Everyone knows about schools’ three R’s: reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic, but how many knew about the Winchester Lady Falcons concept of the three D’s: defense that stifles their opponents, dismantling those same opponents, and dispatching their rivals from the tournament.
The Falcons fit the concept to perfection during the recently completed Yorktown Sectional. Winchester was impressive in victories over New Castle and Jay County to get to Saturday’s finals, but impressive seems insignificant with the way the Falcons disrupted and dismantled a very good Yorktown team 69-32 in the championship contest.
Yorktown drew first blood on a Carley Culberson hoop 20 seconds into the affair. Winchester responded by scoring the game’s next nine points. Becca Chamberlin knotted the score with a pair of charity tosses. Caitlyn Campbell gave the Falcons the lead for good with a drive through the center of the lane for the go-ahead deuce.
Maddie Lawrence followed with a three-pointer, and Campbell capped the string of unanswered points with a steal and lay up, prompting Yorktown Coach Leigh Ann Barga to signal for a time out.
A Tobi Bell triple cut the Tigers’ deficit to 9-5 ephemerally. But five Falcon points built the lead to nine points. A Maddie Lawrence basket, plus a fielder and one free throw from Moore was the Winchester retaliation.
The Yorktown response was a basket by Lea Alexander, making it 14-7. Alexander had a chance to complete a three-point play but missed the free try, foreshadowing what was to come.
The Falcons scored the next 20 points, all but dispelling any thoughts that the Tigers might have had concerning winning the sectional title on their home floor.
Moore’s fielder initiated the run. Becca Chamberlin added a hoop, and when Maddie Lawrence rebounded a Tiger miss and went coast-to-coast for a lay in at the buzzer, Winchester led 20-7 at the first stop.
Yorktown had two starters pick up their second foul midway through the first frame, sending them to the bench. Coach Barga thrust them back into the lineup when it was 18-7 before opportunity totally slipped away from the Tigers.
However, the Tigers continued to misfire, and Winchester’s offense was operating on all cylinders. Maddie Lawrence opened the second stanza as she finished the first, with a basket off a nifty assist by Moore.
Becca Chamberlin then tickled the twine with triples on consecutive trips down the floor. Winchester led 28-7. Maddie Lawrence scored again, before her sister, Morgan, took over, scoring the next two hoops. Suddenly and decisively, Winchester had erupted for 20 straight points and now led 34-7. The handwriting was on the wall, or maybe I should say the court.
Culberson provided Yorktown with the next four points, dropping the Tigers deficit to 23, the closest they would get for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, Culberson and Tobi Bell were saddled with three fouls each.
A Campbell three-pointer and two Becca Chamberlin free throws were offset only by a 15-foot jumper by Jaylynn Dunsmore of Yorktown. The Falcons led 39-13 at the halftime break.
The third period began with a Moore three-pointer and ended with a Maddie Lawrence buzzer-beater from half-court than found the bottom of the net, sending the Falcons to the fourth session with a 55-20 advantage.
In between, Yorktown’s leading scorer for the season, Elizabeth Reece, picked up her first points of the contest, a three-pointer that made it 44-17 at the time.
Winchester’s delay game was on display by this time. The clock was the Falcons’ ally. Lay-ups were what Winchester was looking for and found. Maddie Lawrence, Moore, and Maci Chamberlin hit easy shots. Taylor Hicks and Ara Cowper had offensive put-backs on two of the Falcons’ three final quarter misses. Cowper hit a short hook shot and Haley Lanter put the finishing touches to the masterpiece with a deuce before the buzzer.
The Tigers had no one supply double figures for the game, the second successive contest that Winchester held the opposition without a double digit scorer. Bell and Amari Wright paced the Delaware County squad with seven points each. Culberson and Reece finished with six tallies apiece.
Winchester shot 63 percent from the field, including an incredible 21 of 28 over the last three periods. They also commanded the rebound battle, grabbing 39 boards in comparison to Yorktown’s 22. Maddie Lawrence and Campbell each corralled eight caroms.
Maddie also led four Falcons into double digits with 22 points. Becca Chamberlin totaled 12, while Campbell produced 11 tallies, and Moore chipped in with 10 markers.
“From start to finish, it was the most focused and prepared we have been all year,” Winchester coach Holly Gutierrez said. “I felt like I was coaching a veteran team with the way they responded and played.”
Gutierrez said the road ahead will be difficult, but is hopeful the Falcons can continue their quality play.
“The regional looks extremely tough,” she said. We will take a look at both teams and see what they do well. Hopefully we can give our best efforts against Norwell Saturday and put ourselves in a position to play Saturday night. If we can play like we did against Yorktown, the sky is the limit for these young ladies.”
The 23-3 Falcons will play in the Bellmont Regional next Saturday, taking on Norwell in the 10 am game. Benton Central and Garrett will tangle in the second contest. The two winners will meet for the championship that night.
Winchester 20 39 55 69
Yorktown 7 13 20 32
Falcons--Ma. Lawrence 10 0-0 22, B. Chamberlin 3 4-4 12, Moore 4 1-2 10, Cowper 2 0-0 4, Mo. Lawrence 2 0-1 4, Campbell 5 0-0 11, L. Lanter 0 0-0 0, H. Lanter 1 0-0 2, Baker 0 0-1 0, M. Chamberlin 1 0-0 2, Hummel 0 0-0 0, Hicks 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 5-8 69.
Tigers-- Slaven 0 0-0 0, Reece 2 0-0 6, Culberson 2 1-2 6, Wright 3 0-0 7, Alexander 1 1-4 3, Ross 0 0-0 0, Green 0 0-0 0, Bell 3 0-0 7, Dunsmore 1 1-2 3, Sylvester 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 3-8 32.
Class 3A Yorktown
Maddie Lawrence, Winchester
Becca Chamberlin, Winchester
Caitlyn Campbell, Winchester
Gena Moore, Winchester
Morgan Lawrence, Winchester
Carley Culberson, Yorktown
Lea Alexander, Yorktown
Toby Bell, Yorktown
Bayleigh Runner, Ham. Hts
Kassidy Dishman, Delta