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Ohio girls rely on defense

CHESAPEAKE - Amy Hughes has an on-going love affair and his name name is Dee Fence.

Ironton teams have had three successful season due to strong defenses. Hughes stressed defense again Friday night and it was the difference as the Ohio All-Stars held off the West Virginia All-Stars 86-76 in the first game of the seventh annual series.

"We played hard and gave a really good effort," Hughes said. "We hit some big, clutch shots at the end, but our defense won the game."

The Ohio stars built a 54-35 lead at halftime thanks in part to Ironton's Andrea Rudmann who scored 12 of her 13 points.

"I was cramping up bad (in the second half). I felt it (her shooting touch) the first half," Rudmann said. "I got tired. They had a second full five who came in. I haven't played forever."

With only eight players, the Ohio stars tired in the second half as West Virginia made a comeback.

"The second half we got hurt on the offensive boards," Hughes said. "We didn't play well defensively as a team in the second half because we got tired. We were reaching and standings and there was no rebounding and that's what got (West Virginia) back in the game."

Shelly Bellman of Ottawa Glandorf, who was named the Ohio most valuable player for the game, scored 11 of her 19 points in the second half including three foul shots with 3:18 to play that extended Ohio's lead to 78-71.

South Point's Alisha Bridges, who scored eight points, admitted the Ohio All-Stars began to wear down in the second half.

"I knew we were still going to win. When I saw a four-point lead it kind of worried me," Bridges said. "The first half we really played well. The second half we were a little tired. I was really tired. I found myself standing."

Alison Rothlisberger, the West Virginia MVP, followed up a missed shot with 5:10 to play that cut Ohio's lead to 72-68. A foul shot by Whitney Robinson cut the spread to 75-71.

But Bellman was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws. Rudmann added another foul shot and it was 80-71.

Zane Trace's Karen Diehl got a putback that opened up an 82-73 lead. Ohio's Shana Lollis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to set the score.

"They just played hard. Things went our way the first half and things went their way the second half. We made some key shot at the end," Rudmann said.

Ohio had a balanced offense. Besides Bellman with 19 and Rudmann with 13, Kristy Montgomery scored 14 and Sahar Nusseireh and Lollis scored 13 each.

Rothlisberger had 18 points to lead West Virginia.

West Virginia3541=76

Ohio5432=86

WEST VIRGINIA:

Cara Waybright 4-14 5-10 14, Alison Rothlisberger 8-10 2-3 18, Tiana Beaty 4-11 2-2 12, Cassidy Smith 1-6 2-4 4, Jill Stephens 3-9 4-6 10, Rudi Raynes 1-6 2-2 4, Elise McClintic 1-5 1-2 3, Rachel Wolfe 0-2 2-2 2, Cassandra Jarrell 1-1 0-0 2, Whitney Robinson 1-3 2-4 4. Totals: 24-67

22-35

76. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 3-15 (Waybright 1-4, Beaty 2-4, Smith 0-2, Raynes 0-2, McClintic 0-1, Wolfe 0-2). Rebounds: 52 (20-off, 26-def, 6-team/deadball). Rebounds leaders: Stephens 12, Rothlisberger 11. Assists: 8 (Smith 2, Beaty 2). Steals: 10 (Waybright 5). Turnovers: 26.

OHIO:

Andrea Rudmann 5-16 2-4 13, Alisha Bridges 2-6 3-4 8, Shelly Bellman 6-12 7-10 19, Kristy Montgomery 6-13 2-2 14, Sahar Nusseireh 6-7 1-3 13, Shana Lollis 3-9 5-6 13, Karen Diehl 1-3 2-2 4, Kayla Moor 1-2 0-1 2. Totals: 30-72

22-32

86. Fouls: 21. Fouled out: None. 3-point goals: 4-18 (Rudmann 1-7, Bridges 1-1, Montgomery 0-4, Lollis 2-4, Diehl 0-1, Moore 0-1). Rebounds: 41 (11-off, 24-def, 6-team/deadball). Rebound leaders: Nusseireh 8, Bellman 6. Assists: 12 (Bellman 4, Bridges 2, Rudmann 2, Montgomery 2). Steals: 12 (Lollis 3, Bellman 2, Nusseireh 2). Turnovers: 18.