Waterford defense shines in 39-19 win over Belpre

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Waterford’s Rachael Adams, center, secures a rebound as Belpre’s Kyna Waderker (22) and Curstin Giffin (32) look on during a high school girls basketball game Thursday at Waterford High School.

WATERFORD — Waterford High put the clamps on Belpre High.

The Wildcats limited the visiting Golden Eagles to four single-digit quarters en route to a 39-19 triumph in Tri-Valley Conference-Hocking Division girls’ basketball action Thursday night.

“Defensively, I was real pleased,” said WHS head coach Jerry Close. “It was really good. We had been struggling (on defense) but we’re getting a little bit better.”

Freshman non-starter Mackenzie Suprano paced the Cats (7-1) with 14 points. Rachael Adams added 13, and Cara Taylor netted six.

As a team, Waterford was 18 of 59 from the floor.

“We missed a lot of easy shots tonight,” Close said. “But that’ll come as we play.”

Belpre (9-3) was led by 6-foot junior Kyna Waderker’s 12 points, 6 in the fourth quarter. The Chris Murray-coached Eagles shot 25 percent (7-28) from the hardwood, and also had 17 turnovers.

The Cats started off the contest with a 10-0 run and never looked back. During the surge, Taylor had two buckets while Emily Kern, Adams, and Suprano netted one apiece.

Abbey Lafatch’s scored Belpre’s first points of the game with under a minute to play in the opening stanza.

Sparked by Suprano’s six second-quarter points, WHS stretched its lead to 18-7 at halftime.

“She’s a freshman guard who played junior high last year,” said Close of Suprano. “She can play. She had a nice game. She’s a pretty smart player and does a lot of good things — but we have a lot of freshmen playing.

“She was hurt at the beginning of the year. And, we’re just trying to get healthy and stay healthy.”

In the third quarter, Adams scored five points and Suprano four as Waterford’s lead bulged to 27-12.

Adams, who injured her knee in the season opener in late November, was back for her second straight game. She also tallied five points in the final period, while Riley Schweikert had four.

“Rachael is still not 100 percent,” Close said.