Archbold found its groove in the second quarter, outscoring Pettisville 21-10 while on their way to a 57-47 win over the visiting Blackbirds in girls basketball action Thursday.
“I just thought a big key tonight (was) we played a lot of girls. A lot of them early,” said Archbold coach Brian Ziegler. “I thought we got some fastbreaks and got some turnovers there in the second quarter and opened the lead up.
“I thought we rebounded well also. We knew we couldn’t give them second shots. We got some good defensive rebounds that led to some fastbreaks.”
Neither team could keep momentum in the opening quarter. Pettisville grabbed the lead first with an Elizabeth Beck three-pointer, but the Blue Streaks responded with Sophie Hubby’s shot close to the basket and a putback from Lily Krieger.
They continued to trade baskets as the score was knotted at 11 after one.
Hubby opened the second with a triple, Krieger scored inside, Andi Peterson hit a jump shot, Naomi Rodriguez knocked down two free throws and Krieger’s deuce gave the Streaks a 22-11 lead at the 4:43 mark.
It was Peterson’s first game back after missing significant time nursing an injury. She scored eight points in her return.
“She’s been sparingly practicing here this week,” said Ziegler on the decision to play Peterson. “We didn’t know if we were gonna play her tonight or not. She went through three days pretty decent and now she’s just got to get in shape.”
It’s clear they welcomed her back with open arms.
“She does so many things well,” added Ziegler of Peterson. “She anticipates, she plays defense, she’s another shooter on the floor for us.
“When you’ve missed somebody on the floor for so long, it’s nice to get her back. I think the players look for her confidence and know they have another good player on the floor.”
Later in the frame, the Birds pulled within 10, 29-19, on a three by Jessica McWatters. Mikayla Graber then trimmed the margin to eight on a jumper, but Gabby Nafziger hit from deep for the Streaks to make it 32-21 at the half.
Krieger and Pettisville’s Brandi Schnitkey exchanged hoops to begin the second half, then Nafziger hit two from long range on back-to-back possessions, giving Archbold a 17-point lead just over two minutes in.
“We just wanted to spread their zone out,” said Ziegler on his team’s offensive night overall. “We were impatient (at times). We missed some threes, then we’d just take one pass and shoot another three. That’s not what we want to do. The kids want to score we get that. But, as soon as we started being a little bit more patient and making their zone shift, we executed a little bit better.”
However, Pettisville tried to get back into it, going on an 8-2 run over the next two and a half minutes. Graber went 3 of 4 from the foul line and Morgan Leppelmeier scored five around a basket inside from Archbold’s Faith Wyse to make the score 42-31 with 2:19 left.
The Streaks then got a hoop from Peterson, plus Rodriguez’ bucket on a cut to the hoop in the closing seconds of the third, bumping the difference back to 15 points.
Archbold led by as many as 17 in the fourth, but the final was 10 after a Beck triple in the final minute.
Krieger had 14 points to lead the Streaks, Nafziger added 11 points and 7 rebounds, and Hubby 10 points. For Pettisville, Leppelmeier led all scorers with 27.
Archbold (6-2) hosts Perrysburg next Thursday at 1 p.m. Pettisville (5-3) hosts Evergreen tomorrow.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010