Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
McDERMOTT — Through the first four games of the season, Eden Cline hasn’t seen the floor.
West’s junior guard was forced to sit out while watching her teammates compete. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t putting in work.
While the Senators got better through competition, Cline made sure she wasn’t falling behind at home. That effort showed as soon as she hit the floor on Monday, scoring a game-high 15 points.
“I knew I had to come out and shoot well. That’s what I did in my off time. I shot a lot,” Cline said. “Coach told us we needed to play defense and get rebounds. That’s what we did tonight.”
Cline’s performance paved the way to a 43-37 win over Northwest in Southern Ohio Conference action, handing the Mohawks (2-1, 1-1 SOC II) their first loss this season.
“If all of our players shoot well, and we rebound well, we can go pretty far,” Cline said.
So far, so good.
The Senators (3-2, 2-1 SOC II) have lost two games they easily could have won — dropping a 51-39 contest at Coal Grove and a 50-46 decision to Wheelersburg.
Now, with Cline in the lineup, they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the rest of the season.
“I think we can go really far. That’s if we’re hitting on all cylinders,” sophomore Lexi Deaver said. “We have potential.”
Deaver was magnificent against the Mohawks. While she scored just four points, she grabbed eight rebounds and passed out five assists, each team-highs.
“We’ve been playing together since we were little, so we’re there for each other,” Deaver said. “Tonight, I didn’t score a lot. So I knew I had to do something different. I stepped it up on defense and helped my teammates score.”
After Northwest took a 4-2 lead early in the game, Deaver found both Cline and Charlie Jo Howard for 3-point balls to make it a 10-4 game at the end of the first quarter.
An 8-0 run turned into a 13-0 burst when Cline scored at the 7:13 and 5:54 marks in the second, the latter of which being a triple. Howard again dialed long distance with 57.2 seconds left in the first half, pushing the lead to 20-8, before Northwest’s Reagan Lewis brought the deficit back to single digits at 20-11 heading into halftime.
The Mohawks started the third on a run of their own, to the tune of 6-0, cutting the lead to 20-17 with 5:26 to go — thanks to buckets from Haidyn Wamsley, Valerie Copas and Kloe Montgomery.
But Cline and company quickly created insurance again with a 9-4 run to end the quarter, taking a 29-21 lead into the final frame.
After Deaver scored with 3:30 remaining, the Mohawks pulled to within four points, 37-33, with less than two minutes left. But down the stretch, Cline, Deaver and Emma Sayre hit their free throws to put the win on ice.
After Cline’s 15 points, Howard had 11 points and three assists while Deaver added her totals to the mix. Maelynn Howell also helped out with four points and three rebounds.
For Northwest, Wamsely and Copas each had 11 points. Wamsley added three rebounds and three assists while Copas tallied five boards. Lewis finished with seven points and seven rebounds while Montgomery posted four points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Both teams will be back in conference action on Thursday. Northwest travels to Wheelersburg while West, with momentum, hosts South Webster.
“We just know we have to be where we’re supposed to and we have to communicate well,” Howard said. “If we have an amazing night, we can beat anybody.”
West: 10-10-9-14 — 43
Northwest: 4-7-10-16 — 37
West: 13-43 FG, 12-21 FT, 5-17 3pt., 23 rebounds (Deaver 8), 18 turnovers, 10 assists (Deaver 5). Scoring: Cline 15, Howard 11, Bennett 4, Howell 4, Deaver 4, Sayre 2, Coleman 2, Adkins 1.
Northwest: 11-41 FG, 12-19 FT, 3-13 3pt., 32 rebounds (Montgomery 9), 26 turnovers, 9 assists (Wamsley 3). Scoring: Wamsley 11, Copas 11, Lewis 7, Montgomery 4, Jenkins 3, Webb 1.