The Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs wouldn’t let height get in the way of the win; A packed house Wednesday night at Logan High School watched the Lynchburg ladies move the ball with high-energy style as they snatched the lead from the Alexander Lady Spartans in the first quarter and kept running ‘til the clock ran out.
The final score in the regional semifinal was 65-52, earning the Lady Mustangs a slot in the Elite Eight and a shot at defeating rival Eastern High School in the regional title game.
The Lynchburg-Clay ladies shot 9 of 13 from the freethrow line for 69 percent. Hannah Binkley led scoring for the Mustangs with 19 points.
The top of the first quarter saw Lynchburg down by 4 points, until a set of threes from Zoe Fittro and McKayla Binkley took the Mustangs into the lead with a little less than five minutes on the clock. Hannah Binkley led scoring in the quarter with two 2-pointers and a long 3-point buzzer beater at the last second of the quarter, finishing things off for the Mustangs at 18-12 with a 6-point lead.
The Lynchburg ladies outscored Alexander by 5 points in the second quarter. McKayla Binkley and Peyton Scott each put up 7 points in the period to lead a 20-point Mustang gain while keeping Alexander at 15 points.
By the half, the score was 38-27, showing the Lynchburg ladies had improved their lead to 11 points.
Alexander went on a 7-point run at the end of the third quarter, narrowing the Mustangs’ lead from 16 points earlier in the quarter to 9 points by the buzzer. Lynchburg managed a 9-point gain in the quarter between Abby Blankenship, Lexi Waits, Scott and McKayla Binkley while the Lady Spartans put up 11 in the period.
By the end of the third quarter, the score was 38-47.
Lynchburg-Clay brought it back around in the final period, making 18 points while keeping Alexander at 14. Peyton Scott put up two 2-pointers and four free throws to lead the Mustangs in the period and secure the win.
When the clock ran out, the score was 65-52, spelling a 13-point win for the Mustangs in their regional semifinal.
“This was an awesome game,” said Lynchburg-Clay head coach Whitney Lewis. “Our energy level was unmatched. Going in, we just put our footprint on the game, and that gave Alexander a lot of trouble. We kept getting the ball up the floor, applying good pressure and defense, turned the ball over, and every one of our kids just played as hard as they possibly could… I think we were just on a mission.”
The Lady Mustangs will return to Logan High School on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to challenge the Eastern Lady Warriors in the OHSAA Division III Regional Final.
Lynchburg-Clay — 18 20 9 18 — 65
Alexander — 12 15 11 14 — 52
LCHS: Fittro 2(3)-0/1-13; Waits (1)-0/1-3; Scott 5-7/7-17; H. Binkley 4(3)-2/2-19; M. Binkley 5(1)-0/2-13
AHS: Mace 1-0/2-2; L. Richardson 3(2)-2/2-14; R. Richardson 1(5)-17; Mohler 2(5)-19
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.