Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — After hitting just one of their first 16 shots Friday night, Unioto finally found itself an offensive rhythm.
The Shermans trailed Huntington 13-5 with 5:08 to go in the second quarter. However, it was at that moment where something seemed to click … and when it did, a chain reaction occurred.
After Unioto’s Cree Stulley hit the team’s second 3-point field goal of the night, the Shermans (5-0, 3-0 SVC) went on to hit eight more in a 49-28 win over the Huntsmen.
“We started moving the ball a lot better in the second or third quarter. We got our shots off and they just started falling,” senior Hallie Pinkerton said. “Our defensive game plan was pretty much to shut [Huntington’s Allison Basye] down. We knew the rest would take care of itself if we could do that, and it did.”
Shutting Basye down is easier said than done. Huntington’s star forward scored her team’s first nine points, giving it a 9-3 lead after the first quarter.
But after finding her way to the bucket rather easily in the first eight minutes, Pinkerton and friends clamped down on defense over the next three quarters and held Basye to nine points the rest of the way.
“It’s a really big win and it’s mainly a statement win,” senior Emily Coleman said. “We want to come in every game and make it a point that even though we lost Jocie [Fisher] last year, we still have it and we’re still here at the very top. But every game is going to be a challenge.”
Coleman was magnificent all night long.
After Stulley’s 3 cut the lead to 13-8, Coleman made it a 13-11 game with her first triple. Then, after Basye made it 15-11, Coleman hit back-to-back 3’s to give Unioto a 17-15 lead with 1:34 to go in the first half.
Pinkerton then put a bow on a half-ending 11-0 run with a 3 of her own as time expired.
“During practice, our zone shooting has worked really well,” Coleman said. “This is the first team that’s came out and played us in a zone. Even though we didn’t start too hot, we just kept shooting.”
In the third, Pinkerton and Coleman traded back-to-back triples to extend Unioto’s lead to 31-17. From there, the rout was on as Unioto cruised to an early conference victory.
Coleman ended the night with 18 points while Cree Stulley quietly pieced together a good night, totaling 13 points and eight rebounds. Pinkerton ended with six points, Avery Miller added six points and four rebounds, and Amber Cottrill finished with three points, five boards and eight assists.
Basye led Huntington (1-4, 1-2 SVC) with 18 points and seven rebounds while Katie Hirsch added five points and three boards.
Unioto and Huntington are both back in action Tuesday night. The Shermans travel to Adena while the Huntsmen go to Southeastern.
“I think we boxed out really well tonight. We’ve been struggling with that but [Unioto coach] Jeff [Miller] has pounded it into our heads that all five of us have to crash the boards. We executed that well. We just have to keep our momentum.”
Unioto: 3-19-14-13 — 49
Huntington: 9-6-8-5 — 28
Unioto: 17-46 FG, 5-8 FT, 10-28 3pt., 19 rebounds (Stulley 8), 11 turnovers, 14 assists (Cottrill 8). Scoring: Coleman 18, Stulley 13, Pinkerton 6, Av. Miller 6, Al. Miller 3, Cottrill 3.
Huntington: 12-30 FG, 2-6 FT, 2-5 3pt., 20 rebounds (Basye 7), 21 turnovers, 6 assists (Haubeil 3). Scoring: Basye 18, Hirsch 5, Steele 2, Dyer 2, Brown 1.
Unioto’s boys start SVC slate with win over Huntington
CHILLICOTHE — It wasn’t always pretty Friday night but anytime his team comes out on top, Unioto coach Matt Hoops isn’t going to complain.
Hoops’ Shermans played sloppy at times, didn’t make good decisions with the basketball and allowed Huntington to hang around for the better part of three quarters.
But in the end, Unioto (3-0, 1-0 SVC) still managed to pull out a 57-34 win over Huntington, starting its conference scheduled on the right foot.
“Anytime you go on the road, it’s tough. It’s always a grind,” Hoops said. “Huntington is always one of the toughest places to play, if not the toughest. They’re always well-prepared and you’re going to have to beat them for four quarters because they’re not going away. We were really sloppy in the first half with silly things that just aren’t very characteristic for us. But we cleaned those things up after halftime, especially on the defensive end.”
After surrendering 13 points in the first and 10 in the second, Unioto gave up a total of 11 points in the second half.
Through the team’s first three games, defense has been the focus. The Shermans got back to what they do best after halftime.
“We got back to our identity, which is our defense. That’s what we’ve hung our hat on here lately,” Hoops said. “There really wasn’t an adjustment at halftime, other than getting to our correct spots and understanding the scouting report. Sometimes, we just got a little overanxious and allowed easy shots. So we just went back, reviewed the game plan and communicated.”
While the defense came back to life, Isaac Little was effective offensively in all 32 minutes. The junior guard once again led the team in scoring with 22 points alongside seven rebounds and three assists.
“It’s a good win on the road. Isaac was good. I felt like he kind of steadied us offensively. He’s playing well and he’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Hoops said.
Following Little’s stat line, Evan Park and Carson DeBord each scored six points while Park added five rebounds. Reece Wheeler had four points and nine rebounds, and Nate Keiser also helped out with five points, four boards and two assists.
In total, eight different Shermans scored.
For Huntington (1-2, 0-1 SVC), Seth Beeler led the way with 12 points while Dalton Haubeil added eight points and four rebounds. Seth McCloskey also chipped in with five points, two rebounds and two assists.
Unioto and Huntington are both back in action Saturday evening. The Shermans travel to Piketon while the Huntsmen host Zane Trace.
Unioto: 13-15-12-17 — 57
Huntington: 13-10-6-5 — 34
Unioto: 22-54 FG, 8-15 FT, 5-22 3pt., 40 rebounds (Wheeler 9), 19 turnovers, 9 assists (Little 3). Scoring: Little 22, Park 6, Car. DeBord 6, Cam. DeBord 5, Lambert 5, Keiser 5, Markko 4, Wheeler 4.
Huntington: 9-33 FG, 13-16 FT, 3-10 3pt., 17 rebounds (Haubeil 4), 25 turnovers, 2 assists (McCloskey 2). Scoring: Beeler 12, Haubeil 8, McCloskey 5, Hertenstein 5, Haines 4.