By Matt Zircher
and Ken Barhorst
When it comes to consistency in county girls basketball, Fort Loramie has been the model, especially under head coach Carla Siegel.
Entering this season, the Lady Redskins had won Division 4 Sectional titles nine straight years and in 15 of 17 during Siegel’s tenure.
That streak, though, came to an end Saturday at Sidney High School as the Russia Lady Raiders pulled away in the second half for a 49-36 win in the lower bracket finals.
Russia, now 20-5, advances to the district finals Saturday at Troy High School against 20-5 Covington, a team the Raiders defeated 45-33 in Covington on January 16.
Loramie finishes the season at 16-9.
Abby Holthaus opened the scoring with a layup, but that turned out to be the only lead of the game for the Redskins as Whitney Pleiman hit a three from the left corner and Maria Herron followed with a layup to give Russia a 5-2 lead.
Three straight layups by Cameo Wilson, Jenna Cordonnier and Herron extended the margin to 17-8 in the second quarter, but despite having just two field goals the entire first half, Loramie stayed close by converting at the foul line. They were 12 of 16 at the stripe in the first half, eight of 10 in the second period, and only trailed 21-16 at the break after scoring the final five points.
“We weren’t hitting from the field, but we kept battling and did a good job of getting to the foul line,” said Siegel. “We’ve overachieved all year long and never quit.”
The third stanza, though, would be all Russia as the Lady Raiders outscored Loramie 13-2. Russia tallied the first 11 points of the period, including a long-distance three by Herron, and held the Lady Redskins to just one field goal for the third consecutive quarter.
“We were very sound defensively today,” said Russia coach Andy Timmerman. “We committed too many fouls in the second quarter and Loramie took advantage of that at the foul line, but we made some adjustments and did a better job on that and on taking care of the ball in the second half.”
The Raiders maintained that double-digit lead the rest of the way despite not having a field goal themselves in the fourth quarter by going 15 of 18 at the foul line.
The loss was the first for Loramie in the sectionals in 10 years and one day as Russia defeated the Lady Redskins 50-45 on Feb. 24, 2007.
Russia shot 43 percent for the game while Loramie was at 20 percent after hitting five of 14 shots in the final period.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” said Siegel. “When you’re playing in a sectional final with an inexperienced team going against a very good and experienced team, you need to hit shots and we weren’t able to do that.”
Herron led Russia with 20 points, 14 coming in the second half, while Cordonnier had eight off the bench.
“Maria took over in the second half and her four years of experience showed,” said Timmerman. “Her, Tiffany Hatcher and Whitney Pleiman give us a very good guard presence and that was big down the stretch.”
Holthaus posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds for Loramie, but no other Redskin had more than six.
Russia (49) — Poling 4, Hatcher 4, Wilson 7, Pleiman 6, Herron 20, Cordonnier 8.
Fort Loramie (36) — Luebke 6, Stang 3, Ratermann 4, Meyer 1, Holthaus 12, Frey 6, Gephart 1, Barga 1.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: Russia 20-5, Loramie 16-9.
Records: Russia 20-5, Loramie 16-9.
Russia’s next game: Saturday, district championship at Troy vs. Covington, time to be announced.
Jackson Center 41, TC 28
In the upper bracket final, it took awhile for Jackson Center to get going, but the Lady Tigers took control in the second quarter and went on to a 41-28 win over the Troy Christian Lady Eagles.
Jackson, now 20-4, faces Cincinnati Christian in the district finals Saturday at Troy.
Troy Christian led 2-0 until the Tigers finally broke through on a Cassie Meyer layup with 3:41 remaining in the opening quarter. Meyer later added two free throws to give Jackson the lead for the first time before the Eagles scored the final four points of the period to go back in front.
“We thought that the game might start slow and that it might take a while to get going,” said Jackson coach Jeff Reese. “Troy Christian is a very good team, so we just needed to keep plugging away.”
Vanessa Winner would provide the Tigers with a big spark in the second quarter coming off the bench. The senior connected on a three from the right corner to put Jackson up for good at 7-6 and scored all of the Tiger points in a 10-2 run to make it 14-8.
“That’s one of the special things about this team is that we have so many different weapons,” said Reese. “They keyed on Kamryn Elchert after the big game she had the other night (7 threes)), so we needed to have someone else step up and Vanessa did that for us.”
Winner added two free throws in the third period, but the margin was just 18-16 before Jackson scored eight straight points, the final four by Alicia Kessler.
Meyer extended the lead to 31-18 early in the fourth quarter with a basket and a three, only to see Troy Christian cut the deficit to 32-26 on a Hailey Peters free throw with 2:52 left. But baskets by Kessler and Winner, pushed the lead back into double figures. That duo gave Jackson a 21-2 bench scoring advantage for the game.
“We have a lot of deserving players who could start,” said Reese. “Our girls work hard and each of them brings something special to the table.”
The Tigers shot 46 percent overall from the field, including eight of 16 in the second half, while the Eagles shot just 29 percent, 22 percent in the second half.
Turnovers also were a big factor as the Tigers forced 23 while committing 18, resulting in an 18-7 differential in points off of turnovers.
Meyer led the way for Jackson with 17 points, nine in the fourth quarter, while Winner had 14 and Kessler seven.
Jackson Center (41) — Reese 1, Meyer 17, Clark 2, Winner 14, Kessler 7.
Troy Christian (28) — Blake 4, Lee 4, Peters 13, Lavy 4, Salazar 1, Earhart 2.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: JC 3 (Winner 2, Meyer); TC 0.
Records: JC 20-4, TC 17-7.
Next game: Saturday, district championship at Troy vs. Cincinnati Christian, time to be announced.
Minster 58, Hardin Nor. 21
LIMA — Minster cruised into the district semifinals with an easy 58-21 victory over Hardin Northern in Division 4 sectional final action on Saturday.
The win put the top-seeded Lady Wildcats at 21-2 on the season and into the district semifinals on Thursday at Wapakoneta against backyard league rival New Bremen.
Minster wasted no time in taking control of the game, rolling to an 18-4 lead after one quarter and stretching it to 29-7 at the half.
Ten players scored for the Lady Wildcats, with Taylor Kogge leading the way with 12. Courtney Prenger added 10 and was 6-for-8 from the line.
As a team, Minster dropped in 15 of 21.
Minster (58) — Fischer 8, Wuebker 4, Baumer 4, Thobe 2, Borgerding 4, Thien 3, Kogge 12, Prenger 10, Wolf 5, Barhorst 6.
Northern (21) — Dye 12, Wilson 7.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: Minster 3 (Fischer 2, Wolf); Northern 1 (Wilson).
Records: Minster 21-1, Northern 11-13.
Next game: Thursday, district semifinals at Wapakoneta vs. New Bremen, 8 p.m.
New Bremen 44, LCC 37
LIMA — The New Bremen Lady Cardinals won their second straight tournament game and advanced to the district semifinals in the process Saturday with a 44-37 win over Lima Central Catholic in the Wapakoneta Division 4 sectional finals.
The Lady Cardinals, the No. 4 seed, take a 13-11 record into Thursday’s semifinal at Wapakoneta against top-seeded Minster at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, the Lady Cardinals used a big second quarter to nail down the win over Lima Catholic. It was just 9-7 after one quarter, but Bremen came out and outscored the Lady T-Birds 17-6 in the second stanza to double the score at 26-13 at the half.
It was still an 11-point lead after three before LCC made it interesting down the stretch.
Kelly Naylor led a balanced New Bremen attack with 11 points. Three others had seven or more.
New Bremen (44) — Puthoff 7, Tenkman 4, Thieman 1, Naylor 11, Brown 4, Bergman 9, Homan 8.
LCC (37) — Koenig 2, Mohler 2, Koenig 11, Stolly 18, Williams 4.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: NB 3 (Naylor 2, Puthoff); LCC 2 (Koenig 2).
Records: NB 13-11, LCC 12-12.
Next game: Thursday, district semifinals at Wapakoneta vs. Minster, 8 p.m.
Marion 49, Knoxville 47
LAFAYETTE — New Knoxville nearly made it three Auglaize County teams in the district semifinals, but came up a bucket short in a tough 49-47 loss to Marion Local in Division 4 sectional final action Saturday night at Allen East High School.
The loss ended New Knoxville’s season at 10-14, while Marion Local advances at 14-10 to the district semifinals Thursday at Wapakoneta against Upper Scioto Valley.
New Knoxville had a huge fourth quarter that nearly turned defeat into victory. They went into the final stanza facing a 32-25 deficit, but erupted for 22 points to have a chance to win. Kenzie Schroer, held scoreless in the first half, got 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter.
She was one of three Lady Rangers in double figures. Megan Jurosic added 12 and Jenna Schweiterman finished with 10.
Marion Local was led by Natalie Rethman with 12 and Kara Evers with 12. Macey Griesdorn and Sarah Fesenmeyer added nine apiece.
Marion Local (49) — Kramer 3, Bertke 2, Rethman 14, Evers 12, Griesdorn 9, Fesenmeyer 9.
New Knoxville (47) — Doty 2, Schroer 15, Miller 5, Schwieterman 10, Scott 3, Jurosic 12.
Score by quarters:
Three-pointers: NK 4 (Schroer, Miller, Schwieterman, Scott); ML 2 (Kramer, Fesenmyer).
Records: NK 10-14, ML 14-10.
ML’s next game: Thursday, district semifinals at Wapakoneta vs. Upper Scioto Valley, 6:15 p.m.