Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — Defensive pressure, the 3-point shot, and motivation to reach a season-long goal … that’s the mixed bag Unioto used to win its 12th straight league game this season, pushing its conference winning streak to 33 games.
The Shermans (16-2, 12-0 SVC) beat Adena, 50-24, Tuesday night in a runaway win from the start. The program is now one game away from a conference title and two from an undefeated league season.
“Coming into the season, we sat down as a team and set some goals. So far, we’ve accomplished almost all of them,” Coleman said. “One of those goals is to win the league and another is to win the Gold Ball. We won it last year and we’ve been pushing hard to get it again this year.”
In Tuesday’s victory, Cree Stulley led the team with 13 points and seven rebounds. She continues to be a central reason why the Shermans have experienced so much success this season.
The senior was catapulted into a new position after the loss of Jocie Fisher a year ago. Stulley, at 5-foot-11, isn’t your typical inside presence. But she’s provided stability in the post all year long while adapting to the change.
“I feel like coming into this year, some people kind of doubted us,” Coleman said. “We did lose Jocie last year and we had to replace her. But Cree [Stulley] has really stepped in, and even though she’s a guard, she’s played that position really well.”
Coleman kicked Tuesday’s scoring off with a 3 at the 7:25 mark in the first quarter. Abby French then scored the Warriors’ first bucket with 7:14 left before Amber Cottrill nailed a 3 on the other end to make it 6-2.
And from there, the rout was on.
The Warriors (13-8, 7-5 SVC) cut the lead to 6-4 before Unioto ended the quarter on a 10-0 run, one that was powered by triples from Stulley and Coleman.
In the second, Adena’s Makaela Lovely scored with 6:42 left to make it a 20-7 game before Alexis Miller dialed long distance with 2:57 left, pushing Unioto’s edge to 26-7.
By halftime, Unioto was up 29-11 and extended that lead to 43-18 heading into the fourth. From there, the Shermans remained in cruise control en route to their 16th win this year.
“We just have to keep coming in, working hard and going off the haters,” senior Jerzi Paul said. “It’s just about keep pushing forward to reach our goals that we’ve set.”
After Stulley’s final stat line, Coleman added nine points and four assists for Unioto while Cottrill also posted nine points and four assists. Paul finished with four points and six rebounds while Carli Renner added four points as well.
In total, nine different Shermans scored.
Leading Adena statistically was Hannah Stark, who scored seven points and tallied four rebounds. Sydney Foglesong also helped out with five points and five boards, and Lovely had four points.
Unioto is back in action Thursday, hosting Southeastern in a marquee conference matchup. Meanwhile, Adena is scheduled to host Zane Trace.
“To beat Southeastern, we’re definitely going to have to be mentally prepared,” Coleman said. “It’s going to be physical. But tonight got a little more physical than we expected. But I think we stepped up to the challenge. We’re going to have to prepare for that on Thursday.”
If the Shermans can beat the Panthers, they’ll claim an outright SVC title and be one game away from winning a second consecutive Gold Ball.
“Like [Coleman] said, we’re just going to have to come in and be prepared for it to be physical,” Paul said. “We’re going to have to box out because [Southeastern] has some good players that can push you around. We have to sit down on the defensive side and not allow their guards to get their offense going.”
Adena: 4-7-7-6 — 24
Unioto: 16-13-14-7 — 50
Adena: 9-36 FG, 6-13 FT, 0-8 3pt., 28 rebounds (Smith 5, Foglesong 5), 28 turnovers, 5 assists (Smith 2). Scoring: Stark 7, Foglesong 5, Makaela Lovely 4, Smith 3, French 2, Martin 2, Ater 1.
Unioto: 19-48 FG, 4-8 FT, 8-21 3pt., 27 rebounds (Stulley 7), 16 turnovers, 13 assists (Coleman 4, Cottrill 4). Scoring: Stulley 13, Coleman 9, Cottrill 9, J. Paul 4, Renner 4, Pinkerton 4, Miller 3, K. Paul 2, Miller 2.