Faith Yancey
Derrick Webb

Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

Defensive effort fuels Circleville to non-league win over Chillicothe

The Tigers forced 20 turnovers and held a high-scoring offense to just 35 points.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

CIRCLEVILLE — When Faith Yancey is in transition, go ahead and count the bucket.

Circleville’s Lily Winter scored 12 points in Wednesday’s win over Chillicothe.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Circelville’s speedy sophomore guard creates havoc in almost every passing lane, turns defense into offense and provides a next-level scoring option for a roster filled with youth.

She had her way with Chillicothe, as did the rest of the Tigers, on Wednesday in a 48-35 win in non-league action — a victory that was fueled by a stout defensive effort, led by Yancey.

Coach Steve Kalinoski’s streak of Tigers forced 20 turnovers, held Chillicothe to just 14-of-55 shooting and limited Jacey Harding — who’s been phenomenal all season long — to four points.

“Harding has had a strong start to her season and we felt like our 2-3 zone would stop her penetration. She’s a very good player and to hold her to four points? We’ll take that,” Kalinoski said. “That was a key coming in. And to hold them to 35 points, we’ll take that, too. That’s a team that can score. That’s probably our best defensive performance we’ve had all season.”

Yancey ended the night with nine steals, which turned into 16 points on the other end. She seemed to be everywhere and when she wasn’t putting the ball in the basket, she was finding open teammates to do so instead.

“She’s very fast. Sometimes she gets herself out of position but sometimes, we don’t care because if she can get steals and shoot lay-ups, that’s her best offense,” Kalinoski said.

Tale of the tape

Circleville’s Lily Winter, who played magnificently in her own right, started the night’s scoring with 6:57 left in the first quarter. Winter hit two free throws before scoring again at the 6:08 mark. Chillicothe’s Avery Erslan got the Cavaliers on the board with 4:17 left for a 6-2 tally.

The Tigers proceeded to build a 10-5 lead before Erslan nailed a 3 to bring the Cavs to within four at 12-8 with 1:06 left. That four-point Tiger lead stood at the end of the first at 14-10.

Winter started the second with another bucket before Yancey made it 18-10 with a steal and a score at the 6:02 mark. Chillicothe again cut the deficit to four behind Erslan and Emma Barnes, but the Tigers used baskets from Winter and Gabby McConnell to go ahead 22-15. 

Erslan made it a 22-17 game with 2:05 remaining but back-to-back buckets from Yancey extended the Tigers’ lead to nine at 26-17 heading into the break.

PHOTOS: Images from Circleville’s win over Chillicothe

“We work hard on what we think our weaknesses are every day,” Kalinoski said. “ We played a lot of freshmen tonight. We know we’ve still got work to do but we feel like we built a sound team tonight. That’s a team that will win some games and one that could win their league.”

Yancey scored again to start the second half before Winter capped an 8-0 run, making it 30-17 with 6:45 left. Erslan scored again with 6:31 to go but McConnell buried a 3 for a 33-19 count at the 6:07 mark. 

That 14-point lead swelled to 18 when Yancey made it 41-23 with 2:31 to go. Chillicothe got a bucket from Harding to fall, producing a 41-25 count after three.

Not much changed in the fourth.

The Cavaliers mounted a small rally to cut the deficit to 11 at 40-29 but Circleville again created distance before putting away a 48-35 victory.

“We feel pretty good about this,” Kalinoski said. “We’re going forward and we’re looking forward. It was good to see a smile on the girls’ faces.”

Stat book

Yancey led the Tigers with 16 points, four rebounds, nine steals and a pair of assists. Winter followed with 12 points and six boards, Jones posted nine points and four assists, and McConnell finished the night with five points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Erslan was the game’s top scorer with 19 points while Barned added seven points and five rebounds for the Cavaliers. Harding also chipped in with four points and nine rebounds.

What’s on tap

Circleville is back in Mid-State League action on Friday at Liberty Union while Chillicothe (4-4) attempts to bounce back on Saturday at Jackson in Frontier Athletic Conference play.

“Taking care of the basketball and boxing out … that’s our two big things right now,” Kalinoski said. “We did better tonight but there’s still work to do in those areas. I think if we do that, I think we’ll be OK. It’s a fun group. They work hard and that’s all you can ask.”


Chillicothe: 10-7-8-10 — 35

Circleville: 14-12-15-7 — 48

Chillicothe: 14-55 FG, 4-12 FT, 3-23 3pt., 29 rebounds (Harding 9), 20 turnovers, 6 assists (Huggins 2). Scoring: Erslan 19, Barnes 7, Harding 4, Sayers 4, Downing 1.

Circleville: 21-52 FG, 4-8 FT, 2-8 3pt., 31 rebounds (McConnell 8), 17 turnovers, 13 assists (Jones 4). Scoring: Yancey 16, Winter 12, Jones 9, Carmichael 6, McConnell 5.


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