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Arlington, McComb Use Outside Shooting to Advance to Sectional Finals

By DAVE HANNEMAN
sTAFF WRITER
Jordyn Webb and Erica O’Rear can’t come close to telling you how many 3-pointers they shot over the summer.
Neither can Arlington coach Seth Newlove. But judging by what he saw Wednesday night, he’s guessing it was a bunch.
“Our game plan wasn’t to shoot 3-pointers. It was to take what the other team was giving us,” Newlove said.
“But Webb hit those 3’s early, then O’Rear hit three. That’s not exactly how we planned it, but that was huge.”
Webb and O’Rear were a combined 8 for 9 on 3-point attempts and Arlington bombed in 11 of 23 treys overall as the Red Devils rolled past Cory-Rawson 71-40 in a Division IV sectional semifinal at Findlay High School.
McComb also got some big 3-pointers early, then relied on its height and inside game to beat Vanlue 59-27 in Wednesday’s second game.
The sectional’s top two seeds, Arlington and McComb will play for sectional titles on Saturday. Arlington, 16-7 and seeded No. 1, will face Riverdale (12-10) in the 6:15 p.m. final. McComb, also 16-7 and seeded second, will go against North Baltimore (9-13) in the second matchup.
Saturday’s winners will advance to the Division IV district semifinals beginning Feb. 28 at Liberty-Benton.
Neither Arlington nor Cory-Rawson made a single 2-point basket in the first quarter of Wednesday’s first game. But Webb nailed three 3-pointers and O’Rear, Kathryn Jolliff and Madi Mains knocked down one each as the Red Devils surged ahead 18-5.
With senior center Morgan Insley out with a knee injury, Arlington’s offense seemed destined to rely more on the perimeter game. And that had its advantages.
“Coach said we’d be harder to guard because we might be shorter but we’d be quicker,” said Webb. “It might have helped us run the press better, too.”
If Newlove had doubts heading into the sectional opener, he also had a message for his players.
“We told the players we’re still the defending state champs,” said Newlove, who guided the Red Devils to the Division IV title last season.
“We told them we need to take the floor and play like that, because when we do we play with confidence.”
Cory-Rawson threw a zone defense at Arlington, then man-to-man. Neither seemed to work.
“We were switching things up, trying to throw them off,” said Cory-Rawson coach Zack Bame.
“We knew they had some shooters in Webb and Jolliff and both of them hit some 3’s. Then O’Rear and Mains started hitting 3’s it was like, pick your poison.”
Just when it looked like Arlington would be one-dimensionally ‘3’-dimensional, Haley Dillon entered the game and gave the Red Devils a dominating post presence. The 5-11 freshman scored eight points in the second quarter when a 22-6 barrage padded Arlington’s lead to 40-11 at the half.
Webb was 5 for 5 on 3-pointers and led all players with 21 points. Dillon had 14 points and seven rebounds, with O’Rear adding 11 points, Mains 10 and Jolliff 9.
Cory-Rawson, ending its season at 8-15, got 13 points and an excellent all-around effort from senior guard Courtney Dulle. Kendra Tuttle and Kiley Scott added 9 points each for the Hornets.
Like Arlington, McComb used a big second-quarter run to take control of its game with Vanlue. Leading 10-4 late in the first quarter, the Panthers rattled off seven straight points, then countered a small rally by Vanlue with a 20-4 run that made it 39-14 early in the third quarter.
McComb, a bit tentative early, eventually got an efficient inside game going thanks to some outstanding passes. The result was great overall balance, with 6-2 freshman Jenna Huffman scoring 13 points and Emily Clymer, Kristen Buck and Brenna Dee adding 10 points.
McComb’s inside dominance was reflected in a 45-27 rebounding advantage. The Panthers also connected on 5 of 12 3-point attempts, well above their 28.3 percent average for the season.
“Vanlue was the second-best rebounding team in the league, right above us,” said McComb coach Jeremy Herr.
“You know, coaches are never happy. I thought we might need to be more aggressive because we are going to see some really good teams down the stretch. But I’ll take that effort any day.”
Katie Thomas, a starter, and Kayla Cornette, who came off the bench, scored nine points each for Vanlue (5-17).
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. But the kids played hard and you can’t fault them for that,” said Vanlue coach Todd Richards.
FIRST GAME
CORY-RAWSON (8-15)
Scott 4-9 0-0 9, Dulle 4-13 5-9 13, Ritter 3-9 1-1 7, Tuttle 2-8 5-6 9, Hulihan 0-2 0-0 0, Ford 0-3 0-0 0, M. Burkholder 1-1 0-1 2, C. Burkholder 0-0 0-0 0, Welch 0-0 0-0 0, Rettig 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 14-45 11-17—40.
arlington (16-7)
H. Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Webb 7-8 2-2 21, Jolliff 4-6 0-0 9, Heaster 0-3 4-4 4, Mains 4-9 0-0 10, Dillon 6-9 2-5 14, O’Rear 4-7 0-1 11, M. Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, Schmehl 0-3 0-0 0, Russell 0-1 0-0 0, Cole 0-0 0-0 0, Thibault 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26-51 8-14—71.
Cory-Rawson   5 6 12 17 — 40
Arlington   18 22 14 17 — 71
3-Point GOALS: Cory-Rawson 1-11 (Scott 1-5, Dulle 0-4, Ford 0-2); Arlington 11-23 (Webb 5-5, O’Rear 3-4, Jolliff 1-3, Mains 2-7, Schmehl 0-2, McMath 0-1, Russell 0-1).
rebounds: Cory-Rawson 26 (Ritter 7, Tuttle 7); Arlington 40 (Heaster 7, Dillon 7, H. Johnson 5).
turnovers: Cory-Rawson 18, Arlington 16.
SECOND GAME
vanlue (5-17)
Gerschutz 0-0 0-0 0, Frey 0-9 1-1 3, Bonham 2-6 0-4 4, Thomas 4-6 1-2 9, Clymer 2-8 0-0 4, Cornette 3-7 2-2 9, Ross 0-4 0-0 0, T. KLoepfer 0-2 0-0 0, J. Kloepfer 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 11-43 4-11—27.
McCOMB (16-7)
Reed 1-3 0-0 3, Herr 2-6 0-0 4, Dee 2-3 5-5 10, Huffman 6-11 1-6 13, K. Buck 3-9 2-2 10, Beverly 2-4 0-0 5, Clymer 5-9 0-0 10, Sudlow 1-1 0-2 2, H. Buck 0-1 0-0 0, Newcomer 0-0 0-0 0, Reigle 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Hammond 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS: 23-40 8-15—59.
Vanlue   4 10 7 6 — 27
McComb   12 20 19 8 — 59
3-Point GOALS: Vanlue 1-5 (Cornette 1-2, Thomas 0-1, Clymer 0-2); McComb 5-12 (Reed 1-3, Dee 1-1, K. Buck 2-5, Beverly 1-2, H. Buck 0-1).
rebounds: Vanlue 27 (Cornette 6, Clymer 5); McCobm 45 Huffman 10, Dee 7).
turnovers: Vanlue 17, McComb 16.
junior varsity: .
Hanneman: 419-427-8408,
davehanneman@thecourier.com