HUBER HEIGHTS — The Wayne girls held on to defeat undefeated Beavercreek 51-45 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division matchup Saturday afternoon at Wayne High School.
It was a long time coming for the girls program, but Wayne ended a victory drought against Beavercreek that has lasted many years according to several assistant coaches. Wayne held on, overcoming Beavercreek’s late run to come out on top, improving their record to 7-1 while Beavercreek fell to 8-l.
“I give much respect to the Beavercreek program, “said Coach Sonya Miller. “They have always built it the right way. Hats off to them on a job well done over many years, Coach Zink has done a great job there.”
“What stands out to me is the resilience in the girls we have,“ added Coach Miller. “They are young, but they are not ones that step back from adversity. We knew we would have to handle it multiple times throughout this game. To keep young people poised as they need to be at the end of the game is a tough task, but they kept their head and we continued to coach them through it.”
Wayne took early command of the game, leading 17-11 at the end of the first quarter paced by Shai McGruder’s 12 points. Wayne built on their lead with a McGruder steal and lay-up and a Kaira Herring bucket to go up by 12 points with 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter. A three-point shot at the buzzer by Maya Dunson made the score 34-21 at the half, giving Wayne a 13 point lead, their biggest of the half.
Wayne extended their lead to 14 points with a Dunson 15-footer with 3:00 left in the third quarter. Beavercreek fought back in the final minutes with a three-point shot by Cori Dilsavor and two Keaira Youngblood free throws to cut the lead to nine-points and end the quarter with Wayne still out in front 41-32.
In the fourth quarter, Beavercreek went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to five points, then to three points with four consecutive free throws making the score 47-44 with 1:47 remaining in the game.
At the 1:11 mark, Destiny Bohanon went to the line and hit two free-throws to extend the lead to 49-44. Beavercreek came back down the court, but missed on two opportunities giving the ball back to Wayne, forcing Beavercreek to foul. It was Bohanon once again who would go to the line with 30 seconds remaining in the game with a narrow five-point lead. The freshman delivered, hitting both free-throws and solidifying the victory for Wayne.
“I had to find a way to help my team and keep them calm, said freshman guard Bohanon. “I don’t want to let my team down. I tell myself I’m going to make it, it’s just like in practice, and we shoot a lot of free-throws each practice.”
McGruder led the Warriors with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Destiny Bohanon had 13 points and five rebounds while Maya Dunson had nine points and seven rebounds. Mali Morgan-Elliot had seven points and two rebounds. Olivia Trice contributed four points, four rebounds and two blocked shots and Kaira Herring had two points to contribute to the win.
The leading scorers for Beavercreek were Kayla Shields with 13 points followed by Keaira Youngblood with nine points and Alexa Lowe with eight points.
“Our girls have heart, “said Coach Miller. “I love that, they don’t back down from anything, it means a lot to me that I have girls that will stand in the gap for each other. I’m excited for what is to come, they’ve got it in them and it’s scary to watch because they are so young.”
Reach Stephen Granata by contacting Greg Smart at 684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.