|Big 4th quarter carries Lady Cougars over Elida 59-55|
|Friday, January 11, 2013 1:36 PM|
The Lady Cougars are now 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the WBL. Elida is 6-7 and 2-2.
The Lady Bulldogs led 51-39 after three but it was all Cougars after that. Livia Butler started the fourth period with two missed free throws but she rebounded the second miss and laid it in to cut the margin to 51-41. After two more missed Van Wert free throws, Elida’s Ashley Lowry escaped for an open layup but the Cougs’ Erin Morrow went on her own personal 7-0 run, hitting nothing but net on three shots: a trey from the right wing, a 17-foot left-side baseliner and a 12-foot right-side baseliner -- 53-48, Elida, with 3:53 left in the game.
The first half was incredibly well-played by both teams. There were six ties and five lead changes during those 16 minutes. The visitors had only four turnovers, the hosts three. Elida shot 50 percent (13-of-26) from the field and 100 percent (6-of-6) from the line. Van Wert shot 44 percent (11-of-25) from the field and 62 percent (8-of-13) from the stripe. Owens (13), Morrow (10) and Dowdy (10) had already hit double digits.
Owens, easily the quickest player on the floor, picked up her third foul late in the second quarter and went to the bench where she stayed for most of the third stanza as well. Her absence didn’t seem to hurt as Elida put it all together during the third eight minutes. The Lady Dogs hit 8-of-12 field goal tries in the third, while Van Wert went ice cold -- 2-of-13. With Owens out, Elida got points from Sabrina Kline (4), Carly Stetler (2), Kylie Downton (4), Lowry (6) and Torie McAdams (2) to pile up a seemingly safe 51-39 lead going into the final quarter. That, however, didn’t prove to be the case.
“We got tentative in that third quarter and they got aggressive,” said Van Wert coach Lance Moonshower. “They just took it to us. In the fourth, we had to pick it up. We had no choice. We switched defenses, went to a trapping defense, and it seemed to get our offense going. The girls never got down like they were out of the game. They just played a heckuva fourth quarter.”
“The third quarter, we played the way we know how to play,” said Elida co-coach Chrissy Billiter. “The fourth quarter...we have a hard time finishing. We don’t know how to finish games. The third quarter we had focus, we had patience, we did everything right. The fourth quarter, we lost focus — we didn’t do anything right — and Van Wert played well.”
The Bulldogs’ other co-coach, Elise Jenkins, lamented Morrow’s big fourth-quarter run.
“We knew she (Morrow) was their shooter,” said Jenkins. “Our girls just lost where she was. If you leave her open, she’s gonna knock down shots. She led their team at the end.”
Another big contributor for Van Wert was sub Handy, who hit a big three and also came up with a huge steal when Elida led 55-51.
They couldn’t get the dribble penetration that they got in the other three quarters and a lot of that was Chey.”
For the entire game, Elida was for more accurate from the field -- 52 percent (23-of-44) to Van Wert’s 38 percent (20-of-52) — but the Cougars landed seven threes, the ’Dawgs only one. Elida also shot much better from the stripe -- 80 percent (8-of-10) to 53 percent (10-of-19). Van Wert had the edge on the boards -- 27-24 -- and turnovers -- 9-11. Six of the Bulldogs’ turnovers came in the fourth period and that was crucial.
Morrow led all scorers with 21. Dowdy chipped in with 16.
Van Wert visits Paulding Tuesday, while Elida hosts Shawnee Thursday.