Entertaining one of the top basketball teams in Southern Ohio Conference Division I play, the Western Lady Indians got off to a strong start Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to keep Symmes Valley from taking a 60-40 victory back to Lawrence County.

Western started the game on a 9-0 run before the Lady Vikings began to find their stride. The Lady Vikings broke through the drought and scored the next five, before Western junior Taylor Grooms was fouled and went to the line for one-of-two freebies to make it 10-5. But the Lady Vikings followed with three straight triples and another bucket, moving in front 16-10. Western’s Alyssa Marhoover broke through with an inside bucket, briefly cutting the lead back to four. The Lady Vikings connected on another trey before Western’s Jordyn Rittenhouse matched it. At the end of the opening quarter, the Lady Vikings had a 19-15 lead.

Symmes Valley scored the first eight points of the second quarter before Brooklyn Tackett hit for Western with Alicia Francis providing the assist near the midpoint. The Lady Indians scored once more before the half, but found themselves behind 34-19 at the break.

The Lady Vikings extended their lead in the third quarter, putting up 18 more points while holding Western to seven. That made the lead 52-26.

In the fourth quarter, Western put up 14 points, including two final trifectas from Rittenhouse. The Lady Vikings scored just eight, taking the 60-40 win.

Francis led Western with 11 points, followed by Rittenhouse with 10. Rittenhouse just recently returned to the lineup after sitting out the first part of the season while recovering from an injury. Tackett and Marhoover each scored eight points. Grooms had one point. Sakayla Beckett and Sophia Rhoades both played but did not score.

The Lady Indians will head to Ironton St. Joseph on Monday.

Email at jbillings@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @ Julie_Billings

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