Girls basketball: Versailles cruises to sixth straight D-III district title


By Rob Kiser - rkiser@aimmediamidwest.com



Versailles’ Caitlin McEldowney shoots between Williamsburg’s Emily Hart, left, and Paige Fisher during a Division III district final on Saturday om Springfield.

Versailles’ Caitlin McEldowney shoots between Williamsburg’s Emily Hart, left, and Paige Fisher during a Division III district final on Saturday om Springfield.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Elizabeth Ording scores shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Lindsey Winner shoots over Williamsburg’s Katie Ervin during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Caitlyn Luthman shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Brooke Stonebreaker makes her way to the basket during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.


Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

SPRINGFIELD — At this time of year, GPS isn’t necessary for the Versailles’ girls basketball bus or the Tigers’ fans.

The path from Versailles to Springfield High School is one well traveled.

The Tigers won their sixth straight Division III district title Saturday — all played at Springfield High School. This one came by a 53-12 score over Williamsburg, which finishes 20-5.

The Tigers (22-5) will now return to Springfield to play Waynesville (24-0) at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday in a regional semifinal.

“Our goal every year is to get to Springfield,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said.

And making multiple trips — as they are doing for the sixth straight year.

Versailles made it look easy against Williamsburg Saturday.

After Lindsey Winner hit a baseline jumper, Caitlin McEldowney buried two 3-pointers to put the Tigers in front 8-0 and Williamsburg never got untracked.

“It does (give me confidence) hitting a couple shots like that,” McEldowney said.

And it broke down whatever the Wildcats had hoped to do defensively.

“We knew we had an advantage in the post,” Stonebraker said. “But, we knew they were going to try to do some double teams. Caitlin hitting those shots just opened up everything for us.”

Versailles led 18-4 after one quarter, increased the margin to 28-4 at halftime and put the running clock in play with a 45-10 lead after three quarters.

And, as they always do, the Tigers are playing their best basketball when it matters most.

“I think it is the practices,” Liz Ording, who had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, said. “We have been working really hard in practice. We are coming off the high of winning state in volleyball and just want to keep it going.”

Ording admitted the big challenge Saturday was staying focused.

“It can be a challanege at times,” she said. “We just want to play the way we can play.”

McEldowney probably said it best.

“Coach told us to go out and play like Lady Tigers,” McEldowney said.

McEldowney led the Tigers with 12 points.

Winner added eight points and five rebounds and Hannah Barga scored six points.

Kiana Dauwe led Williamsburg with six points.

Versailles was 21-of-52 from the floor for 40 percent and 6-of-8 from the line for 75 percent.

Williamsburg was 6-of-35 from the floor for 17 percent and did not shoot a free throw.

The Tigers doubled the Wildcats on the board 36-18 and had eight turnovers to Williamsburg’s 14.

“This never gets old,” Stonebraker said after cutting down the final strand of a sixth straight district championship net. “We know Waynesville will be (a big challenge).”

And the Tigers and their fans know the way to Springfield.

Versailles’ Caitlin McEldowney shoots between Williamsburg’s Emily Hart, left, and Paige Fisher during a Division III district final on Saturday om Springfield.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/03/web1_030219mju_bbg_vhs_13-4.jpgVersailles’ Caitlin McEldowney shoots between Williamsburg’s Emily Hart, left, and Paige Fisher during a Division III district final on Saturday om Springfield. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Elizabeth Ording scores shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/03/web1_030219mju_bbg_vhs_24-4.jpgVersailles’ Elizabeth Ording scores shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Lindsey Winner shoots over Williamsburg’s Katie Ervin during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/03/web1_030219mju_bbg_vhs_25-4.jpgVersailles’ Lindsey Winner shoots over Williamsburg’s Katie Ervin during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Caitlyn Luthman shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/03/web1_030219mju_bbg_vhs_30-4.jpgVersailles’ Caitlyn Luthman shoots during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

Versailles’ Brooke Stonebreaker makes her way to the basket during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/03/web1_030219mju_bbg_vhs_34-4.jpgVersailles’ Brooke Stonebreaker makes her way to the basket during a Division III district final against Williamisburg on Saturday om Springfield. Mike Ullery | AIM Media Midwest

By Rob Kiser

rkiser@aimmediamidwest.com