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Lady Hornets claim their 2nd straight sectional title

By TODD REED News Leader Sports Editor Published: February 28, 2017 11:36 AM
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Feeling the affects of a 12-day layoff, the Lady Hornets started slowly in their sectional-opening matchup with visiting Caldwell.

Malvern, the second seed in the Division IV East District Tournament, led by just four after the opening eight minutes of play.

The Lady Hornets came to form over the final three quarters, cruising to an 80-37 win.

Kelsi Hulit scored the first seven points for the hosts, and finished the opening stanza with nine as Malvern led 17-13.

Jasmine Goldsworthy put together her best quarter of the season, scoring 11 points as the Lady Hornets took a 39-21 advantage into halftime.

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Hulit scored eight points and Tara Tucci and Goldsworthy each had five as Malvern stretched its lead to 64-30 heading into the final stanza.

Hulit finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Tucci just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Goldsworthy had 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals; LeaEllen Leslie had eight points and four rebounds; and Hunter Martin had four points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists.

"We started off very sluggish, and we expected it after having a 12-day layoff," commented Head Coach Doug Wackerly. "Once we got our groove back, we started getting the extra passes and picking up our defense.

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"Jasmine is really coming along. She shot the ball extremely well, hitting all seven of her shots from the floor. Tara played a great game. The team couldn't do without her points, rebounds and assists. Kelsi was solid as always and Hunter had to play through some pain from a couple of injuries."

Malvern 58

River 46

The Lady Hornets jumped out to an 18-2 lead and held on for a 58-46 win over visiting River.

With the victory, Malvern captured its second straight sectional title, improving to 20-4.

The Lady Hornets led 26-13 at halftime and 38-31 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Goldsworthy paced the way with 16 points and six rebounds.

Tucci had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds; Martin had 10 points and six steals; Hulit had nine points, 23 rebounds and six assists; Leslie had six points; and McKenzie Haidet had four points and four boards.

"It's a good thing we had a great start being up 18-2, because we didn't shoot the ball very well," noted Coach Wackerly. "We did some things out of character and let River back in the game, but we did what we had to do to win and move on."

Malvern (#2) will take on Frontier (#3) in a district semifinal on March 1, 7 p.m. at Martins Ferry High School.

The other half of the bracket features top-seeded Hiland battling Fort Frye (#5). The two winners will play for the district title this Saturday, March 4, 1 p.m.


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