Girls basketball: Fort Loramie dominates Fayetteville-Perry, wins 7th straight district title


TROY — Fort Loramie is accustomed to its tournament path including lopsided wins on the way to a district championship. This season was the same.

The Redskins are expecting tougher challenges in regional matchups this coming weekend. They’ve worked in practice to keep up their strong play.

If Saturday’s district final is an indication, Fort Loramie hasn’t lost any pep since postseason play began.

Fort Loramie unofficially forced 25 turnovers in the first half, finished with 20 steals and dominated Fayetteville-Perry 69-17 in a Division IV district final on Saturday at Troy High School’s Trojan Activities Center.

“We’ve been really focused in practice,” Fort Loramie junior forward Victoria Mescher said. “We know our goal and we keep it in mind. No matter what, we’re always there for each other. It really shows in practice. We’ve been working really hard.”

The intensity Fort Loramie (24-1) practices with has been evident for all spectators to see, because the squad has played so many bench players in its last four tournament games that Mescher and the team’s starters face each day in practice. Fort Loramie won its first three tournament games 72-12, 74-13 and 61-12.

There’s been no drop off by the bench players. All 10 players Fort Loramie put on the floor in the first half on Saturday scored, and everyone on the bench saw time on the court on Saturday.

“It takes all of us to succeed like we do, and no matter if you play a couple minutes or you play a lot, everyone is really important to us on the team, and that’s what makes us, us,” Mescher said. “… They (the bench and JV players) challenge us every day. They make sure that we work really hard.”

It was the seventh consecutive district title for Fort Loramie, which advances to face Shelby County Athletic League rival Russia in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Vandalia-Butler’s Student Activity Center. The Raiders beat Botkins 36-34 in Saturday’s first district final.

“It says a lot about the Shelby County League, when you can get to this stage and you’re playing each other,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said. “He (Mike Bashore) is a new coach and they’ve got a young team, but they’re playing hard. They’re aggressive. There’s many things we’ll work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

The turnovers Fort Loramie forced powered the squad early.

The Redskins, which were ranked No. 1 in the final state Associated Press D-IV poll of the season, jumped out to a 33-4 lead, then used an 18-9 advantage in the second quarter to take a 51-13 halftime lead and ensure the second half started with a running clock.

“I think really locking down on defense and having good rotations on the backside (powered us),” Mescher said. “We all talk really well on defense, and that helps get all of our heads straight and know where to go and how to help each other out.”

Fort Loramie outscored the Rockets 12-4 in the third and 6-0 in the fourth.

“I was extremely impressed with the focus of the girls today, especially (in the first quarter),” Siegel said. “The starters did a great job on our pressure, rotating, talking to each other. Then we started subbing, and we started putting other girls in, and they picked up right where we left off.”

Freshman guard Maddie Shatto led Fort Loramie with 12 points. Senior forward Summer Hoying scored 11 and had a team-high five steals. Skyler Albers and Avery Brandewie each scored 10 and Ariel Heitkamp and Mescher each scored eight. Hoying, Brandewie and Mescher each had five rebounds. Heitkamp had five assists.

“We stress team basketball, team basketball, team basketball at Loramie, and I think these guys are the epitome of it,” Siegel said.

Fort Loramie faced Russia in a regional semifinal last year; it beat the Raiders 69-31 on Jan. 4 and 60-37 on Feb. 8 in SCAL matchups this season.

“The first time we played them, I thought we played really, really well,” Siegel said. “The second time, I thought had lulls. We definitely have things we need to focus on. We’ll be ready Thursday night.”

Marion Local (19-7) will face Mississianwa Valley (21-5) in the first regional semifinal on Thursday in Vandalia. The two winners will face off in a regional final at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’ve got to take it one game at a time, no matter what,” Mescher said. “We’re going to give it our best every game, and see where it takes us from there.”

The Redskins won the D-IV state title in 2021. They lost in a regional semifinal in 2022 and in a regional final in 2023.

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

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