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Big 4th quarter rallies Cougars over Lady Bearcats PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 9:32 PM

By JIM METCALFE

Staff Writer

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SPENCERVILLE — Everything Spencerville had done right for three periods Tuesday night, they didn’t in the fourth.

Van Wert did everything right in its fourth period.

That allowed the Lady Cougars to rally with a dominant 26-5 fourth period and ran off with a 63-50 non-league girls hardwood victory at Spencerville High School.

“In all five games this year, we’ve had that one bad quarter like tonight. Outside of Coldwater, it’s been the fourth,” Spencerville coach Warren Pughsley noted. “We get in too much of a hurry and when we do that, it messes up everyone else; we have two girls in the same spot or two not knowing where they are supposed to be, for an example.”

Down 45-37 to start the finale, a 3-ball by Lady Bearcat (0-5) Katie Merriman (8 markers) just 28 ticks into the quarter gave them their largest lead of 48-37. They would then go through a drought of 6:12 by missing their next three shots and turning the ball over eight times (11 in the quarter, 23 for the game). Meantime, Cougar junior Erin Morrow (17 counters, 13 boards, 4 assists) caught fire with nine points in the period, including 7-of-8 singles. As well, junior Alexis Dowdy (16 counters, 11 caroms) and senior Claire Butler (12 points) scored six each. A 3-ball from the left wing by senior Cheyenne Handy — the visitors’ only trey of the night — at 2:20 gave Van Wert the lead for good at 51-48. A Morrow drive at 1:21 preceded the final Spencerville points — a layup at 1:20 by sophomore Jacey Grigsby (6 points, 7 boards) — before the visitors scored the final 10 points — including 6-of-6 at the stripe (14-of-24 for the night for 58.3%) — to seal the deal.

“We stuck to our game plan. We’d been trying to that the whole game — get the ball inside — and finally started playing,” Van Wert coach Lance Moonshower explained. “We showed some character tonight — we kept battling and won despite not playing our best.”

As the Cougars ended, so they started — the first six points of the contest. Dowdy also dominated on the glass with seven boards. However, Spencerville battled back to tie it at 6-6, 8-8 and 10-10 before Butler (a deuce) and Morrow (2 singles) scored in the final 44 seconds for a 14-10 scoreboard.

The Cougars seemed on the verge of turning this contest into a rout in period two, building a 25-15 edge midway through on a basket by junior Riley Jones. Back came the Black Attack behind junior Schylar Miller (18 counters, 7 boards, 3 dimes) — scoring all nine of her points the rest of the canto. In fact, it was her fourth-chance acrobatic layup with 2.9 ticks left that got the Lady Bearcats within 27-26.

Both units battled on even terms early in the third period until the hosts started to take command behind Miller (7 points in the period) and senior Karri Purdy (5 of her game 7 points). They built a 45-35 edge on a drive by junior Megan Miller at 54.5 ticks before senior Emilie Moonshower slipped inside for a layup on an inbounds play with 3.1 seconds to go for a 45-37 scoreboard.

“For what we didn’t do, Van Wert did. They kept at it and hurried us up,” Pughsley added. “The positive is that this kind of result will help us down the stretch. We have to learn how to relax and just keep playing. We did some good things for three quarters tonight — as we’ve done all year — and we just have to do it for four quarters.”

Van Wert canned 24-of-49 fielders — 1-of-9 downtown — for 49 percent; secured 33 rebounds (16 offensive); and amassed 15 errors and 10 fouls. Van Wert hosts Ottawa-Glandorf Thursday.

“We have a big game Thursday and perhaps we were looking ahead. Maybe getting up early like that got us thinking it would be easy,” Moonshower added. “Spencerville keeps playing hard — they have all year — and if you don’t play hard, you turn it over and they did what they did. We had good shots in the paint all night but we got sloppy with our form until the fourth quarter.”

Spencerville tallied 18-of-48 shots (5-of-14 triples) for 37.5 percent and 9-of-10 freebies (90%); seized 33 off the glass (13 offensive); and 21 fouls. Junior Emilee Meyer dished three dimes. The Bearcats visit Paulding Thursday.

In junior varsity action, Van Wert dominated the final three stanzas 34-13 to grab a 47-29 win.

Sophomore Phoebe Eutsler led the victors with 11 points and freshman Emma Kohn 10, while junior Tiffany Work paced the hosts with 12.

VARSITY

VAN WERT (63)

Riley Jones 1-0-2, Kaitlynn Hall 2-2-6, Alexis Dowdy 8-0-16, Emilie Moonshower 2-0-4, Claire Butler 5-2-12, Cheyenne Hardy 1-0-3, Erin Morrow 4-9-17, Emily Bair 1-1-3, Emma Kohn 0-0-0. Totals 23-14/24-63.

SPENCERVILLE (50)

Schylar Miller 4-9-18, Tori Hardesty 0-0-0, Kari Purdy 3-0-7, Emilee Meyer 0-0-0, Katie Merriman 3-0-8, Caitlyn Probst 2-0-5, Jacey Grigsby 3-0-6, Megan Miller 3-0-6, Amanda Crider 0-0-0. Totals 18-9/10-50.

Score by Quarters:

Van Wert 14 13 10 26 - 63

Spencerville 10 16 19 5 - 50

Three-point goals: Van Wert, Handy; Spencerville, Merriman 2, S. Miller, Purdy, Probst.

——-

JUNIOR VARSITY

VAN WERT (47)

Alexis Ayers 0-0-0, Ally Jackson 3-0-9, Megan Sonnleitner 0-0-0, Cassidy Sinning 3-0-6, Phoebe Eutsler 4-2-11, Morgan Magowan 0-0-0, Kelsey Dotson 0-0-0, Domonique Grothause 1-2-4, Emma Kohn 5-0-10, Meghan Moonshower 2-2-7. Totals 18-6/15-47.

SPENCERVILLE (29)

Gaby Romaker 0-0-0, Lexi Gilroy 0-0-0, Madison Catlin 1-0-2, Carleigh Hefner 0-2-2, Olivia Clark 1-1-3, Courtney Hittle 0-0-0, Tiffany Work 5-2-12, Allison Adams 0-1-1, Sami Sutherly 1-0-2, Audrey Bowsher 0-0-0, Amanda Crider 3-0-7. Totals 11-6/8-29.

Score by Quarters:

Van Wert 13 10 12 12 - 47

Spencerville 16 5 4 4 - 29

Three-point goals: Van Wert, Jackson 3, Eutsler, Moonshower; Spencerville, Crider.

 

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