West Branch cruises past Ravenna

Austintown – The West Branch Warrior girls basketball team advanced to their fourth consecutive district championship Tuesday night with a 56-31 victory over the Ravenna Ravens. The Warriors will take on the Struthers Wildcats in the title game Friday night in Austintown at 7:00pm.

“Our mind set is to celebrate a little bit tonight and go back tomorrow and get to work on Struthers. I’ll probably will be watching some film tonight. John (Grandy) is a great coach over there, and I’m sure he will have his girls well prepared for Friday night and we’re hoping to do the same,” Warriors head coach Walt Deshields said.

The Warriors jumped out to a 13-point lead at the end of the first quarter when Melinda Trimmer and Taryn Hahn made two consecutive three point plays with baskets and foul shots to give the Warriors a 18-5 lead at the end of the stanza. From that point the Warriors pull farther away, going up by 19-points at halftime at 34-15.

“We came out on fire. You have those nights,” Deshields remarked. “Our girls prepared really, really well for this game. I think we did a great job defensively taking away a lot of their sets.

“I’m really happy that we came with such a good start. Earlier in the season, regular season, we would get ourselves in a whole. We were down by nine or ten at halftime, and we would have to battle back in the second half. We didn’t want to have to do that tonight. We got off to a good start, that was a big key,” senior Amanda Linhart added.

The Warriors would go up by a game-high 24-points early in the fourth quarter when they pulled out to a 49-25 advantage. Ravenna was never able to get any closer than 16-points in the second half of the game.

Now the Warriors will focus on Struthers Friday night. “Our mind set is to celebrate a little bit tonight and go back tomorrow and get to work on Struthers. I’ll probably will be watching some film tonight. John (Grandy) is a great coach over there, and I’m sure he will have his girls well prepared for Friday night and we’re hoping to do the same,” Desheilds said.

“I know that we are all going to play hard and we really want to get this one,” Linhart said. “I really want to get this one. I know the seniors, we want it more than anything right now. I know we are going practice hard and play hard on Friday.”

Pavin Heath of the Warriors scored a game-high 19 points, while Melinda Trimmer netted 18. The Warriors outrebounded the Ravens in the game by a 27-17 margin. Erica Johnson hauled down 7 caroms, while Linhart grabbed 6.

COURTESY: Lowell Spencer

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