Lady Warriors clinch division title

By Steve Granata - Contributing Writer

Shai McGruder

Shai McGruder

KETTERING — Wayne used a balanced scoring attack to take down Fairmont 76-55 in a Greater Western Ohio Central Division contest Wednesday night. With the win over Fairmont the Warriors clinched the GWOC Central Division Title with a perfect 9-0 record and have their sites set for even greater accomplishments come tournament time.

Five different Warriors scored in double-figures with Shai McGruder leading the way with 19 points, Mali Morgan-Elliot and Destiny Bohanon had 13 points each, Olivia Trice added 12 points and Maya Dunson 10 points to extend Wayne’s winning streak to 19 consecutive games.

“We have such balanced talent on this team,” said Coach Sonya Miller. “Any given night someone can have a big night. Tonight just showed you that were talented enough that we share the ball well and it shows in the scoring box,”

Wayne set the tone early as McGruder hit a layup, Dunson connected on a 3-pointer and Morgan-Elliott scored on the inbounds pass from Trice to score the first seven points of the game. Fairmont answered with a free throw, but on the next possession Destiny Bohanon drove to the basket moving the ball around her back to avoid defenders, then layed the ball softly off the glass for the score and a 9-1 lead.

Fairmont came back with a Jamie Pacenta basket and two free throws by Jennifer Nichwitz and another Placenta runner in the lane to cut the lead to four points with 2:00 remaining in the quarter. But in the final minute of the quarter Wayne scored on three consecutive possessions to take a 19-9 advantage.

Wayne pushed the lead to 10 points in the second quarter as McGruder got the offensive rebound and scored on a reverse layup to take a 25-14 lead. Fairmont fought back with a Emily Hughes 3-pointer and a Drew Heatherly jumper to close the gap to six points and force Wayne to take a timeout. Wayne quickly extended the lead back to 10 points as Bohanon hit two free throws and McGruder once again cleaned the offensive glass and scored on the put back. Wayne maintained their lead to take a 36-26 advantage at the half.

Wayne started the third quarter with a quick 8-0 run as Bohanon scored on a spin move to the hoop extending the lead to 18 points. The Warriors were not done as they put together a 12-2 run that featured a 3-pointers from Trice and a 3-pointer from Shayla Woods to end the third quarter with a commanding 59-38 lead.

Fairmont did not get any closer as Wayne’s smothering defense held steady the rest of the way securing another victory for the No.8 ranked Warriors (AP Ohio High School State Poll) as they improved to 20-1 overall and 9-0 in the Central Division. Fairmont drops to 7-14, 2-7. Leading scorers for Fairmont were Madison Connally-Banks with 20 points and Jamie Pacenta added 12 points.

“We turned it up on defense,” said Coach Miller. “Obviously that is something we have been talking about being the staple of who we are, that allows us to get up and down the court if we put more pressure on the opponent. It was a job well done for the girls tonight.”

Wayne will play their final game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb.6, 1 p.m. at Centerville.

WAY 19 36 59 76 – 76

FMT 09 26 38 55 – 55

Wayne: Mali Morgan-Elliot 13, Shayla Woods 9, Destiny Bohanon 13, Olivia Trice 12, Shai McGruder 19, Maya Dunson 10. Totals: 23-18-76.

Fairmont: Jennifer Nichwitz 3, Olivia Frank 2, Hadley Short 2, Emily Hughes 5, Jamie Pacenta 12, Drew Heatherly 7, Madison Connally-Banks 20, Olivia Gregory 4. Totals: 17-12-55.

3-point goals: Wayne 4 (Trice 2, Woods, Dunson); Fairmont 3 (Pacenta 2, Hughes).

Records: Wayne 20-1 (9-0), Fairmont 7-14 (2-7).

JV Score: Wayne 37 Fairmont 46

Shai McGruder McGruder

By Steve Granata

Contributing Writer

Reach Steve Granata at

Reach Steve Granata at