JEWELL – It had the look and feel of a season-opener for the Wauseon girls basketball team. Playing against a team that opened the season the night before, Wauseon struggled at times in all parts of the game in a 49-35 loss to Tinora.
The Indians got off to a slow start offensively and also had an issue with offensive rebounds, allowing the host Rams to grab 18 as part of a 46-37 rebounding advantage.
“I think we need to execute better than what we do,” Wauseon coach Ashley Oyer said after the game. “We need to do the things we can control. We can’t always control whether or not the ball goes into the basket at the end of the night, but we can control whether or not we play hard or whether or not we execute.”
Tinora pulled ahead for good after a 3-3 opening frame. Sarah Andrews scored in the paint, then Madison Brown followed by getting three opportunities to knock down a shot to put Tinora ahead 7-3.
“You don’t want to give up offensive boards,” admitted Oyer. “We’re not blessed with a ton of size. We’re playing a lot of young kids. We’re going to get better as the season goes on.”
An Ally Tefft steal led to a bucket by Chelsie Raabe to get the Indians started in the period. Sarah Harris pushed the lead back out when she hit a triple; however Raabe answered in two possessions on a basket off a steal and a free throw to once again trim the lead to 10-8.
Wauseon’s offense stalled for two minutes, and Tinora was able to take advantage. Amber Schliesser and Sydney Grieser were able to score, which pushed the lead back to 14-8. Finally, Rylee Campbell hit a step-back three to get the Indians back on the board.
Tinora added three free throws and Anna Koenig scored for Wauseon to make the score 17-13 at the half.
Free throws dominated play in the second half. Tinora’s Grieser opened the half by splitting a pair, then she scored a basket on a putback. Campbell went 3 for 4 at the line for Wauseon, but Grieser came back with a pair as the Rams led 22-16 with 3:57 to go in the third.
Once again, Wauseon went on an extended dry spell and Tinora was able to pull away. Harris knocked down her third triple of the night, Taylor Brown drained a pair of free tosses and Tristin Ackerman scored from the low block to push the lead to double digits at 29-18.
“Again, I go back and that’s execution,” Oyer stated of the offensive troubles. “That’s cutting hard, that’s screening bodies. It’s all things that are fixable, which is a good thing.”
Alexis Suarez stopped the run when she scored in the paint off a feed by Macee Schang. The Indians also caught a break when Campbell was fouled with 0.3 seconds showing on the clock. Her two free throws cut the Tinora lead to 30-22 heading into the final stanza.
Grieser and Schliesser opened the final period with scores, which stretched the lead back to 34-22. The Indians got as close as six after a small run, but Tinora closed by outscoring Wauseon 12-4 over the final 2 ½ minutes to grab the 49-35 decision.
Wauseon finished 10 of 43 shooting and 13 of 22 from the free throw line. They committed 21 turnovers. Tinora was 16 of 52 from the floor and 13 of 29 from the line with 22 turnovers.
Campbell had 21 points to pace the Indians. Brown and Grieser paced a balanced Tinora attack with 10 points each.
Wauseon (0-1) plays Tuesday at Springfield.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com