With a team that gives up points like the West Holmes Lady Knights do, to get to 50 points is almost an ironclad, lock-down surety that West Holmes will get a win. Even to get to 40 points is nearly a sure bet, and West Holmes’ 14-1 record this season when reaching that figure would attest to the gold mine that it is when they get to that level. But sometimes, even 30 is more than enough, even against a team that can challenge them like Mansfield Senior did Saturday, February 4 at The Dungeon at West Holmes High School.
On senior night, the seniors did their thing, the Lady Knights allowed just 28 points and West Holmes secured at least a portion of the Ohio Cardinal Conference crown in a 40-28 victory. The win pushed the Lady Knights league record to 12-1 and 15-5 overall, as Lisa Ogi continues to create magic in a year that many weren’t quite sure that would ever happen.
This one started innocently enough, as points were tough to come by and the Lady Knights found themselves trailing 6-4. The offense got going in the second quarter, and West Holmes inched out to a 17-16 half-time lead. However, once again Ogi’s crew came out with some inspired defense to begin the second half, and used their trademark half-court defensive set to limit the Tygers to three points while producing 10 of their own to claim a 27-19 lead, and eight points is tough to make up on West Holmes, which made enough free throws late to stave off Mansfield Senior.
Talayzha Catching proved to be one tough customer for West Holmes to defend. The super-sophomore tallied a game-high 20 points, going 7-of-18 from the floor. However, only one other Tyger netted more than two points, and just four Senior players found the scoring column.
Meanwhile, the Lady Knights were spreading things around offensively, and in celebration of their senior night, it was the 12th-graders who were doing the damage. Kacie Leppla continued her solid recent play, scoring a dozen points while snaring eight rebounds, which tied her for the team lead in caroms with fellow senior Sammie Hall, who poured in 14 points to pace West Holmes. Senior Kylie Leppla scored eight points, adding four rebounds, four steals and three assists, while classmate Taylor Yerian added six points. The fifth Lady Knights senior, Sabryn Cutlip, was held with a score. Much like Senior, West Holmes put just those four players in the score book, but it was a much more well-balanced attack for the Lady Knights.
In addition, West Holmes held a commanding 28-14 lead in rebounding.
West Holmes now has just Clear Fork as its remaining obstacle to claiming the OCC title outright. The lady Knights will face Clear Fork on February 9 at Clear Fork, and the Colts are currently 1-18 overall and 0-11 in league play, so while it is not a forgone conclusion, West Holmes’ chances of toting the OCC trophy at the end of the season look pretty good.