TOLEDO – Wauseon opened the final stanza on an 11-0 run, which was about the only thing that went right for the Indians all night long as they were eliminated from the Division II girls basketball tournament with a 62-34 loss to Oak Harbor in a game played Saturday night at Bowsher.
Early turnovers stung the Indians. Trailing 7-6 after Aliza Dauterman sank a pair of free throws, Oak Harbor was able to stretch its lead. Maddy Rathburn scored under the basket, Ashley Riley hit two free throws and Logan Harris scored on a putback to put the Rockets up 13-6 with 1:49 left in the opening frame.
The Indians did show some life when Bri Castellano hit a trey late in the period, but that was answered by Emma Bergman, who converted the last of Wauseon’s 12 first-quarter turnovers into a three-point play for a 16-9 lead.
“We really worked this week about attacking gaps and kicking,” Wauseon coach Ashley Oyer said of the turnovers. “We didn’t do a good job of that early on. We had some easy turnovers.”
Bergman added three triples early in the second period to push the lead to 27-12 with less than three minutes to play in the half. Wauseon, who went 2 of 12 from the floor in the period, did get a bucket from Ally Tefft on a baseline jumper, but 20 first-half turnovers combined with 5 of 18 shooting led to a 34-14 deficit.
“They shot the basketball well tonight,” Oyer said of the Rockets. “We knew we had to give up something because we were undersized.”
Oak Harbor opened the second half on a 10-2 run to extend the lead to 44-16. Castellano added a triple for Wauseon, but the Rockets kept Wauseon off the scoreboard for the final 5:54 of the period to push the lead to 57-19.
The final period did have a different look. Karli Penrod came out and hit a long deuce, then Rylee Campbell got in the paint to score. Tefft hit a putback before Penrod ripped off five points in a row to cut the lead to 57-30 with 5:56 left.
“We talked about playing hard for four quarters,” stated Oyer. “We came out in the fourth (quarter) and went on an 11-0 run. We reversed the ball and attacked the basket. We got some easier looks.”
Wauseon added the final four points of the game as well, but it wasn’t enough as the Indians’ season came to an end at 62-34.
The Indians finished with 35 turnovers and shot 13 of 43 from the floor. Oak Harbor also committed 24 turnovers and shot 23 of 52. The smaller Wauseon team also finished with a 32-31 edge in rebounds.
Castellano led the Indians with 11 points. Wauseon finishes the season at 3-20.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org