|Friday, December 14, 2012 1:42 PM|
Late shot lifts
With the game tied at 47 and 3.8 seconds showing on the clock, Bluffton had the ball on its own side of the court with a chance to win the game. And they did just that when junior guard Sarah Schriner inbounded the ball, got it back and fired a 3-pointer to give the Lady Pirates a 50-47 buzzer-beating victory.
“I thought we defended it well,” Lincolnview coach Dan Williamson described. “She just made the shot. We’ll kind of tip our cap to her on that one but I thought we defended that pretty well.”
Bluffton coach Eric Garmatter explained that the Lady Pirates made a last-minute adjustment on the play: “(The girls) deviated on the play because Lincolnview didn’t guard the in-bounds pass. As soon as I saw that, I just yelled for (junior forward) Paige (Buroker) to throw it back.”
Buroker, who had nine points and 10 rebounds at the time, was originally supposed to take the shot, according to Garmatter: “The play was designed to go inside to Paige and I think that is what they were defending. As soon as I saw them pretty much doubling her, (I decided) I’ll take my chances with Sarah shooting it.”
The shot was the culmination of a hard-fought game by both teams.
Bluffton hit the ground running to open the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead with the help of four points from senior guard Anna Crips - who was lost for the game at the 3:12 mark of the first with a gash above her eye.
Five points from sophomore guard Julia Thatcher helped bring Lincolnview back in the game. They tied it at 12 on a Julia Thatcher free throw and took the lead on a trey from senior guard Claire Dye to end the quarter with a 15-12 lead.
“That was big,” Williamson said of the first-quarter comeback. “I think we came out a little bit flat tonight. Bluffton came out with a lot of intensity and made some shots early. That gave them confidence for the rest of the game. And losing Kaitlyn, our biggest player, that’s not a good combination for us.”
Despite losing Brant for the half, Claire Dye hit a pair of threes and totaled eight points in the second quarter to pace the Lady Lancers to a 29-25 halftime lead.
“(Williamson) has got a really good player,” said Garmatter of Dye. “I saw her last Tuesday against Perry. I saw enough in the first half with her nailing threes, so we went to the box-and-1. We took our chances trying to play 4-on-4 with the other four.”
Poor shooting (2-of-12) in the third quarter let the Lady Pirates come back, especially with the help of Buroker, whose seven third-quarter points equalled the Lady Lancers’ total.
Bluffton led 40-36 entering the final frame but Lincolnview fought back. Despite missing their first three shots to open the fourth quarter, the Lady Lancers got single free throws from sophomore guard Hannah McCleery and Brant to pull within two. Lincolnview tied it at 40 with a layup from senior guard Kaylee Thatcher. Bluffton got a 3-point play from junior post Bailey Prichard to go up by three but Julia Thatcher answered with a three to tie the game again. Lincolnview later took a 47-45 lead on a Julia Thatcher basket but Bluffton answered on a basket from senior guard Sierra Amstutz with a minute left.
Lincolnview chose to slow the game down and take the last shot but the Bluffton defense forced the most important of the Lady Lancers’ 11 turnovers on the night, getting the ball back with 8.3 seconds to play and the game tied at 47.
Garmatter called a timeout and Bluffton brought the ball across the timeline before taking the final timeout with 3.8 seconds left, allowing Schriner to end the game with her three.
Despite the loss, Williamson was happy with the fight his team demonstrated: “Credit our kids. They fought back and they didn’t give up. We had the lead several times in the first half and the second half as well... We knew that every conference game was going to be a battle and this was no different.”
The Lincolnview coach pointed to the rebounding edge, which Bluffton held 30-17. The Lady Lancer defense countered that, however, by forcing 21 turnovers, while Lincolnview only committed 11.
A third-quarter 9-0 run by Lauck alone put the game out of reach for the visitors, stretching a 31-24 lead to 40-24. That run exemplified Lauck’s versatility, consisting of a backcourt steal/layup, a nifty 8-foot pull-up jumper, a slicing scoop shot and a long ball from the right corner. After Van Wert junior Emilie Moonshower stopped the run with a trey from the left wing, Lauck added a 12-foot baseliner for an 11-point quarter that, for all practical purposes, decided the game.
The Cougars started off with leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 6-4 before Lauck tied it at 6-6 after escaping the Van Wert defense for a wide open layup. The home team never led again, although they got as close as 18-16 midway through the second quarter. At that point an 11-2 Shawnee run pushed the lead out to 29-18. Van Wert got the last bucket of the first half (Alexis Dowdy layup, Kaitlynn Hall assist) and the first one of the second half (fast-break layup by Alexa Dunlap) to temporarily make it a game again but Lauck made short work of that.
“Those are exactly the three girls we highlighted in the scouting report,” he said. “We said we gotta contain those three girls. The Lauck girl is just a really nice player. Those girls know exactly what they do well, and they do it. They’re very disciplined. They know where they’re supposed to be and they get there, and they just execute.”
The Indians had the better of it in all statistical categories, most notably the field goal shooting — 47 percent (26-of-55) to 36 percent (19-of-53). From the line, Shawnee was 8-of-13 (62 percent) to Van Wert’s 2-of-6 (33 percent). The visitors had more rebounds — 29-25 — and fewer turnovers — 13-18.
We got some good looks tonight,” said Moonshower of his team’s shooting woes. “We had a ton of good shots in the lane and we couldn’t make ‘em. We’re in such a hurry. We emphasized this before the game. We had a size advantage inside, so be solid, take your time, but we rushed so much. They (the Indians) don’t miss ‘em and we do miss ‘em. That’s a 4-point swing every time.”
Lauck, Dahlke and Waddle scored 22, 15, and 14, respectively. Van Wert was led by Dowdy and Moonshower with 10 and nine.
The Shawnee jayvees (4-2) used a 16-3 third quarter to pull away and grab a 43-22 win. The Indians got 21 points from Rachel Evans and 14 from Maryssa Herschler. Riley Jones had 12 for Van Wert (1-5).
Hicks anchored the Defiance attack on both ends of the court, hitting eight-of-12 shots from the floor and recording a new career-high with 22 points. The Port Clinton native also led all players with three blocks in his 39 minutes of action.
Logan Wolfrum jumped up another spot on DC’s all-time scoring list to 13th with 1,466 career points and added eight rebounds, five assists and one steal to his 16-point effort.
Wade Wooley and Travis Schomaeker also posted standout performances, with Wooley matching a personal-best of 11 boards, while Schomaeker drained a trio of three-point daggers to finish with 13 points and two steals.
Despite the strong individual showings from DC, neither side could get on track in the opening stanza. Defiance and Kalamazoo both shot below 38.0 percent in the first half and the Jackets had to use a 12-5 spurt down the stretch to head to the break with a 30-26 lead.
DC picked up the tempo out of the intermission, using back-to-back buckets in transition to open up a 43-32 advantage at the 15:21 mark, as the more aggressive offense led to better looks and a 53.6-percent clip from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
Kalamazoo still managed a pair of challenges however, cutting the lead down to three points on two occasions. The Jackets turned to the long ball to stave off both spurts, as sharp-shooting sophomores Travis Schomaeker and Drew Frizell buried critical three-point shots to double the lead to six each time and help keep the Hornets at bay in the 72-64 win.
Defiance (4-4, 1-2 HCAC) will return to conference action on Saturday, when it hosts Franklin (4-3, 2-1 HCAC) at 4 p.m. All fans that bring a 2012-2013 DC winter sports schedule card to the game will get in at no cost.
The Jefferson seventh-grade boys basketball team defeated Fort Jennings 33-30 Thursday night to improve their record to 3-0 on the year.
Scoring for the Wildcats were: Alex Rode (12), Brenen Auer (11), Cioran Shanahan (6), Tyler Bratton (2) and Devian Tyson (2).
The eighth-graders also improved to 3-0 with a 45-31 triumoh.
Scoring for the Wildcats were: Jace Stockwell (19), Drew Reise (16), Drake Schmitt (8) and Nick Long (2).
The Wildcats play home to Crestview on Tuesday.