Brock Netter, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — It may only be the first half of the season, but Adena continues to look like the real deal. And the Warriors’ record backs it up.
The Warriors moved to 8-0 on the season after holding Piketon to just four points in the second and fourth quarters, earning a 49-28 win over the Redstreaks on Thursday.
“Our chemistry is really good, and we’ve been sharing the ball just as well,” Adena’s Jadyn Smith said of the team’s undefeated start. “When we drive to the rim and kick it out, we have really good shooters who can hit the open shot. Defensively, we pressure the ball really well and even though we’re still missing some players, we all have stepped up into those roles and taken on that responsibility.”
The Warriors’ defense was suffocating throughout the evening, using a full-court press to force Piketon into quick decisions, which turned into turnovers … 25 of them to be specific.
“That’s sort of our identity,” Adena coach Andrew Day said. “We feel like we have really good depth, and that allows us to pick players up and play a full-court press. We know if we can successfully apply the press early, it wears teams down in the second half and then we can take advantage of it.”
Piketon (3-2, 1-2 SVC) controlled much of the first quarter, despite turning the ball over six times. Both teams went back and forth, but a bucket from Natalie Cooper gave the Redstreaks a 9-8 lead after the first.
Later tied 13-13 in the second, the Warriors (8-0, 5-0 SVC) went on a 7-0 run behind buckets from Rylan Willis, Emma Garrison and Makaela Lovely to go ahead 20-13 at halftime.
“Up to that point, we had struggled to get any time of rhythm going offensively, so that was a spark we needed,” Day said. “The biggest thing for us now at that time was that we had a lead and momentum. We wanted to capitalize on it.”
After forcing 15 turnovers in the first half, Adena had more in store. It just needed to find that offensive rhythm.
Then Kiera Williams showed up right on time.
The freshman buried back-to-back triples that pushed the lead to double digits at 30-17 midway through the third. It spelled the beginning of the end.
From that point on, Smith and Cheyenne Ater began getting rebounds and put backs to go, Emma Garrison hit a couple of shots and Piketon had no answer down the stretch.
“These girls work hard every night, and they come with a positive attitude all the time,” Day said. “It’s a gift as a coach to have a group like these who are determined to perform and win. They earn every win and I couldn’t be happier for them as a coach.”
Smith finished the game with a game-high 13 points and five rebounds to lead the Warriors. Williams followed with 11 points while Ater had six points and 10 rebounds.
Bailey Vulgamore led Piketon with 10 points and four rebounds.
Adena is back in action on Tuesday at home against Fisher Catholic in non-conference action, while Piketon rebounds at home on Saturday against Eastern.
Piketon: 9-4-11-4 — 28
Adena: 8-12-16-13 — 49
Piketon: 11-34 FG, 6-7 FT, 0-5 3pt., 29 rebounds (Jenkins 8), 25 turnovers, 5 assists (Lamerson 3). Scoring: Vulgamore 10, Jenkins 5, McNelly 5, Cooper 4, Lamerson 2, Risner 2.
Adena: 21-52 FG, 4-12 FT, 3-11 3pt., 31 rebounds (Ater 10), 14 turnovers, 13 assists (Garrison 4). Scoring: Smith 13, Williams 11, Garrison 9, Ater 6, Miner 4, Willis 2, Makaela Lovely 2, Makenna Lovely 2.