Getting a lead and maintaining it, the Waverly Lady Tigers opened 2022 with a 10-point basketball victory at Valley Monday evening.

“We were able to grind out a road win. It wasn’t pretty at times, but we’ll take it,” said Waverly coach John Bonifield. “DT (Delaney Tackett) hit a couple of big threes for us in the first quarter, and Kelli (Stewart) was able to get good looks early.”

In that opening quarter, Stewart and Tackett scored six each to combine for 12 of Waverly’s 14 points. Defensively, the Lady Tigers limited the Lady Indians to six points and took a 14-6 advantage into the second quarter.

Stewart continued to score in the second quarter, having six points on a bucket and four free throws. Freshman Caris Risner chipped in with four points, including a bucket and a pair of free throws. Waverly outscored Valley 10-7 in that stretch, pushing the lead to 24-13.

In the third quarter, the two teams matched each other, scoring 11 points each. Bailey Vulgamore, Morgan Crabtree and Ava Little all broke into the scoring column with Waverly, which led 35-24 as the game moved to the fourth quarter.

Vulgamore handled the scoring for the Lady Tigers in the fourth quarter, generating nine points on a three-point play, two buckets and two more free throws. Valley spread the scoring between five players, as Waverly held for the 44-34 win.

“Bailey stepped up in the fourth and made some big buckets and free throws for us. Kelli hit her a couple of times from the high post as Bailey was diving to the basket against their zone,” said Bonifield.

“Our defense was solid tonight and that’s what won us the game. We contested shots and made Valley earn every point tonight. I thought our guards (DT, Ava, Morgan, and Caris) were on point with their rotations and recognizing where Valley’s shooters were at on the floor at all times.”

Kelli Stewart finished with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, while handing out four assists and making off with two steals. Bailey Vulgamore added 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Delaney Tackett had six points, eight rebounds, two steals, and one assist.

Caris Risner provided five points, four rebounds and one assist. Ava Little had three points, two rebounds and four steals. Morgan Crabtree added two points, four rebounds and two steals.

The win saw Waverly improve to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in Southern Ohio Conference Division II play. Waverly will be back home to face Wheelersburg on Thursday before traveling to Gallia Academy on Saturday.

WHS — 14 10 11 9 — 44

VHS — 6 7 11 10 — 34

WAVERLY (44) — Kelli Stewart 5 0 5-9 15, Ava Little 0 1 0-0 3, Morgan Crabtree 1 0 0-0 2, Bailey Vulgamore 4 0 5-7 13, Delaney Tackett 0 2 0-0 6, Caris Risner 1 0 3-4 5, TOTALS 10 3 13-20 44.

VALLEY (34) — Lexie Morrow 5 0 1-2 11, Savannah Easter 0 2 1-3 7, Karsyn Davis 0 0 0-0 0, McKenna Durham 1 0 0-0 2, Haley Whitt 3 0 2-2 8, Madison Montgomery 2 0 2-5 6, TOTALS 11 2 6-12 34.

Prior to starting the New Year with the win at Valley, Waverly traveled to Fairfield Union and suffered a 55-31 loss to one of the top Division II teams in the Southeast District.

Looking at the 11-1 Lady Falcons, their only loss so far this season came against Sheridan, 61-35. In 10 of their 11 wins, the Lady Falcons won by double digits.

In the loss, Waverly was led by Kelli Stewart and Bailey Vulgamore, who each scored 12 points. Stewart also had nine rebounds and two steals, while Vulgamore added seven rebounds.

Ava Little generated three points, two steals, one rebound and one assist. Delaney Tackett provided two points, three rebounds and three assists. Morgan Crabtree added two points and four rebounds.

WHS — 9 7 4 11 — 31

FUHS — 16 12 16 11 — 55

WAVERLY (31) — Kelli Stewart 4 0 4-6 12, Ava Little 0 1 0-0 3, Morgan Crabtree 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey Vulgamore 2 0 8-10 12, Aubree Fraley 0 0 0-0 0, Aerian Tackett 0 0 0-0 0, Delaney Tackett 1 0 0-0 2, Caris Risner 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 8 1 12-16 31.

FAIRFIELD UNION (55) — N. Terry 1 0 5-7 7, E. Lewis 2 3 0-0 13, C. Thompson 0 2 0-0 6, T. Wilkson 0 0 0-0 0, A. Pike 0 0 0-0 0, B. Reed 0 1 0-0 3, H. Rauch 4 1 0-1 11, I. Neal 1 0 0-0 2, C. Cooperider 3 1 1-1 10, Ad. Sharp 0 1 0-0 3, Av. Sharp 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 11 9 6-9 55.

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