Girls basketball: Fort Loramie pulls away late from Convoy Crestview in state semifinal


DAYTON — There was little of Fort Loramie’s typical full-court press on display in a Division IV state semifinal on Thursday afternoon.

The Redskins’ half-court defense was effective enough.

Fort Loramie dominated the fourth quarter and beat Convoy Crestview 50-41 at University of Dayton Arena to advance to the D-IV championship game for the second time in four years.

The Redskins (27-3) will face Waterford in the Div. IV state final on Saturday morning in Dayton.

Crestview led 33-29 at the end of the third quarter but missed its first six shots of the fourth quarter and didn’t score until the 2:30 mark. The Knights made 3-of-16 shot attempts in the quarter.

Fort Loramie made 4 of its 6 shot attempts in the fourth, including its last four shots. Avery Brandewie made three baskets in a decisive 10-0 run, which gave the Redskins the lead for good.

“I had to get the passes from someone, so I’m not going to take all the credit,” Brandewie, a junior forward who scored 22 points, said. “They opened it up for me.”

Waterford (24-3) beat Loudonville 41-32 in Thursday’s first semifinal. The Wildcats, which were ranked No. 8 in the final state Associated Press Div. IV poll, won the 2022 state D-IV state championship by beating New Knoxville 35-26.

Waterford is led by 6-foot-4 junior Avery Wagner, who averages 13.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. She scored 12 points and had 15 rebounds and four blocks in the win over Loudonville.

“We know that she is going to be blocking our shots all over the place,” Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said. “We’re just going to have to be aggressive and we’re going to have to move the ball and try to get some of what I consider our sweet spot shots. We love the short corner, we love the elbow shots. Hopefully, we can get some more those, attack and try to get some openings.”

Waterford committed 26 turnovers on Thursday, but Loudonville managed to score just 16 points off turnovers; the Cardinals shot 21.8 percent from the floor.

Saturday will be the sixth state championship game appearance in program history for the Redskins, which won the D-IV title in 2021.

Fort Loramie was ranked No. 1 in the final state Div. IV poll of the season.

“It’s a great feeling just to be back,” Fort Loramie senior guard Skyler Albers said. “None of us were on that 2021 team. Us seniors watched them work super hard their whole career, and just to be in their shoes and doing what they were doing, it’s an amazing feeling.”

As good as Fort Loramie shot late, it shot as poorly early. The Redskins were 3 for 9 from the floor in the first quarter, but Jaden Rose hit a late 3 to help trim the gap to 11-7 heading into the second.

Fort Loramie shot better in the second, but Crestview maintained a 23-19 lead. The Redskins trailed by as many as eight points before cutting the gap late, including on a buzzer-beater by Brandewie.

“We did not have a very good first half at all, offensive or defensively,” Siegel said. “Rebounding was terrible. We were getting outrebounded all over the place. We stress those things in the locker room, just doing the little things to win the game. I didn’t need anything miraculous …we just needed to chip away and try to get the lead at the end of the third quarter.”

The Redskins got a boost right before halftime when Brandewie made a jumper just before the buzzer, and they scored the first eight points of the third to take a 27-23 lead.

But Crestview scored the next eight points and maintained a four-point lead heading into the fourth.

The Knights couldn’t shoot in the final quarter, though, and after rebounding well early, they couldn’t get many second-chance opportunities in the final minutes. Fort Loramie finished with a 21-8 advantage in the fourth.

“Whenever we play defense together, which is how we played in the second (half), we play really good defense that can’t be stopped,” Fort Loramie senior forward Summer Hoying said.

Brandewie had six rebounds. Junior forward Victoria Mescher scored nine points and had six rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Rose had five rebounds.

Fort Loramie shot 16 for 33 (48.5 percent) from the floor, including 14 for 26 from two-point range.

Crestview had a 29-27 rebounding advantage. The Knights shot 13 for 50 (26 percent) from the floor.

Cali Gregory led Crestview with 22 points and six rebounds.

The Knights, which were ranked No. 3 in the final state AP D-IV poll, finish 26-3. They last advanced to state in 2021, when they lost 66-24 to Fort Loramie in a semifinal.

Saturday’s state championship is scheduled to tip off at 10:45 a.m.


Who: Fort Loramie vs. Waterford

Where: University of Dayton Arena

When: 10:45 a.m., Saturday



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


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