No worries: Waterford girls easily defeat Federal Hocking, 79-28

WATERFORD – The Waterford girls basketball team may have came into Monday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division battle with Federal Hocking with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder.

The Lady ‘Cats, who were rolling along with a six-game winning streak before dropping three of their last four games, jumped all over the Lady Lancers as they rolled to a 79-28 victory.

Dani Drayer poured in a game high 20 points to lead four Waterford scorers in double figures as the green and white grabbed a 25-6 lead after one quarter of play and were never challenged from that point on.

“We did a nice job tonight of finding open people,” said Lady Wildcat head coach Jerry Close. “We were able to hit some nice 10 and 12 footer’s that we haven’t been lately.”

Very early on it looked like the Lady Lancers might be able give Waterford a battle as after the ‘Cats grabbed a quick 4-0 lead, baskets by Destiny Tabler and Megan Thompson tied the game at 4-4.

Hannah Dailey’s free throw put the Lady ‘Cats back in front to stay and started a 21-2 run the rest of the quarter that saw seven different Waterford players score at least a point.

The Wildcats made nine field goals in the opening period and every single basket was accompanied by an assist including six from Drayer.

Baskets by Taylor Hilverding and Mariah Starkey increased the Waterford lead to 29-6 before Fed Hock strung together a 6-2 run to cut the lead to 31-12.

The big early lead allowed Close to get plenty of playing time for evey girl on his bench and also enabled the veteran coach to rest his starters for most of the second quarter.

Those starters returned with a little more than two minutes to play in the half and promptly scored 11 unanswered points to take a huge 42-12 lead into the break.

Regen Porter scored the first five points of the second half and when Drayer connected on a jumper from the base line, the Wildcat lead had swelled to 49-12 and by then it was only a matter of what the final score would be.

Every single Wildcat girl got in the score book in the game led by Drayer who finished with a double-double as the sophomore dished out 10 assists to go along with her 20 points.

Porter added 17 points while Randee Seevers and Taylor Hilverding added 10 points apiece.

Close was quite pleased with the balanced scoring attack of his team.

“Getting four of our five starters in double figures is something we have been looking for all year long,” said Close. “Hopefully moving forward that will continue to happen on a regular basis.”

The Wildcat’s completely dominated the battle of the glass as they out rebounded the Lancers by a 39-18 margin, with Hilverding leading the way with nine.

The Waterford defense forced 31 Federal Hocking turnovers in the game as four different girls managed to come up with at least four steals.

The win improved Waterford’s season mark to 8-4 including 8-1 in conference play while the Lady Lancers slipped to 2-11 overall and 2-6 in the TVC.

Cheyenne Singer led the way for Federal Hocking by scoring 10 points while hauling down a team-high six rebounds.

Both teams will return to conference action on Thursday night as Federal Hocking hosts Wahama, while the Lady ‘Cats pay a visit to Southern.