Whiteoak senior Cylee Bratton led the Lady 'Cats with 11 points in their sectional semifinal game Monday. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Whiteoak senior Cylee Bratton led the Lady 'Cats with 11 points in their sectional semifinal game Monday. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
LUCASVILLE — The Whiteoak Lady Wildcats battled with everything they had in the Division IV SE District Sectional Semifinals on Monday (Feb. 10) against the Eastern Lady Eagles, but once Eastern got on a roll, there was no stopping them with WHS falling, 55-27.

In the season-ending game for the Lady Cats (1-22), they trailed by a 21-10 score at the end of the first frame, though at one point in the frame the score was 11-10 where WHS trailed by just a single point.

By the time halftime arrived, it was Eastern leading Whiteoak, 35-12. WHS had eight of their 10 points from Cylee Bratton and two points by Emmy Hawkins in the first quarter. For the second frame, their two points were scored by Hawkins and Lizz Edwards off free throws.

Bratton led WHS with 11 points, while Hawkins totaled five points and Edwards scored one point.

WHS was held to six points in the third with a 3-pointer by Kara Ward and three free throws on four attempts by Bratton. In the nine-point fourth quarter, Brie Walker scored two points, Ward added five points (including a 3-pointer) and Hawkins had two points.

Ward totaled eight points for the Lady ’Cats, and Walker had two total points in the game.

The second half for Eastern saw them score 11 points in the third and nine points in the fourth. Abby Cochenour led Eastern with 20 points, and Andee Lester totaled 13 points.

“That is a team I think we could have beat. We turned the ball over unforced in the first half, and we gave up a lot of rebounds in the first half,” WHS head coach Steve Smith said. “We also gave up too many second shots, but what I’m proud of was when we were down with 45 seconds to play, we still had girls diving on the floor for the ball and playing as hard as they could play, and you can’t ask for more than that.”

For the game, WHS totaled six two-point baskets, two 3-pointers and they were 9-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Seniors for WHS were Bratton, Edwards and Maddison Berkley. Bratton finished her career with over 690 points scored.

“I think we improved a lot from the first of the year,” Smith said. “We started out and only had three girls with any experience, and we had players who had very little experience, but we improved greatly from the first of the season. Our record doesn’t show that with one win, but I think the improvement is there.

“We are going to miss our three seniors. Cylee has played hard for four years and will be hard to replace. Lizz went in there tonight and played hard by taking two charges and having eight rebounds. She had full effort every time she played. Maddison, she had some physical injuries, but she played some and when she did, she played hard.”

Smith also spoke about the players who will be returning next season.

“We now have players with more experience and the eighth grade class has some girls who can play, and they could help us next year. They are ambitious and want to play,” Smith said. “We are starting to get numbers back.

“I think we could have 16 or 17 in the program and we’d be able to have a JV team, and that improves the program, too. I’m looking forward to next year, and I think we’ll be better. I love coaching, and I’ll be back if they will have me. I love working with the kids, and I love basketball.”