Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
PIKETON — When Olivia Smith walked out of Piketon High School on Saturday, the back of her shirt read “iRebound.”
And put bluntly, that’s a terrific understatement.
Smith’s relentless motor has led her to many rebounding feats this season, but none bigger than Saturday’s. Just seconds into the game, she broke Paint Valley’s single-season rebound record with her 294th on the year … and then proceeded to grab 18 more.
Smith surpassed Megan Kellough’s mark of 293, set in the 1995-96 season. Her season total now stands at 312, with at least three regular season games and an impending tournament run to play.
“This means a lot to me. It’s been a goal of mine,” Smith said. “I’d like to thank God for letting me do this, and my teammates and coaches for all they do every single day. Next, my goal is to break the career Paint Valley record. But yeah … this means a lot to me.”
Smith’s record-breaking day follows Thursday’s record-breaking performance, when she set a new single-game rebound mark with 26 boards in a 64-33 win over Piketon.
Earlier this season, she had 25 rebounds in a win over Western. Maybe it’s something about Pike County or maybe Smith is just a once in a generation talent.
Either way, the Bearcats are glad No. 2 is on their team.
“We’re all really close on this team and it’s someone different every night,” Smith said. “It helps out a lot. It could be anyone leading the team [to a win].”
As for Saturday’s game, Paint Valley (12-7, 8-5 SVC) stayed hot from the floor … with the charge led by junior Abbi Stanforth.
Stanforth was once again Paint Valley’s scoring leader, totaling 18 points on the day. She provided a constant spark early and, with Smith’s help, put away the win late.
“Coach [Tristan Norman] has had us working on more ball movement,” Stanforth said. “It has boosted my confidence and my trust in my teammates to get me the assist. The shots have just been falling a lot more. It’s just a confidence thing.”
Stanforth gave the Bearcats a 2-0 lead with 5:34 to go in the first quarter and they never looked back. She scored six points in the first and paced Paint Valley to an 8-3 lead after one.
In the second, Bailey Vulgamore and Kennedy Jenkins went to work for the Redstreaks. That duo gave Piketon a 9-8 lead with 5:39 to play. But Uhrig and Stanforth once again provided an answer, leading a 12-3 run before the Bearcats took a 20-16 edge into the break.
Smith started to heat up from the floor in the third, opening the second half with back-to-back scores, stretching the advantage to 24-16. Stanforth hit a 3 with 3:07 to play for a 31-23 tally, before Kendall Dye sank back-to-back shots late in the quarter, putting Paint Valley ahead 38-23 and capping a 10-0 run.
The Bearcats switched into cruise control in the fourth, matching Piketon shot for shot before putting the final touches on the victory from the foul line.
Stanforth’s 18 points led Paint Valley statistically while Smith added 10 points and 19 rebounds. Dye also helped out with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Redstreaks (5-9, 1-8 SVC) were led by Vulgamore with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists while Jenkins added 11 points and eight rebounds. Natalie Cooper also helped out, scoring six points and pulling down 11 boards.
Paint Valley will now travel to New Boston on Monday while Piketon returns to action on Monday, hosting Adena.
“We don’t know much about New Boston but it’s on the road and it’s a long drive,” Smith said. “Hopefully, we can pull out the win.”
Paint Valley: 8-12-18-9 — 47
Piketon: 3-13-7-9 — 32
Paint Valley: 17-65 FG, 9-18 FT, 4-26 3pt., 40 rebounds (Smith 19), 8 turnovers, 8 assists (Stanforth 3). Scoring: Stanforth 18, Smith 10, Dye 10, Uhrig 5, McFadden 2, Weber 2.
Piketon: 13-41 FG, 5-10 FT, 1-10 3pt., 32 rebounds (Cooper 11), 23 turnovers, 5 assists (Vulgamore 4). Scoring: Vulgamore 11, Jenkins 11, Cooper 6, Johnson 2, McNelly 2.