The 25th-seeded Piketon Lady Redstreaks faced a tall task in Monday’s Division III sectional semifinal matchup against the eight-seeded Coal Grove Lady Hornets. Piketon stepped up to the challenge and battled valiantly but fell to the Hornets by a 74-49 score.
“We knew they were good. They were a top 10 seed. They have one of the best guards in Southern Ohio (Addi Dillow), and she showed it tonight. There’s a reason why she’s good hitting 25-footers. She had 39 points, and we couldn’t keep up with her. She was good,” said Redstreak head coach Brett Coreno.
“So we kind of ran into a buzz saw tonight, and that happens with a young team. I think we were kind of shell shocked at halftime (because of) the physicality, the pace and all that kind of stuff. The kids never gave up. I told them in the locker room I’m proud of them.”
Hayleigh Risner scored the first six points for the Redstreaks, as both teams traded punches. The game was tied at 6-6 just a little over halfway through the first quarter. Bailey Vulgamore then gave the Redstreaks a 7-6 lead with a free throw. Coal Grove then used a 8-0 run taking a 14-7 lead that forced the Redstreaks to call a timeout with 2:28 to go in the first. The Hornets would lead 20-11 after the first.
The Hornets scored the first bucket of the second quarter to take a 22-11 lead with 6:42 to play till the half. The Hornets would then lead 29-15 with 3:29 to go in the second. Vulgamore hit a trifecta with seconds to go in the half to cut the halftime deficit 39-22.
“Experience matters, and this was their first tournament game. So they can gain experience and learn going into next year, but it’s never easy when you go through it. But they’re starting to figure it out,” said Coreno about the young Redstreak team, which sometimes has seen five freshmen on the floor throughout the season.
Piketon’s highest-scoring quarter came in the third as they scored 14 points, but it was Coal Grove who led 59-36. The Redstreaks never gave up in the fourth quarter and continued to battle, but fell to the Hornets by a 74-49 final.
The Redstreaks were 20-of-49 from the field, including three triples. They were also 6-of-13 from the charity stripe and brought down 32 rebounds. Hayleigh Risner led the Redstreaks with 16 points and six rebounds. Bailey Vulgmore was also in double figures as she scored 13. Kennedy Jenkins scored five points, and Jazzlyn Lamerson scored four points, along with six rebounds. Natalie Cooper also scored four points, while Ava Little, Addison Johnson, and Savannah McNelly each scored two. Ally Ritchie had three rebounds.
Although the Redstreaks say goodbye to hardworking and senior leader Ally Ritchie, the Redstreaks return a very talented roster which will include Vulgmore, Lamerson, Risner, Johnson, Cooper, and Jenkins, who will be returning as sophomores, while Ava Little, Savannah McNelly, Taylor Wagner and Maddie Ritchie will return as juniors.
“The thing about this year is they know now what it takes to survive at this level and do better than just surviving. So the summer is going to matter; the spring is going to matter. If they work hard and continue to get better, good things will happen.”
Although they had an earlier tournament exit than they had hoped for, the Redstreaks can end the season on a high note and a win as they host Westfall Wednesday in a makeup game.
“The season’s not over. We have a game on Wednesday, so hopefully, we can end on a good note.”
Piketon 49, Coal Grove 75
PHS - 11 11 14 13 - 49
CGHS - 20 19 20 15 - 74
PIKETON (49) — Kennedy Jenkins 1 1 0-0 5, Jazz Lamerson 0 0 0-0 0, Ally Ritchie 0 0 0-0 0, Ava Little 1 0 0-0 2, Bailey Vulgamore 1 2 5-8 13, Savannah McNelly 1 0 0-0 2, Addison Johnson 1 0 1-2 3, Hayleigh Risner 8 0 0-2 16, Natalie Cooper 2 0 0-0 4, TOTALS 17 3 6-12 49.
COAL GROVE (74) —Ellie Holmes 1 0 1-2 3, Addie Dillow 11 5 2-4 39, Kaleigh Murphy 6 0 1-1 13, Abbey Hicks 3 0 1-1 7, Rylee Harman 1 0 2-2 4, Kenadee Keaton 0 0 2-2 2, Jaidyn Griffith 2 0 2-2 6, Kelsey Frayley 0 0 0-0 0, Makayla Daniels 0 0 0-0 0, Autumn Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, Jenna Hicks 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 24 5 11-14 74.