VANDALIA — This was an impressive victory for the Jackson Center Lady Tigers.
In the first round of the Division 4 Girls Regional Basketball Tournament Thursday night at Vandalia, the Lady Tigers were tasked with taking on the 24-1 Tri-Village Lady Patriots, who finished the regular season as the No. 2-ranked team in Ohio.
But Jackson Center took command right from the start and upset the Lady Patriots in convincing fashion, 42-29, to advance to the regional championship on Saturday night at Vandalia.
Jackson is looking for its second consecutive trip to the D-4 state tournament, and takes a 22-4 record into Saturday night’s game.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 13-6 lead after one quarter thanks to a couple of long-range buckets from Cassie Meyer and Kamryn Elchert.
They struggled to get untracked in the second quarter, however, and Tri-Village took advantage, scoring the first seven points of the quarter to pull even at 13-13. But the Lady Tigers held T-V scoreless the rest of the half, and scored enough to still hold a six-point lead at the intermission.
Jackson’s scoring troubles continued in the third quarter however, but fortunately, the Lady Tigers never wavered on defense. So even though they scored just two points in the third period, they held Tri-Village to just four, so the lead still belonged to the Lady Tigers after three at 21-17.
Tri-Village needed to overtake the Lady Tigers before they had to foul, but they were unable to do that. And the Lady Tigers made sure to keep the ball in the hands of senior Cassie Meyer down the stretch, and she delivered.
She stepped to the line 16 times and dropped in 14 of them, and they all came in the final period.
That resulted in her leading all scorers in the game with 22.
Jackson Center held Tri-Village’s Allie Downing to just seven points. She was named the Associated Press Division 4 Southwest District Player of the Year this week.
Tri-Village (29) — Miller 10, Printz 3, Downing 7, Siler 5, Mann 4.
Jackson Center (42) — Meyer 22, Elchert 6, Reese 6, Clark 5, Ware 3.
Score by quarters:
TV` 6 ` 13 ` 17 ` 29
JC` 13 ` 19 ` 21 ` 42
Three-pointers: JC 4 (Meyer 2, Elchert, Reese); TV 3 (Miller, Printz, Siler).
Records: JC 22-4, TV 24-2.
Next game: Saturday, regional championship at Vandalia vs. Minster-Russia winner, 7:30.
Minster 41, Russia 24
VANDALIA — Russia suffered through major shooting woes all night, and couldn’t overcome it in losing to Minster in the D-4 regional semifinals held Thursday night at Vandalia.
For Minster, the win was its 24th against just two losses, and they will return to Vandalia Saturday night to take on the Jackson Center Lady Tigers, who upset Tri-Village in the first semifinals Thursday.
The two teams met during the regular season and Minster came out on top 62-48.
Russia’s season ends at 21-6.
Russia came up with countless offensive rebounds in the early going, but could not put a single one of them back in the basket. When the first period ended, Russia had only a field goal, but it was still anybody’s game at just 5-1.
In the second quarter, after Courtney Prenger of Minster hit a three-pointer for an 8-1 lead, Russia’s Jenna Cordonnier got hot. She hit a three-pointer for the first Russia field goal of the game, then scored the next two buckets to bring the Lady Raiders within 10-7 with 3:28 left in the first half.
After a three by Minster, Cordonnier scored her eighth straight point and when Laurissa Poling added a free throw, it was a 13-10 game.
Minster made a key run at that point in the game, scoring five of the last seven points to lead 18-12 at the half.
The half ended with the Lady Raiders connecting on just 13 percent of their shots.
Minster came out strong to start the third quarter. A drive and a bucket by Rosie Westerbeck upped the count to 26-12, and a Kendra Thien basket gave Minster a 28-14 lead.
Russia went on a mini-run to get back in it, on a three by Maria Herron and a bucket by Cameo Wilson to pull within 28-19. But Westerbeck got another bucket to make it 30-19.
Despite their shooting, the Lady Raiders were able to keep the deficit around 10 or 11, until under two minutes remained when they had to start fouling.
Ali Borgerding had 11 points for Minster and was the only player in the game in double figures. Courtney Prenger added nine and Kogge finished with eight for the Lady Wildcats.
Cordonnier led Russia with eight points.