Pretty? Not always. Gritty? Yeah, it was that. Taking the lead late in the first quarter after a couple of ties, Wauseon led the rest of way in defeating Evergreen 32-28 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball Thursday night.
“The girls, they just work so hard,” Wauseon coach Dan Seiler said after the win. “They are getting better every game and working hard. We’re not a high-scoring team and we have to take what the other teams give us.”
It was a game where both offenses had trouble getting into a flow. The Indians ended the opening period on scores from Mercedes Osley and Sam Aeschliman to take a 15-9 lead. Evergreen opened the second period by getting a bucket from Mady Peluso, which would be the only field goal the Vikings scored in the second period.
“Hats off to Brittaney, she had a great plan,” Seiler said about the defensive plan by the Evergreen coach. “She knew who our scorers are.”
That would be more of Wauseon’s doing. Leading 17-12, the Indians were in no hurry with Evergreen defending the top Wauseon scorers. The Indians sat on the final 3:35 of the half, waiting until the clock ran to 10 seconds before running an offense.
It all went for naught as the Tribe committed a turnover with 6.3 seconds left in the half.
The Vikings were finally able to put something together in the third stanza. Their first field goal attempt of the quarter, after three turnovers, led to a baseline jumper from Kennedi Keifer. Naomi Brand followed with a bucket to cut the Wauseon lead to 19-17.
Evergreen had another chance after the Indians missed five consecutive free throws early in the final period. Keifer converted off a turnover, then Peluso flipped in a circus shot in the lane that again had Evergreen within a pair at 23-21 with 3:16 left.
“We had to incorporate a whole new offensive plan,” said Evergreen coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “Our kids played really well as a team.”
Marisa Seiler answered with a drive to the hoop, plus the Tribe fixed its problems from the charity stripe. Wauseon closed by going 7 of 8 at the line.
Aeschliman led everybody with 11 points in the win. Peluso paced Evergreen with 9 points.
Both teams struggled shooting the basketball. Wauseon finished 9 of 31 and Evergreen hit 12 of 37 shots. The Indians also finished 13 of 23 from the free throw line.
Keifer leads Evergreen past Fayette
Down 11-2 early and looking totally sick on offense against Fayette, Evergreen needed a shot of instant cure.
Kennedi Keifer gave the Vikings just that, hitting three of her five triples in the first quarter to get her team back in the game, and the Vikings went on to beat the Eagles 53-49 Saturday at Evergreen.
“Kennedi can hit those shots,” Evergreen coach Brittaney Cymbolin said. “We have a number of people that can hit a big shot. We always tell our kids to not be afraid and take those shots when they are available and today Kennedi, not just in the first quarter, but the whole game shot with a lot of confidence.”
The Vikings committed four turnovers and missed three easy ones at the rim early on.
In the next three minutes, the junior guard canned three straight from long range before Kelsie Komisarek’s steal and score knotted the game at 13-13 after one.
Robinson and Trista Fruchey each scored off the offensive glass to reclaim a 17-13 Fayette lead, but Keifer’s fourth three-ball of the half re-tied the score.
The Vikings held a 26-22 advantage at the half.
In the third, a quick Viking burst headed by VanOstrand’s putback and Mady Peluso’s basket gave Evergreen a 37-28 lead, before heading into the fourth up 39-33.
Addyson Bentley hit a pair from the line, then on a fourth try off the offensive boards, got one to fall to make it 39-37.
After Ruger split a pair from the stripe, Fruchey put Fayette ahead with 5:32 left with a move inside at 40-39.
The two squads continued to go back and forth and after the Vikings missed at the foul line, Rufenacht knocked down a triple from the top of the key to put the Eagles up 46-45 at the 2:04 mark.
Nicole Brand gave Evergreen the lead back, hitting two free throws with 1:47 left.
A Peluso wide open three-ball put Evergreen up two possessions, 50-46, and they would hold on from there.
“This was a good team win, especially after missing all those layups Thursday night in the game at Wauseon,” said Cymbolin. “This one was a good game for us hitting shots that we needed to hit and let’s us move forward as we keep improving.”
Evergreen is at Patrick Henry Tuesday, hosts Archbold Thursday before traveling to Ottawa Hills on Saturday.
Joe Blystone contributed to this story