The Licking Valley High School girls basketball team found a way to slow down Watkins Memorial's Emma Hock and pulled away down the stretch to beat the visiting Warriors 43-38 in an LCL game Dec. 9.

The Licking Valley High School girls basketball team found a way to slow down Watkins Memorial's Emma Hock and pulled away down the stretch to beat the visiting Warriors 43-38 in an LCL game Dec. 9.

Hock scored 11 of her game-high 13 points in the first quarter, providing the Warriors with all of their offense as they led 11-10.

"We did a good job of shutting her down after the first quarter," said Licking Valley coach Duane Wood, whose team improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the league. "We did a lot of things tonight that we hadn't done well all season. We got a lot of contributions, made our free throws and got some work done in the paint to score some big baskets."

Watkins Memorial, which fell to 3-2 and 1-1, played without senior wing player Lexi Denison, who was sick. She tried to go through warm-ups, but went back to the locker room and did not play.

Licking Valley sophomore center Lexie Stevens-Stough and freshman forward Addicyn Crane took control of the lane in the fourth quarter, which began with the Panthers leading 30-26. Crane scored on an inbounds play, and her three-point play off a putback gave the Panthers a 35-30 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Stevens-Stough had several rebounds and played strong defense in the period, after scoring eight of her 12 points in the third quarter.

Hannah Smith's steal and layup pulled Watkins Memorial to within 41-38 with 46 seconds left. The Warriors missed a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to play and Licking Valley sealed the win on Laney Griffith's layup with 8 seconds left.

Morgan Gossett had 12 points for Licking Valley.

Hunter Rennie added 11 for Watkins Memorial, which was 4-for-11 from the free-throw line while Licking Valley was 13-for-17.

"We just didn't execute tonight," Watkins Memorial coach Jayme Gates said. "We were out of sync from the beginning and we had some girls trying to do too much in (Denison's) absence. We didn't play good team ball for the first time this season, but we'll get back to work tomorrow."

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final WATKINS MEMORIAL 11 5 10 12 38 LICKING VALLEY 10 10 10 13 43