Although the start wasn’t exactly what Waverly Head Girls Basketball Coach John Bonifield wanted to see, the finish made up for it.

Waverly blasted past Zane Trace 74-37 in a Dec. 23 varsity basketball matchup, thanks in part to a strong second quarter that set the tone for the rest of the game.

“We didn’t start the game with a lot of energy and effort on the defensive end of the court,” said Bonifield. “The girls responded with an outstanding second quarter. We were able to get stops and get out in transition.”

Waverly scored 15 points in the opening quarter with Kelli Stewart providing nine of those, while Bailey Vulgamore and Ava Little each hit a three-pointer. Zane Trace countered with 13 points to stay within striking distance.

In the second quarter, Little started to heat up for the Lady Tigers, scoring 10 of her team’s 18, including three triples. Defensively, Waverly limited the Lady Pioneers to just five points, resulting in a 33-18 advantage at the half.

“Ava was able to find open areas and knocked down shots. She had the hot hand tonight and we did a great job feeding her the basketball,” said Bonifield.

“When Ava started making threes, it opened up driving lanes for Bailey and she did a good job finishing tonight. Bailey had a great game as well. She was able to penetrate and kick it out to our shooters.”

Little and Vulgamore handled the bulk of the scoring in the third and fourth quarters for Waverly. Little added eight points in the third and seven more in the fourth, while Vulgamore added four in the third and seven in the fourth. Stewart, Morgan Crabtree, Caris Risner and Aerian Tackett all scored in the second half as well.

In all, Little scored 28 points, with 21 of those points coming from seven made three-pointers. She also grabbed six rebounds and provided five assists. Vulgamore followed with 18 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Stewart finished her night with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Crabtree had six points and three assists. Risner provided seven points, seven rebounds and four assists. Delaney Tackett gave out three assists and made off with three steals.

“I love the fact that we had 21 assists. Our ball movement was really good and the assists show we share the basketball with one another,” said Bonifield. “When we play with energy on both ends of the floor, we can be explosive.”

With the win, Waverly improved to 6-3 overall. Waverly is scheduled to play at Fairfield Union on Thursday, Dec. 30 in non-league action. The Lady Tigers will resume Southern Ohio Conference Division II play at Valley on Jan. 3.

WHS — 15 18 16 25 — 74

ZTHS — 13 5 14 5 — 37

WAVERLY (74) — Kelli Stewart 4 0 3-4 11, Ava Little 7 3 1-4 28, Morgan Crabtree 3 0 0-0 6, Bailey Vulgamore 6 1 3-4 18, Aubree Fraley 0 0 0-0 0, Aerian Tackett 2 0 0-0 4, Savannah South 0 0 0-0 0, Delaney Tackett 0 0 0-0 0, Caris Risner 2 1 0-0 7, TOTALS 24 5 7-12 74.

ZANE TRACE (37) — Emily Allen 4 0 3-4 11, Avery Johnson 2 0 0-0 4, Alara Crow 2 0 1-2 5, Gracey McCullough 1 0 0-0 2, Kinley May 2 0 0-0 4, Gretchen Roberts 0 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Wade 0 1 0-0 3, Kendra Detillion 0 1 0-0 3, Kyrsten O’Neill 2 0 1-1 5, Braylee Burkitt 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 13 1 5-7 57.

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