the bistro off broadway
Versailles senior Lauren Monnin hits for two of her game high 19 points as the Tigers
toppled West-Liberty Salem, (WLS) 46-37 in Regional Semi-Final action Wednesday at
Springfield High School. The Tigers will playSaturday at 1:30 pm against Marion Pleasant.
The winner will move on to the state semi-finals in Columbus.
CNO Photos by Dylan Knoop
V-Lady Tigers back in familiar spot
Regional final next
By George Starks

SRRINGFIELD- It’s a familiar place for Versailles head coach Jackie Stonebreaker and her Lady Tigers.

Wednesday, at Springfield High School, Versailles was able to advance to the regional finals with a 46-37 victory over West Liberty Salem (WLS).

One more win and the Tigers will once again find themselves in Columbus, looking for another state title.

“I’m really proud of these girls,” Stonebraker said. “We were written off last year, and then we made it back to state. I really felt like we were written off this year after losing nine previous seniors the year before and then four last year. I really think that these girls are just hungry. They want to make their mark on the Versailles program.”

While most coaches will say that games are often decided in the first three or four minutes of the third quarter, it wasn’t the case for the Tigers.

Holding a slim, 24-22 lead at the half, the Tigers looked as if they were ready to walk away with the game to start the third.

After junior Mikalia McIntosh open up the third quarter with a three ball, giving WLS a 25-24 lead, the Tigers responded in a big way.

Just 42 seconds after the McIntosh trey, sophomore Kami McEldowney drained a triple of her own.

That bucket started a ray by Versailles that would eventually lead to a 34-25 lead with 3:16 left in the frame.

Versailles would continue to maintain its lead throughout the quarter and hold a 38-32 lead with eight minutes left to play.

What looked to be a promising victory turned into near disaster in the final stanza.

West Liberty Salem came out with all guns blazing to start the fourth.

In less than two minutes, WLS had closed the gap from a six point deficit to a 38-37 Versailles lead.

It was a staunch Versailles defense that would help keep that lead.

From the trey by freshman Gabby Hollar at the 5:44 mark foe WLS to the 2:52 mark of the frame, the Versailles defense would not allow another point in that timeframe.

At the 2:52 mark, McEldowney would score in the paint, getting the Tigers their first bucket of the quarter.

Versailles would go on an 8-0 spurt with 24.5 second remaining and a 46-37 victory.

With 6-4 senior Jamie Peterson looming in the paint, averaging 15 points a game, the Tigers shut her down on offense, holding her to only six points on the night despite creating havoc in the lane on defense with five blocked shots and several more altered because of her wingspan.

In addition, junior Lily Yoder (13 ppg) was stopped with only five points to her credit.

On offense, Versailles was led by senior Lauren Monnin with 19 points (nine in the opening quarter) while McEldowney chipped in with 10 for the Versailles cause.

“She carried the whole team,” Stonebraker said of Monnin’s first quarter scoring. “Even throughout the game we felt like she could go against Peterson. There’s a point I think Peterson was guarding her, and she scored six points right over her so they had to change their defense and put a guard on her.”

With Peterson making her share of problems for WLS, it was sophomore Danielle Winner that was returning the favor for Versailles on defense.

Winner netted only seven points but had five boards with four blocked shots of her own.

“She played great sick, didn’t she? You’d never know it out there,” said Stonebreaker. “She had to take a couple breaks, but I felt like we needed her in the game to defend Peterson.”

Versailles will now move on to play Marion Pleasant, a 48-20 winner over Bethel-Tate out of the Cincinnati area.

“They’re a very aggressive team defensively, and they’re very aggressive offensively,” Stonebraker said of Pleasant. “They like to get to the hole. They like to score. We’ll see what our defense can come up with. I’m not real sure what we’re going to do because quite frankly I didn’t look past this game.”

The regional championship game will be played at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Springfield High School.

If the Tigers prevail, they will play at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Thursday, March 10 at 1:00 pm.

Sophomore Danielle Winner had her hands full with WLS senior Jamie Peterson
(10). Peterson blocked five shots including this one against Winner.
A jubilant Versailles team celebrates after downing the Tigers of WLS.

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