NORTH LEWISBURG – West Liberty-Salem used a strong first half to cruise to a 62-22 victory over Triad on Tuesday in Ohio Heritage Conference girls basketball.
The Cardinals had trouble hanging on to the ball and also defensively, where the Tigers picked apart their zone from outside.
“I wanted to give them two or three different looks to try to get them off their game – it didn’t work,” Triad Coach Jeff Merklin said. “We knew coming in that our skill level was not going to be the same as theirs. They’re a very well-coached team that works year round. I’m proud of our girls. We’re good athletes. We have just as good of athletes (as WL-S). The question will be ‘do we want to do the kind of things that West Liberty does to get to that level?’”
The Tigers used a barrage of long shots by sharpshooter Lily Yoder to grab a 37-9 lead at the intermission. Yoder had 15 points in the first half – all from beyond the arc.
“She’s just a pure shooter and when she gets on a roll, she makes it look really easy out there,” WL-S Coach Dennis McIntosh said. “We do a good job penetrating the ball and kicking it out, and she does a good job getting herself spotted up for some good looks out there.”
West Liberty-Salem cranked up the pressure in the second half and left no doubt as to whom was better on the evening.
“We kept them in front of us for the most part, made them take some tough shots. And we were able to get some baskets off the transition there early,” McIntosh said. “We played hard. And they played hard, too. They’ve got a ways to go yet, but hopefully they’ll keep improving.”
The reserves came in midway through the third for McIntosh and the Tigers, signaling the end for Triad. The third period finished at 58-10.
“Their defense is tenacious and they work so well together,” Merklin said. “If I wasn’t the other coach and feel so bad about getting beat so bad, they really are a beautiful team to watch. That’s the way girls basketball is played, I think.”
For the game, Yoder had 15 points, Gabby Hollar added 13 and Taylor Lauck had 12. For Triad, Tori Thomas scored 8 points and Alea Ferguson had 7. The Cardinals had one assist and 28 turnovers.
In the jayvee game, WL-S prevailed, 28-10. Peyton Kerns had 6 points to lead the Tigers, with Selena Weaver and Camrin Rice adding 5 each. Kylie Boldman led the Cardinals with 5 points.
On Thursday, Triad (1-2) plays at Ridgemont while West Liberty-Salem (2-0) hosts Kenton Ridge.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.