John Bruce, Contributor
WAVERLY — Riding the hot shooting of Rylee Leonard and a fantastic defensive effort, the Eastern Warriors ran roughshod over the West Senators on Saturday to return to the district championship game for a fourth consecutive season.
Leonard went 4-of-7 from distance and finished with a game-high 19 points for the Warriors (21-4), who led by as much as 19 points before clearing their bench late in the fourth quarter of a 52-41 victory.
Mackenzie Gloff dominated the glass, pulling down 16 rebounds for Eastern, while Torie Utter and Mya Hamilton also finished in double-digit scoring figures — 12 for Utter and 10 for Hamilton.
West (18-6) was led in scoring by senior Abby Adkins, who bucketed 10 points, while Maelynn Howell had an outstanding overall game with five points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
While the Senators’ season comes to an end, Eastern will now play Fairland in a Division III district final at 9 p.m., Friday at Waverly’s Downtown Gym.