Wins notable for girls
For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the Washington girls basketball team produced a winning record.
The Lady Panthers were 14-13 in 2008-09 and tied Metamora for fourth place with a 7-7 Mid-Illini Conference mark.
It was a season of close misses for Washington, which began the year 5-0 after winning the Pontiac Holiday Tournament title with four straight victories.
“I thought it was a season that was up and down,” WCHS head coach Randy Marchand said. “We had a handful of games we probably should have won.”
The Lady Panthers lost by a single point to Metamora (Dec. 5), Notre Dame (Jan. 8) and Dunlap (Jan. 27).
All of those teams posted 15 or more wins and beating them would have added some zest to Washington’s season.
A highlight was whipping highly-regarded Canton, 70-31, Jan. 23 at Torry Gymnasium.
“It was one those games everything went our way,” said Marchand, whose team went on a 20-0 run at one point.
The Lady Giants, who tied Dunlap for second place in the conference, came into the contest 16-5.
Seniors Sara Ohlman and Jaymi Holloman increased their numbers significantly this winter.
“We depended a lot on them,” said Marchand.
Ohlman provided 11.4 points per game, 87 assists and 56 steals, all of which ranked second on the team.
Ohlman shot a sturdy 39 percent from three-point range and topped the Lady Panthers with 42 makes from long distance.
Holloman was one of the league’s best free-throw shooters, sinking 82 percent of her attempts (84-of-102).
In addition, she supplied nine points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both of which were third on the squad.
Junior Lexi Grayer guided Washington with 12.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 61 steals.
She posted a 71-percent clip at the charity stripe with a smooth stroke.
If Grayer develops all aspects of her game, she can be one of the better players in the area next year.
Lindsey Boyer was a player Marchand noted for her improvement from the beginning of the season.
The athletic junior picked up her offense in the latter part of the year and led the Lady Panthers with 3.5 assists per game. She chipped in 45 steals.
Lexie Barra, a sophomore, was a valuable rebounder at 5.9 per game, which was second best, and sank a team-high 45 percent of her field goals.
She also totaled 5.6 ppg, along with a squad-leading 21 blocks.
Junior Moriah Peterson is another player whose comfort level seemed to grow as the season progressed.
Jaquie Flanagan was the other senior who closed out her Washington basketball career.
Looking ahead to next year, Marchand said there is solid potential combining the returnees with the newcomers off the underclass teams.
“We’ve just got to be more consistent,” he said.
The Lady Panther schedule for ’09-10 does not have any major changes at this time.
The girls will start off trying to win the Pontiac championship for the seventh time in eight years.