By Brad Morris
ASHVILLE — Teays Valley scored the first 11 points of a Division I Central District sectional final on Saturday on its way to a convincing 53-35 win over visiting Chillicothe.
“It took us a couple of minutes to settle into the game, but I felt after that we did a nice job of moving the basketball and creating good shot opportunities that we knocked down,” Teays Valley coach Trevor Younkin said. “We knew Chillicothe would want to come in here and push the basketball to use its athleticism. I felt our girls did a good job most of the time with pushing the basketball when we had opportunities to score and then running our offense and, again, working for a good look at the basket.”
Alyssa Horsley led all scorers with 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists to lead the Vikings. Kennedy Younkin also posted a double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds to go with three blocks and three assists, and Abby Tier tossed in 12 points to go with six rebounds and five assists.
“When we get Alyssa, Kennedy and Abby all going like that, we feel like we are in pretty good shape,” Younkin said. “Some teams focus on taking away Kennedy, others try to take away Alyssa and Hilliard Bradley the other night tried to take away Abby, our point guard.
“It makes us a tougher team to defend when you try and limit one of those three, because the other two have the capability of going off.”
Teays Valley pounded the glass for a 25-10 rebounding advantage during the first half and 44-27 overall.
The Vikings also held Chillicothe to just 6 of 31 (19.4 percent) shooting during the first half and 10 of 57 (17.5 percent) for the matinee contest.
“Chillicothe likes to use its athleticism to get to the basket and also outhustle the teams they are playing for rebounds,” Younkin said. “We knew two keys to the game for us would be to limit Chillicothe to just one shot and cut off its penetration to the basket. Our girls did a good job of executing those two goals we had other than a couple of little spurts.”
The Vikings made 7 of its final 10 shots of the first quarter to grab a 16-5 lead.
Younkin and Tier scored the first two baskets of the afternoon for the Vikings and Horsley followed with a triple from the left wing and a layup that forced a Chillicothe timeout. Cooper McManaway closed the 11-0 run to open the game with a jumper.
Chillicothe (14-9) trimmed its deficit to nine points on three separate occasions during the second quarter but could come no closer for the rest of the game.
The Vikings scored the final seven points of the half on a three from Horsley, an eight-foot jumper by Younkin and two free throws courtesy of Tier to go into the locker room with a 30-14 halftime lead.
Avery Erslan had nine points and Kiera Archer added seven for the Cavaliers.
Teays Valley (17-7) advances through sectional play for the second consecutive season and now turns its attention to a district semifinal on Wednesday against fifth-seeded Westerville South at a site to be determined. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
“So far we have beaten the teams that we were supposed to beat and affirmed the respect that the other coaches in the Central District gave by seeding us 14th,” Younkin said. “Now, we get the opportunity to play a team that honestly a lot of people outside of Ashville probably don’t expect us to beat.
“Westerville South is obviously seeded fifth for a reason. They are a very good team that have a few players who are being highly recruited. Our job is to be crisp with our execution, play loose and give ourselves an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter.”
Division I Central District
No. 14 Teays Valley 53,
No. 23 Chillicothe 35
CHILLICOTHE — Jacey Harding 2-1-5, Adaline Mendel 0-1-1, Savannah Knapp 0-1-1, Nyanna Hatfield 1-1-3, Avery Cox 0-1-1, Miranda McCloy 1-3-5, Avery Erslan 3-2-9, Paige Huggins 0-1-1, Kendra Allen 0-2-2, Kiera Archer 3-0-7. Three-point goals — Archer and Erslan. Total — 10-57 13-26 35.
TEAYS VALLEY — Abby Tier 4-4-12, Cooper McManaway 2-0-4, Kayla Cline 1-1-4, Kennedy Younkin 6-0-12, Alyssa Horsley 7-0-18, Gabrielle Watkins 1-1-3. Three-point goals — Horsley (4) and Cline. Total — 21-47 6-9 53.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Chillicothe 5 9 10 11 35
Teays Valley 16 14 11 12 53