Dewey Dailey, Contributor
FRANKFORT — When the going got tough, the Adena Warriors got going.
Coming off of a miraculous comeback win over Eastern Meigs in a sectional semifinal, Adena looked to capture an elusive sectional title on Thursday.
The only problem, however, was that a formidable Northwest squad stood in the way.
But behind the usual suspects consisting of Emma Garrison and Jadyn Smith, and a double-digit scoring performance from Caelan Miner, the Warriors (17-3) outlasted the Mohawks by a 47-43 final to claim their first sectional title since the 2012-13 season.
“Tonight was a huge win for us,” Miner said. “We needed this to bounce back. The way we started was amazing. All of our girls chipped in and this was a team win.”
The Mohawks (14-7) jumped out to a 7-2 lead early in the first quarter as they were perfect from the field during their first three possessions of the game. Much of that was thanks to Haidyn Wamsley, who knocked down a pair of jumpers, one coming from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Warriors, however would answer.
Adena finished the first on a 10-4 run while Garrison went 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, along with two mid-range jump shots. Sydney Foglesong also contributed to the Warriors’ run, adding four points, helping the Warriors take an 12-11 lead into the second.
That’s when Adena reached a turning point.
Right out of the gates, Miner hit back-to-back 3’s, giving the Warriors a needed dose of momentum. Miner then knocked down two more 3’s in the time frame to give Adena a comfortable lead.
“Caelan does that all the time,” Garrison said. “She comes in and provides a spark almost every game. She was big tonight and she’s big every game for us.”
Northwest, meanwhile, seemed to hit a roadblock in the second. The Mohawks only tallied two points in the frame and, thanks to turnovers, were only able to put up three shots.
The end result was a 26-13 lead for Adena heading into the break.
Coming out of the break, Northwest got into a groove. The Mohawks managed four points early in the frame, and finished the quarter on a 9-2 run. That barrage was led by Wamsley with five points in the quarter, while Northwest also benefited from buckets via Reagan Lewis, Kloe Montgomery, and Ava Jenkins.
However, the Warriors still clung to a 35-26 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
The finale of the sectional championship was an intense one.
Both teams traded punches throughout the quarter, with no ground gained on either side. But late in the frame, Wamsley and Jenkins dialed up back-to-back 3’s to cut Adena’s lead to three points with 55 seconds left.
After Jenkins’ 3-pointer, the Warriors’ inbound pass was intercepted by Lewis, giving the Mohawks a chance to tie the score. But unfortunately for Northwest, shortly after the Lewis steal, Chey Ater stripped the ball from Lewis, giving possession back to Adena. On the other end, Jadyn Smith knocked down a free throw, sealing the Warriors’ four-point victory.
“I think it’s just how tight our team is,” Garrison said. “Whenever it comes down to situations like that, we’re all relaxed together. We can take momentum from this game and use it. But we have to play just as well as we did today, if not better, if want to go further.”
Miner led the Warriors with 14 points, 12 of which came in the second quarter, while Garrison finished the game with 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Smith also helped with nine points and three assists, and Sydney Foglesong tallied eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
Northwest was led by Wamsley and Jenkins, who each ended the night with 13 points.
“We got disqualified last year, so I’m very excited and happy for everyone that we’re moving on,” Miner said. “We played hard and using [that momentum] going into the next game will keep us going.”