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GIRLS DIVISION II West Branch breezes to sectional title, 64-19



Published: Wed, February 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Warriors held Field scoreless in the first quarter.

UNIONTOWN -- Defending state champion West Branch High pitched a shutout in the first quarter and went on to a 64-19 defeat of Mogadore Field in a Division II girls basketball sectional final at Lake High School Tuesday night.

The Warriors (15-5) led 20-0 after one quarter and 23-0 early in the second, before the Falcons (9-13) could dent the scoreboard.

Evelyn Woods led West Branch with 15 points, while Tori Arndt added 14 points and 16 rebounds. Aimee Rice finished with 10 points and five rebounds for the Warriors, who forced 25 Field turnovers.

"We thrive off our defense and that's what's going to keep us in games," said West Branch coach Chuck Campbell. "You never know when you are going to have an off night on offense but we try to set certain goals to keep opponents under and it helps."

Shutout over a quarter

Arndt scored eight points in the first quarter as the Warriors held Field without a basket for the first 9 minutes, 7 seconds of the game.

"Tori played well," said Campbell. "It seemed like she would just float above everyone and rip the ball down.

"We aren't able to get Arndt coming off the left, which is her strong side and tonight we were able to do that," added Campbell. "A number of girls were able to find her. Tori, once she plays strong and physical, she is awefully hard to get around and block out."

For Field, Tara Savage scored seven points and Sam Ricketson added six.

Hot shooting

But, the Warriors were 28-for-55 (50.9 percent) from the floor and had 47 rebounds.

"It seems like our team comes together a little bit more [at tournament time] because there's a finality to it," said Campbell. "This game could be the last one you ever play. It seems like our girls step up when their backs are to the wall and they realize this could be it."

West Branch advanced to a district semifinal Feb. 23 against Akron Central-Hower at 6 p.m. In Tuesday's other game, Central-Hower (14-7) defeated Akron North, 49-31.




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