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Lady Flyers beat Clay for first win


St. Joseph Lady Flyers Chloe Sheridan (left) works her way past a Portsmouth Clay defender during Monday’s SOC game. The Lady Flyers beat the Lady Panthers 44-35. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PORTSMOUTH — Bella Whaley just had some of the weight taken off her back. Still, she decided to load up the pile anyway.
With only six players available, Whaley has been the only offensive weapon for the St. Joseph Lady Flyers. But she got plenty of help on Monday as St. Joseph beat the Portsmouth Clay Lady Panthers 44-35 in a Southern Ohio Conference game.
Whaley had a monster game with 22 points and 17 rebounds, but Gracie Damron had 10 points and 9 rebounds as she just missed a double-double and Chloe Sheridan added 7 points and 5 rebounds with Laiken Unger grabbing 6 rebounds and Emilee Blankenship 5.
Freshman Addi Philabaun came off the bench to get 3 rebounds.
“Teams focus on Bella and still gets 22 points. Everyone likes to score, but I’m more impressed with 17 rebounds,” said Lady Flyers’ coach Bart Burcham.
But Burcham said it was far from a one-man show.
“They all played so hard. I can’t get over how hard they played,” said Burcham. “Chloe played the whole game and played so well. She had to play point guard and guard their point guard. Gracie never came out and played really well.
“Laiken guarded their leading scorer and held her to 2 points. Emilee missed all of last season and she’s getting back to her old self. She played so hard. Addi is just a freshman and there was a lot of pressure on her but she handled it.”
McKenzie Loper had 14 points including three 3-pointers to lead Clay (0-7, 0-5).
Mary Munion and Loper hit 3-pointers in the first quarter as Clay took a 9-3 first quarter lead.
But the Lady Flyers limited the Lady Panthers to 5 points in the second quarter and Whaley scored 5 points and Sheridan had 4 points and it was 14-all at the break.
St. Joseph (1-3, 1-3) took the lead for good in the third quarter as Whaley and Damron scored 6 points each and it was 26-21.
Whaley hit a trifecta, sank 2-of-4 from the line and scored 11 points while Blankenship scored all 3 of her points as St. Joseph began to pull away.
“They hit some 3s early, but our defense is what carries us and we locked down pretty well,” said Burcham.
St. Joseph is scheduled to host Symmes Valley on Thursday.
St. Joseph 3 11 12 18 = 44
Ports. Clay 9 5 7 14 = 35
ST. JOSEPH (1-3, 1-3): Bella Whaley 8 1 3-6 22, Gracie Damron 5 0 0-0 10, Laiken Unger 1 0 0-0 2, Chloe Sheridan 2 0 3-4 7, Emilee Blankenship 1 0 1-4 3, Addie Philabaun 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 1 7-14 44. Rebounds: 43 (Blankenship 5, Damron 9, Whaley 17, Sheridan 5, Unger 6, Philabaun 3). Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
PORTSMOUTH CLAY (0-7, 0-5): Mary Munion 0 2 0-3 6, McKenzie Loper 1 3 3-4 14, Sophia Gatti 3 0 2-6 8, Kat Cochran 1 0 0-0 2, Megan Bazler 0 0 0-0 0, Tabby Whitt 1 0 0-0 2, Kyleigh Oliver 0 1 0-0 3, Morgan McCoy 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 6 6 5-13 35. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.