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Hayes comes up big as Lady Vikings hold off Lady Flyers

Symmes Valley Lady Vikings’ guard Rachael Hayes (13) drives toward the basket as St. Joseph Lady Flyers Kaitlyn Sheridan (3) defends during Monday’s game. (Courtesy of Robert S. Stevens of The Gold Studio in Ironton)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

The Symmes Valley Lady Vikings’ smallest player is the one who came up the biggest.
The Lady Vikings 5-foot junior guard Rachael Hayes proved to be the difference as they held off the St. Joseph Lady Flyers 46-41 on Monday.
Hayes — who had a game-high 24 points — hit several key baskets and was clutch at the foul line as she sank 9-of-11 free throw attempts.
“She made a big difference for us. When we need a big basket or a big play, she seemed to be the one who stepped up,” said Lady Vikings’ coach Alvin Carpenter.
Taylor Sells had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Vikings (12-7) while Emily Johnson grabbed 12 rebounds.
St. Joseph (8-10) was led by Faith Mahlmeister with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Bella Whaley had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
“We played hard and we played through tough situations. We just missed some shots and we didn’t make our free throws,” said Lady Flyers’ coach Bart Burcham.
The Lady Flyers were just 6-of-21 at the foul line while the Lady Vikings made 13-of-20.
Bella Whaley scored to give St. Joseph its only lead of the game at 2-0. Hayes answered with a 3-pointer and Jenna Malone had her own triple to make it 8-3.
Mahlmeister’s layup got the Lady Flyers within 11-9 but Hayes made a foul shot and a 3-pointer with 14 seconds on the clock and it was 15-9.
The Lady Flyers were 1-of-6 from the line to start the second quarter but still closed the gap to 15-12 on an 8-footer by Whaley. A free throw by Payton Hunt gave Symmes Valley a 22-16 lead only to have Emma Whaley’s free throws get the Lady Flyers within 22-17 at the break.
A 19-footer by Kaitlyn Sheridan and Emma Whaley’s trifecta cut the gap to 28-25 with four minutes left in the third quarter.
After Sells’ hit a 3-pointer, Mahlmeister sank two foul shots and Chloe Sheridan drained an 18-footer and it was 31-29 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
But four foul shots by Hayes who then got a steal and turned it into a layup put the Lady Vikings up 37-29.
Mahlmeister had a layup and a foul shot to cut the deficit to 37-32 heading to the fourth quarter.
A putback by Mahlemister and a layup by Emma Whaley got the St. Joseph within 39-36 only to have Hayes hit a 3-pointer with 4:09 to play.
Emilee Blankenship’s layup had the Lady Flyers down 42-38, but Hayes hit a short runner and made two foul shots for a 46-38 lead with 1:54 to play.
Bella Whaley buried a trifecta with 55 seconds left to make it 46-41, but the Lady Vikings’ defense held for the final minute.
St. Joseph hosts Sciotoville East on Wednesday and visits Rose Hill on Thursday. Symmes Valley visits Portsmouth Clay on Thursday.
Sym. Valley 15 7 15 9 = 46
St. Joseph 9 8 15 9 = 41
SYMMES VALLEY (12-7): Jenna Malone 2 1 0-0 7, Kylie Deer 0 0 0-0 0, Taylor Sells 2 1 3-6 10, Rachael Hayes 3 3 9-11 24, Emily Johnson 2 0 0-0 4, Payton Hunter 0 0 1-3 1, Kaylee Cade 0 0 0-0 0, Hailee Littlejohn 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-53 13-20 46. 3-pt goals: 5-20. Rebounds: 16-O, 26-D = 42 (Johnson 12, Sells 9). Team/deadball rebounds: 7. Assists: 3. Steals: 8 (Deer 2, Sells 2, Hayes 2). Turnovers: 13. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.
ST. JOSEPH (8-10): Kaitlyn Sheridan 1 0 0-0 2, Faith Mahlmeister 6 0 4-10 16, Emma Whaley 0 1 1-7 4, Emilee Blankenship 1 0 0-0 2, Bella Whaley 3 2 1-4 13, Chloe Sheridan 1 0 0-0 2, Laiken Unger 0 0 0-0 0, Lydia Sheridan 0 0 0-0 0, Kerri Jenkins 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-48 6-21 41. 3-pt goals: 3-10. Rebounds: 12-O, 25-D = 37 (B. Whaley 15, Mahlmeister 13). Team/deadball rebounds: 4. Assists: 8 (K. Sheridan 4, B. Whaley 2). Steals: 8 (E. Whaley 3, Mahlmeister 2). Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: None.