WELLSTON — The fact Wellston was able to play this game alone with a victory in itself.
After having to cancel its opening seven games on their schedule, the Golden Rockets finally got to take the floor on Monday, but suffered a 57-33 loss at the hands of Meigs in TVC action.
“Meigs is always a tough team, and a conference game is always a tough way to start a season,” Wellston coach Scot Sturgill said. “(Meigs) Coach (Heath) Hudson does a great job with his team, and they have some really solid players. We competed tough, but ran out of gas in the second half.”
Wellston got out to a 5-3 lead behind Lauren Cheatem, who made an early impact defensively with a pair of rebounds and a block.
However, Meigs’ Delana Wright led the charge on a 9-4 run by scoring five points that gave the Marauders a 12-9 lead after the first quarter.
The Golden Rockets had already committed six turnovers in the opening frame, but Meigs turned up the pressure and forced three more, which turned into a 9-2 run as the lead grew to 24-11.
Wellston managed to cut the lead back down to single digits after four free throws from Cheathem and Madison Potts. But Meigs’ Rylee Lisle buried a 3-pointer before the buzzer for a 30-19 Meigs’ lead at halftime.
“We talk about breaking down a quarter into four two-minute segments, and we want to win three of those four segments at least,” Sturgill said. “There were a lot of things we handled well, but that final minute and a half of the second quarter, we committed two turnovers and our inexperience definitely showed.”
That Lisle’ 3-pointer opened up the floodgates for her as buried four more triple in the second half. In turn, that created opportunities for Mallory Hawley to generate some offense as well.
Between the two of them, they outscored Wellston 20-14 alone in the final 16 minutes, which was more than the Golden Rockets could handle on the evening.
“Our plan was to make someone other than Hawley beat us,” Sturgill said. “She’s an incredible player, but we were willing to roll the dice and see what we would. And all credit to Lisle for hitting some big shots and creating distance that we just couldn’t catch up to.”
Now that Wellston is set to go to remote learning with COVID-19 spreading throughout the school, it is also shutting down sports starting on Wednesday.
Meaning that girls basketball will be off through the Christmas break, and resume their season on January 4th at River Valley.
“It’s been a tough season. We were shut down for 17 days in the beginning, and now we’re facing another shutdown,” Sturgill said. “So when we come back, we’ll only have 4-6 weeks of a regular season followed by the tournament. We’re getting tested mentally and we’ll see how it all works out when we come back.”
Meigs: 23-59 FG, 4-9 FT, 7-23 3pt., 32 rebounds (Hawley, Wright 8), 10 turnovers, 12 assists (Hawley 6). Scoring: Lisle 18, Hawley 13, Mahr 7, Wright 7, Smith 4, Durst 2, Musser 2, Wolfe 2.
Wellston: 9-43 FG, 12-18 FT, 3-17 3pt., 29 rebounds (Cheatem 8), 20 turnovers, 4 assists (Kilgour 3). Scoring: Johnston 11, Potts 7, Cheatem 6, Clemons 3, Spencer 2, Kilgour 2, Aubrey 2.