|Friday, February 01, 2013 2:10 PM|
Bulldogs knock off Lady Pirates
Sydney McCluer led the Lady Bulldogs (5-13, 3-4 NWC) with 16 markers and four assists and Rachel Schumacker added nine points. The hosts canned 12-of-32 shots (4-of-10 3s) for 38 percent and 16-of-18 at the line (89%). They attracted 30 boards (Renee Karhoff 9) and turned it over 18 times. Grove visits Ada Thursday.
Bluffton (9-8, 4-3 NWC) was led by Amstutz with 11 and Crisp with nine. They counted 10-of-37 shots (1-of-6 beyond the arc) for 27 percent and 7-of-13 free tosses (54%). They grabbed 24 off the glass (Pritchard 7) and added 23 errors.
The Cougars dominated at both ends of the court to get a 51-25 win and run their record to 9-9 overall and 2-5 in the Western Buckeye League. Defiance is 1-15 and 0-7.
The game was tied at 3-3 and 5-5 and the Lady Bulldogs got within 10-9 with 1:17 left in the first period. The Cougs, however, ripped off the last six points of the period — Alexis Dowdy putback, Hannah Hulbert layup (assist Livia Butler), Alexa Dunlap 15-foot baseliner — to lead 16-9 after one. There wasn’t much suspense after that.
Defiance’s stellar point guard, Emily Spencer, started the second period with a layup but from there, Van Wert finished out the quarter with a 10-0 run on a Dowdy layup via inbounds pass from Dunlap, Erin Morrow putback of a missed free throw, Emilie Moonshower triple from the left wing, Claire Butler free throw and a putback by 5-0 point guard Kaitlynn Hall. Thus, it was 26-11 at the half.
The early part of the third period saw a Cougar lull but missed Bulldog free throws allowed them to get no closer than 30-17 before another Cougar run removed any doubt whatsoever. Sharpshooter Moonshower swished her third trey of the game. Dowdy scored on a
The indomitable Spencer started the fourth period with a slashing layup and a corner trey but the Cougs countered with a Morrow 12-foot baseliner, a Moonshower 17-foot angle shot and two Claire Butler free throws. That pushed the lead to 46-22 at 3:49 and the deep benches played it out from there.
Holding a comfortable lead early in a game was an unfamiliar spot for Van Wert coach Lance Moonshower but he thought his team handled it well: “We told them early in the game that we have to come out and execute our stuff and play our game and not worry about what the score is — the score will take care of itself. We came in at halftime and we just told them it’s like 0-0. Let’s go back out, win the third quarter, win the fourth quarter. That’s what we always talk about.”
The Cougars had some lulls but those lulls didn’t last long.
“Our movement wasn’t very good against their zone,” said Moonshower. “We actually changed up our offense. We ran some of our man sets against their zone to try to get more movement. They packed that zone in and that makes it even harder. We try to look in a lot. When they’re all packed in, our guards have to be ready to catch-and-shoot or catch-and-drive. We wanted to see how we did when we occasionally went to a 1-2-2 zone. The one Spencer girl is a heckuva shooter and we had to find her all the time. We were losing track of her in our man, so we switched to the zone and tried to pack it in a little bit except for her, finding her, and it seemed to work out pretty well. Our offense kind of dictates our defense and our defense kind of dictates our offense.” Van Wert was much better statistically. The field goal shooting was 43 percent (19-of-44) for Van Wert, 23 percent (10-of-44) for Defiance. The visitors had a disastrous night from the line — 17 percent (2-of-12), while the Cougars were at 56 percent (9-of-16). Van Wert won the boards 30-22 and had fewer turnovers, 11-16.
Defiance (5-11) won the jayvee game 35-30. Chelsea Laycock and Maddie Clawson led the Bulldog scoring with 13 and nine. Emily Bair and Phoebe Eutsler had 13 and 8 for Van Wert (3-15).
The teams played an even first half. The Lady Knights looked like they were going to go into the locker room with a 21-19 lead but Lindsi Woods found Morgan Truex on a back-door cut just before the buzzer hit zero to tie the game at 21-21.
The Lady Knights started the second half on a 6-0 run thanks to three Mackenzie Riggenbach baskets. The run put Crestview up 27-21 but the Lady Mustangs fought right back. With the score 30-25 in favor of Crestview, the Lady Mustangs got a basket by Kaycee Rowe to pull within three. A few possessions later, Carly Clum hit a three to tie the game again, this time at 30. Clum later gave Allen East the lead by hitting one out of two free throws, making the score 31-30.
With just under 30 second left in the third quarter, Riggenbach hit one of her three threes on the night, giving Crestview a 33-31 lead, which is where the third quarter ended.
The Lady Knights built up a 5-point lead on a three by Terra Crowle but the Lady Mustangs once again fought back. Two Clum free throws narrowed the Crestview lead to three. After a Lindsey Motycka free throw, Clum made one free throw followed by a London Richardson three on the next possession, which tied the game at 41-41.
After the Richardson three, Crestview closed the game out on an 18-2 run. Kennis Mercer led the charge for the Lady Knights with six points during the run. Riggenbach added four points, while Crowle added another 3-pointer. The Lady Knights hit 5-of-9 free throws down the stretch to close out the Lady Mustangs.
Riggenbach led all scorers in the game with 23 points, going 7-of-11 from the floor, including three 3-point baskets. Emily Bauer fought some foul trouble in the second half but still came away with 10 points, while Crowle added nine points off of three 3-pointers.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and a grind-it-out game,” said Crestview coach Greg Rickard. “We got in foul trouble but we had some people come in off the bench and do a good job. We knew we needed to keep it close and give ourselves a chance to win it at the end; I was very pleased with how we finished. Allen East has been playing well and has some nice athletes, so we knew it was going to be tough.”
The win moves the Lady Knights to 17-2 on the season and 7-0 in the NWC. An Ada loss at Lincolnview assured the Lady Knights at least a share of the conference title. One win in the final two conference games for Crestview will give the Lady Knights the title outright.
“I told the girls, it’s hard to win a conference title in basketball,” added Rickard. “There are so many good teams and we haven’t done it since 2009. We have finished runner-up in the years since but it’s nice to get that top spot. Now we want to be greedy and take it outright and we have to games to do that.”
Clum led the way for the Lady Mustangs with 15 points, while Rowe added 12.
Even though Allen East came up short, coach Jarrod Wehri was very pleased with the effort his team gave him: “I thought our effort was tremendous. We just missed a few shots here and there. If we get those to fall, it stays close at the end and we don’t have to foul as much. It’s hard to be your best offensively while on the road but we went on a few spurts to keep us in it. You have to give all the credit to Crestview, though. They are a nice team, very well-coached and very disciplined. “