Sports Editor –
In a year that has seen several Williamsburg athletic teams make history, the Lady Wildcats’ basketball team became the latest to rewrite the school’s record books.
The Lady Wildcats defeated Clermont Northeastern 64-19 on Thursday, Feb. 1, improving their record to 18-0 on the season, 11-0 in the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference’s National Division.
Williamsburg was in control early, leading 19-2 after one quarter. The Lady Wildcats led 35-4 at halftime, and never looked back. Clermont Northeastern did improve as the game went on, scoring six points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth.
Daroll Reece filled in as head coach for CNE head coach Bill Goldfuss, who was unable to coach in the game due to the flu. That improvement was something he hoped he would see.
“We got better,” Reece said. “We’re young, we’re learning. We’re just going to stick with what we were doing. We’re trying different defenses, we’re just trying to get better. That’s a really good team, and we did the best we could with them.”
Reece added that he was happy with the way his team’s defense performed, even though the score
“We didn’t quit playing,” Reece said. “I thought, even though they put up the points, we played good defense. They had to work really hard for every shot they had, they just made every shot. I thought we played hard and strong. At the end we got the young ones in there to see what we had.”
Williamsburg head coach Mike Madsen said the Lady Wildcats’ defense is what the team relies upon to get things off on the right foot.
“Our defense always sets the tone,” Madsen said. “The girls were extremely focused. When you have the seniors we have, Peyton Fisher, Leslie Engle, Hailey Beesten and Emily Brown, you’re going to have a good season. These girls are the most fun people to hang out with. We laugh all day at practice. We love them.”
Fisher finished second on the team with 18 points. She also had four rebounds and five assists. Jessica Chase led all scorers with 20, and Alexis Chase added 15.
Madsen said the team’s offense looked different than the last time the team took the court against the Lady Lions of New Richmond.
“I told the girls the other night when we played New Richmond, and New Richmond’s a good team, we shot 42 times the entire night against New Richmond,” Madsen said. “The first half against Georgetown we shot 42 times in the first half. That’s offensive rebounding, shooting and getting up and down the court. That’s what we did tonight, we getting a lot of shots. I tip my hat to the girls.”
Madsen also mentioned how he felt about winning a league title outright, the first outright girls’ basketball conference title.
“It feels great,” Madsen said. “There is a lot of tough competition in the league. We just played a really good game in the first half. The girls were focused tonight, both teams.”
Now that the league title is behind them, Madsen said the Lady Wildcats can focus on the games that are ahead on the schedule, including a re-match at Wilmington in the SBAAC Crossover game on Saturday, Feb. 10.
“We still have a couple goals set that we want to accomplish, we have some work to do,” Madsen said.
Those goals extend to the junior varsity level, where that squad enters play this week undefeated as well. Madsen credited junior varsity head coach Mandy Irvin with getting the team prepared to play on a nightly basis while also improving the team’s skill dramatically since the beginning of the season.
“[Irvin] has done a [great] job with these kids this year,” Madsen said. “If you saw the junior varsity team from the beginning of the year to the end…we’ve got a bright future ahead of us.”
Masdon also thanked the Williamsburg community for their support during the season.
“It was a great crowd again tonight,” Madsen said. “You can’t ask for more from the community. They come out and support us.”
Williamsburg has three regular-season games left on the schedule. The team hosts Blanchester tonight, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. followed by the crossover game at Wilmington on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. Finally, the team makes up a non-conference clash on Monday, Feb. 12 against Western Brown at the Mount Orab Middle School gym.