DIVISION II GIRLS West Branch gains district final
The Warriors rolled past Akron Central Hower 48-22.
UNIONTOWN -- Evelyn Woods scored 16 points, and Tori Arndt added 13 points and six rebounds, leading West Branch High to a 48-22 victory over Akron Central-Hower in a Division II girls district semifinal game at Lake High School Wednesday night.
The Warriors (16-5) will play Akron Hoban in Saturday's championship game at 1:30 p.m. Hoban defeated Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 38-35 in Wednesday's game.
Early foul trouble
West Branch led throughout most of Wednesday's game, but foul problems and poor shooting combined to hold their lead to just 18-9 at halftime. Arndt picked up the slack by scoring 10 points in the opening two quarters.
"[Arndt] had some big shots for us in the first half; she had to," said West Branch coach Chuck Campbell.
Woods, Vana Morgan and Stacy Braden all had two fouls in the opening half.
"We had an awful lot of good looks at the basket in the first half," he added. "We had wide open looks, it was just the matter of them dropping in. One of the things was to get the ball to the interior then get it to the outside. You get the looks that we were getting, you hate to tell them not to shoot it. We shot the ball better in the second half."
Pulled away in third quarter
West Branch extended its lead to 31-14 after three periods, and after the Eagles closed to 35-22 midway through the final period, the Warriors closed the game with a 13-0 run.
"We didn't play well in the first half," said Campbell. "[Central-Hower] did a nice job. They have some very athletic young ladies and they were just a little quicker than us. We played with a lot more poise in the second half."
Dianca Gordon scored 12 points to lead Central-Hower.
Woods was held to one point in the first half because of the foul trouble, but played much better on both ends of the floor after halftime, according to Campbell.
"Because she sat so much in the first half, it was a key that she was fresh in the second half and you could see she was pressuring a lot of their girls," he said.
"We started taking it to the girls we knew had four fouls [Gordon, Aslea Williams and Taryn Wicks]," added Campbell. "As we were taking it at them, they were sort of moving away from the basket and it made our shots a little bit easier."
Rematch in final
Saturday's game will be a rematch of last year's district final, won by the Warriors, 36-31.
"Our girls have worked extremely hard to prepare themselves to be in this situation to be able to get to the sweet 16," said Campbell. "Now it's just a matter of making certain we are doing the little things in practice that maybe we didn't get accomplished in the first half [Wednesday]. If we get those things accomplished and we work a little bit harder at them, I think we are in good shape going into the district final."