Wizards claim sectional title

By MIKE Mundy The Press-News Published:

The East Canton Wizards claimed a sectional title last Saturday at Norwayne.

They blasted their way into this week's district tournament on the strength of a 58-21 win over Max Hayes last Saturday.

They advanced to the sectional championship with a come-from-behind win over Kidron Central (10-13) on Tuesday. The Wizards' seniors provided the scoring in the game. Hannah Butler had 16 points, and Brianna Payne added 13. Megan Gothard helped on the boards, with five rebounds.

On Saturday, it was all Wizards, all the way. They assumed a first quarter lead of 12-3 and led at halftime 31-12 and were never challenged. Their balanced scoring keyed an easy win.

Leading the way was Kelsea McCullough with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals. Butler added 11 points and a pair of assists. Also sharing in the scoring were senior Tara Clapper and sophomore Gothard with eight points each. Payne and Alexis Wellendorf each scored seven.

Coach Jennifer Martinez was proud of her champions and said, " We came to play and everyone contributed and helped the team in a positive way."

They earned their way into the title game with a tough win over Kidron where they trailed for most of the game. But in the end, great senior performances from Butler and Payne paved the way to a 46-42 win.

Butler scored 16 points and Payne 13. Freshman Sarah Griesen scored six points and led the team with 10 rebounds. Also scoring were Abigail Cook with four points, Gothard three, Savannah Boyle and Clapper two each.

Martinez commented: " Tonight, the girls played with determination and never gave up. We had great senior leadership."

The Wizards will face top-seeded Lake Ridge Academy on Thursday, at Norwayne, in a 7:45 p.m. game.

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