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Lady Rockets blow out Lockland in sectional opener

MONROE — The Fayetteville Lady Rockets travelled west to Monroe High School for a sectional tournament bout with the Lockland Lady Panthers.

It wasn’t much of a fight at all, in reality, as the Lady Rockets jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first quarter en route to a dominating 63-27 victory.

Fayetteville had an excellent first quarter offensively thanks to Samantha Murphy. Murphy scored 11 of her 18 points, pushing her squad to a 23-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Lockland picked things up on offense a bit in the second quarter, as some of their shots began to fall. However, Fayetteville received another offensive boost, this one from senior Meghan Koch. Koch scored the first eight points of the second quarter, pushing the Lady Rockets’ lead to 31-3.

Fayetteville would hold the Lady Panthers scoreless in the third quarter, and by the fourth quarter the Lady Rockets would be using a mix of reserves and freshman to finish out the game.

Head coach Toby Sheets said he liked the fact that his team was able to get so many different players involved in the game, especially those that hadn’t played at the varsity level yet this season.

“We got several people in that hadn’t seen much,” Sheets said. “I think that’s a reward. They’ve been practicing just as hard as the starting five. We got the freshman in here too. There were a lot of good things.”

Sheets said he was also proud of how his team handled themselves once they built the lead, especially since he’s not fond of asking the team to back off.

“I was happy with the outcome,” Sheets said. “I hate asking the kids, because when you get to tournament time you should be ready to go. Our kids were able to handle it, they showed maturity and they were humble. They didn’t rub their nose in it by any means so I was happy with it.”

Murphy’s 18 points led all scorers. Koch and Hannah Stegbauer each tallied eight points. Every Rocket scored at least one basket except for Hannah Weiderhold.

The Lady Rockets advance to the next round of the tournament, which consists of a return trip to Monroe on Wednesday, Feb. 17 to take on Cincinnati College Prep. Sheets said that game will be a bit more of a challenge, but he also noted the Rockets have faced tougher competition.

“They’re better,” Sheets said. “They’re probably not as good as anyone in our conference though.”

Fayetteville’s Hannah Wiederhold attempts a jump shot in the first half of her team’s victory over Lockland on Saturday.’s Hannah Wiederhold attempts a jump shot in the first half of her team’s victory over Lockland on Saturday.

By Garth Shanklin

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter at @GNDShanklin.

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