Zuchowski helps West Branch move to 15-2

Junior Natalie Zuchowski scored a game-high 14 points in a 52-27 win over Salem Saturday

Junior Natalie Zuchowski scored a game-high 14 points in a 52-27 win over Salem Saturday.

Salem, OH (WKBN) – The West Branch girls’ basketball team cruised to another win, 52-27 over Salem Saturday at Salem High School.

The Warriors jumped out to an early lead and took a 26-10 advantage into halftime. Junior Natalie Zuchowski scored a game-high 14 points, while Kayla Horvorka had 11 points and six rebounds. Senior Brenna Rito also chipped in eight points.

“We are ahead of the curve,” said West Branch head coach Walt DeShields. “I knew we would be good, but didn’t know we would be this good.”

The Warriors have just two seniors on the team, including Brenna Rito, who is the lone player left from their State Final Four run two years ago.

“Brenna saw the floor during those big games in Barberton and Columbus, so the girls have really been looking to her as a leader,” DeShields said.

West Branch has rolled off 13 straight wins since early December, including big victories over Louisville, Carrollton and Waterford, the defending Division IV State Champions. The Girls OHSAA State Tournament draw is next Sunday, Feb. 5.

With the loss, Salem drops to 8-9 overall and 3-8 in the NBC. The Quakers were led by Chloe Cheresne and Ellie-Davidson with eight points a piece.

West Branch returns to action next Monday night at Austintown Fitch for a 7 p.m. start.

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