GREENFORD - Combining for 57 free throws and 41 turnovers, the Division IV sectional final between Western Reserve and Southern Local on Thursday wasn't anything to text home about.
"We call these sorts of games ugly," Western Reserve coach Josh Scott said. "We didn't have a great shooting night and it was tough to get into any sort of rhythm. We just had to get through it."
The Devils did just that in the 45-25 victory.
"To start the game we had a pretty decent lead, but got too comfortable again," Scott said. "We have to keep pushing through. Any win we can get at this point, we'll take."
Western Reserve improves to 19-3 and will play Crestview in a district semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Crestview beat the Devils 70-51 early in the regular season. Reserve's other two losses were to top seeded Lowellville.
"Crestview is playing real well," Scott said. "Ashley Harrison is one of the best guards in the area. They got us the last time, but we'll do our best to prepare for them."
Colleen Kennehan, who has more than 1,000 points in her career, led the Devils with 13 points. No one else scored more than five points for Reserve.
Southern (5-16) struggled to get anything going offensively. The Indians broke the 20-point barrier with 3:10 left in the game. Kati Hipsley scored nine points to lead the Indians. Rachel Coil and Beckah Phillis had eight rebounds each.
"Rachel Coil is our leading scorer and rebounder and when she only has five points (including a three-pointer deep in the fourth quarter) that hurts us," Cory Leek said. "We couldn't get her going."
The Indians shot 15 percent from the field in the feisty battle which saw the Indians hit with two technical fouls.
"It has been like this since I've been here," Leek said. "They play up in your face physical defense. There is no love loss between the two schools. I think that goes back to football over the last few years to be honest."
Southern would have been in much better shape this season if it had the services of senior Maddy Dowling. Dowling entered the season having injured a knee in the Inter-Tri County League All-Star volleyball match. She played the first 10 games of the season before it became apparent that she couldn't do the things she wanted to on the floor. She had surgery earlier in the month and will not compete in softball in the spring.
"She had a great preseason and we expected some good things out of her," Leek said. "We really missed her leadership on the floor."
WESTERN RESERVE: 11 15 9 10 - 45
SOUTHERN: 3 6 4 12 - 25
W. RESERVE SCORING: Colleen Kennehan 4-4-13, Baylee Harley 0-0-0, Bethany Berger 0-1-1, Rachel Maslach 2-0-4, Paige Ewing 1-0-2, Marissa Phipps 0-0-0, April Lude 1-0-2, Taylor Kilbert 0-1-1, Hannah Mowery 1-2-4, Tory White 1-5-7, Sissy Stubbs 1-4-6, Gabby Stubbs 0-0-0, Linley Mamonis 2-1-5, Abby Larimer 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 13-38, 18-33: 45.
SOUTHERN SCORING: Kati Hipsley 3-49, Jennah Phillis 1-1-4, Susan Bratt 0-0-0, Rachel Coil 1-2-3, Heather Sell 0-0-0, Beckah Phillis 2-0-4, Lena Cataldo 1-1-3, Brittany Webber 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 7-47, 8-24: 25.
THREE POINTERS: Western Reserve 1 (Kennehan), Southern 3 (Hipsley, J. Phillis, Coil).