by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
ASHVILLE — Teays Valley broke open a tight contest in the final minutes to earn a 58-40 win over Westerville North.
The victory gives the Vikings a sectional title and advances them to the Central District Division I district semis on Wednesday against Newark.
“To win a sectional championship in the Central District, it doesn’t happen a whole lot. For us to get the respect we got being the 14 seed and playing a good Westerville North team, we’re excited,” TV coach Trevor Younkin said. “Then to be in the same bracket as Newark. Newark was in the state championship last year and still has huge pieces. We feel comfortable playing them, but understand we have a lot we have to do to be able to give ourselves the opportunity to win that game.”
To give themselves an opportunity against Newark, the Vikings will need some of what they brought at the end against Westerville North.
While the Vikings led the whole game, only three points separated the teams with 90 seconds left in the third.
TV outscored its visitors 21-6 the rest of the way, thanks in no small part to Ashley DeWeese.
The senior scored the final five points of the third and went 8-8 at the line in the fourth in scoring a game-high 22 points.
“I can’t talk enough about her,” Younkin said. “She took ownership tonight. For her to step up like that as a senior and her last time playing here at home, I couldn’t be happier for her. She’s a true leader.
“She’s been with me the last three years through thick and thin and I’m extremely happy for her.”
Kennedy Younkin had six of her 16 for TV in the fourth.
“When the season ended, we talked about the third quarter. The third quarter has been kind of a problem for us. We said at halftime that, being up only six, we’ve got to come out and have a good third quarter,” coach Younkin said. “Going over to Newark, we’ve got have that third and fourth quarter push like we did here. It comes down to being able to execute when we’re tired, execute when the pressure is on and execute when we’ve got to be physically tough.”
TV got the game off to a good start with a three-pointer from Jenna Horsley and a three-point play from Younkin. Leading by as many as eight in the quarter, the Vikings finished the period up 13-11.
Horsley, DeWeese and Younkin scored the first seven points of the second and TV was up 26-20 at halftime.
The Warriors were within a basket of tying the score three times in the third before the Vikings started to pull away toward the end of the period.
“I think we did wear them out a little bit. Also, in the middle of the third quarter I challenged them and said our toughness has to come right here, right now,” Younkin said. “I feel like our girls stepped up to that challenge.”
The No. 14 seeded Vikings will face off with the No. 4 seeded Wildcats at 7 p.m. Wednesday at a neutral site to be determined.
Teays Valley 58, Westerville North 40
Westerville North — Emoni Finch 4-2-13, Lauren Hilderbrand 2-2-7, Ashley Kisor 2-0-4, Kayla Curry-Brown 7-1-16. Three-point goals — Finch (3), Hilderbrand, Curry-Brown. Total — 15-5-40
Teays Valley — Abby Tier 1-0-3, Aimee Watson 2-0-4, Jenna Horsley 3-0-9, Ashley DeWeese 6-9-22, Kennedy Younkin 7-2-16, Alyssa Horsley 1-2-4. Three-point goals — Tier, J Horsley (3), DeWeese. Total — 20-13-58.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Westerville N 11 9 14 6 40
Teays Valley 13 13 16 16 58