|Lady Wildcats, Blue Jays get opening tourney wins|
|Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:46 PM|
Fortunately for Jefferson, they recovered quicker by hitting their first three shots of the second quarter and never trailing again en route to a 60-53 win.
In the night’s opener, hot-shooting St. John’s ousted Parkway 55-32.
“Neither team could put the ball in the basket at that time,” Jefferson coach Dave Hoffman said. “We’ve had stretches throughout the year where we’ve had that. We did weather that.”
Spencerville senior guard Alyssa Mulholland ended the stalemate at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter with a three to open the game’s scoring. Jefferson didn’t get on the board until the 41-second mark of the first, when junior guard Brooke Hesseling hit a three of her own.
At the end of the first quarter, Spencerville led 7-6 and the teams had each committed seven turnovers.
Jefferson opened the second quarter with three straight baskets: a pair of layups from junior guards Rileigh Stockwell and Hannah Sensibaugh, respectively, and a three from junior guard Katie Goergens; giving the Lady Wildcats a 13-7 lead. They held the 6-point lead throughout the quarter and led 28-22 at halftime.
Jefferson extended its lead to 45-33 after three but Spencerville clawed back into the game in the fourth.
The Lady Bearcats drew back within 54-4, but miscues let the game slip away late.
“(We committed) turnovers at crucial times, like the middle of runs: to end (our) runs and to help them sustain runs. I think the biggest part of it was when we were down six, we had three straight possessions when we took a bad shot and turned it over twice. That was a chance for six points,” Spencerville coach Warren Pughsley explained.
The Lady Bearcats were forced to foul late and though Jefferson only hit 9-of-20 free throws in the fourth, it was enough to hold on for a 60-53 win.
Spencerville actually outshot Jefferson, hitting on 20-of-53 (38%) to the Lady Wildcats’ 18-of-52 (35%).
“Our defense has got to get better. I wasn’t really pleased with our defense, although we did — at times — create some turnovers,” Hoffman said.
The Lady Wildcats created 26 turnovers in fact, which, along with converting on 22 (of 43) free throws to Spencerville’s nine (of 15), was the difference in the game.
Stockwell had a game-high 17 points to lead Jefferson (8-15) and Sensibaugh joined her in double figures with 12. Jefferson got 16 bench points, paced by seven from junior center Jasmine McDougall.
“I thought we got some good help off the bench tonight. Those players came in and really helped us out from that standpoint,” Hoffman continued.
Spencerville (3-20) was led by sophomore point guard Schylar Miller, who had 15 points on the evening. Mulholland added 14 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, in her final game as a Lady Bearcat. Senior center Abby Freewalt had 10 despite a tough zone defense.
“Freewalt; she’s a nice player. The Mulholland girl is a good shooter. We did let Schylar Miller drive down the lane, down the middle, on us too much,” Hoffman concluded.
Many coaches will tell you that the start of the third quarter is a huge factor in winning basketball games. For St. John’s Tuesday night, it was the end of the third quarter that proved decisive as the Lady Jays eliminated Parkway.
St. John’s (9-14) will play Crestview at 6:15 Saturday in the first sectional final. The Lady Panthers’ season ends at 3-20.
Although the Jays led from early in the second quarter to the end, the feisty Panthers for the most part kept within striking distance — within 10 points — until the last two minutes of the third stanza. With the score 32-23 at the 1:44 mark, the Delphos inside threat, Katie Vorst, hit a nifty reverse layup. That was followed by consecutive 3-pointers by the Jays’ two long-range snipers, Emilie Fischbach and Jessica Recker, leaving the score 40-23 after three and the outcome pretty much decided.
The first quarter was a toss-up with three ties and two lead changes, ending at 10-10. Parkway’s inside power, Sierra Fent, started it with a 6-foot baseliner but Recker more than trumped that with a triple from the right wing two minutes later. Fent tied it with a free throw but Vorst escaped for an open layup. Kylie Snyder’s two freebies tied it at 5-5 with 3:58 on the clock and an Emilie Fischbach three from straightaway NBA range made it 8-5. A Fent putback and a Snyder trifecta from the left wing gave Parkway its last lead at 10-8 but an Erica Saine layup tied it at 10-10.
Recker took over to start the second quarter, landing two 3-pointers from the left corner, then taking a long rebound at the left elbow and hitting from there — 18-10, Delphos, at 5:06. A Vorst free throw extended the Lady Jay run to 11-0 and a 19-10 lead but Snyder hit a 10-foot turnaround jumper from in front and Cami Hellwarth drained a pull-up jumper from the right elbow to cut it to 19-14. Saine’s elbow jumper at 0:40 made it 21-14 after two.
In the third period, Vorst’s 10 points and Emilie Fischbach’s six (two treys) keyed a 19-9 quarter to remove all doubt.
Delphos coach Dan J. Grothouse was happy, to say the least.
“Our kids did a good job of executing against their zone,” Grothouse added. “We cut well; we got the ball in the right spots. Especially in the second half, our inside game came alive. They started to box-and-1 a little bit with Recker. Katie picked it up a little bit, got more aggressive. Erica did a nice job inside and Sydney (Fischbach). That was really key; when we started to get more aggressive and take the ball hard to the basket, that opened up the outside shot. We worked on inside-out. Our shooters were set. We did knock down some shots; we shot pretty well tonight.”
Parkway coach Lynn Hughes concurred with Grothouse’s assessment.
“They shot lights out tonight,” Hughes added. “That’s a credit to them. We really keyed on Recker and Vorst. I told my kids that we have to front Vorst because if we don’t, she will score or pass it out for the 3-point shot. I thought the first half we did a nice job of fronting her but the second half they did a nice job of getting the ball inside out and hitting some threes.”
Field goal shooting, rebounding and turnover stats were decisive in this one. Delphos outshot Parkway from the field 46 percent (21-of-46, including 8 made threes) to 34 percent (11-of-32, only one 3-pointer). The Jays outboarded the Panthers 24-19 and had fewer turnovers, 9-15. Parkway was better from the free-throw line — 69 percent (9-of-13) to 56 percent (5-of-9).
Recker and Emilie Fischback led all scorers with 17 and 16.