Waterford Wildcats fly past South Gallia, 70-15

Waterford’s Alli Kern drives to the basket during a high school basketball game Thursday against South Gallia. Photo by Ron Johnston.

WATERFORD — Waterford High’s starters rested in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats never trailed en route to a 70-15 triumph over visiting South Gallia in a Tri-Valley Conference-Hocking Division girls’ basketball game at the Cooper Annex Thursday night.

“I love it when everyone gets to play,” said WHS senior starter Megan Ball. “And it’s nice to see different groups of people playing — and when everyone scores, that’s even better.”

Not every Wildcat scored this time, but 12 saw significant playing time.

Rachael Adams and Ball each scored 17 points to lead Waterford, which won its fourth straight and improved its record to 4-1. Hayley Duff added 10 markers, and Kenzie Dietz and Alli Kern netted eight and seven, respectively.

Ball also was credited with 16 assists, while Kern had 10.

“It’s nice to know that everyone on the team can score,” Ball said. “We played well as a team together.”

Corey Small-coached South Gallia fell to 0-5 on the season. The Rebels, who had no one in double figures, made only six field goals in the contest, and turned the ball over 37 times. Amaya Howell and Faith Polling scored five and four points, respectively, to pace the visitors from Gallipolis.

Waterford “pitched” a shutout in the opening period, and led 12-0. Ball and Duff each scored four points.

“We did much better tonight,” said WHS boss Jerry Close. “The intensity was a little bit better and that’s something we’ve been lacking. I thought tonight we were much better defensively. And that’s one thing we’ve been working on.”

In the second quarter, South Gallia finally got on the scoreboard at the 4:26 mark when Olivia Hornsby made a bucket and bonus freebie to cut it to 17-3.

But there was no stopping the Wildcats, who led 29-8 going into the lockerroom at halftime.

“I shot better than I have in some of the games,” said Ball, who finished with 13 first-half points, including nine in the second period. “If it wasn’t for my teammates helping me get open and finding me, I wouldn’t have scored those points.”

Overall, at the half, Waterford was 10 of 32 from the floor.

“We didn’t shoot very well in the first half,” Close said. “We shot pretty poor.”

That would all change in the second half, thanks to the hot hand of Adams, who scored 13 third-quarter points helping stretch the Wildcat advantage to 54-10.

“We shot really well in the third quarter, especially Rachael,” Close said. “We’ve been waiting on that.

“In our last game, she couldn’t hit a shot.”

Ball agreed and added, “We knew she was struggling but once she hit that first one (in the third), we knew she was going to hit them after that. We kept looking for each other, and she just happened to be the one to make them.”

South Gallia’s Aaliyah Howell had her team’s only bucket in the third quarter.

Waterford won going away in the final stanza with Dietz leading the way with eight points.

“You know, it’s early in the season, and we’re just trying to get better every game,” Close said.