STRYKER – Competing against a very good Stryker team, a young Wauseon team battled but fell short 63-48 in non-league girls basketball Thursday night in Stryker.
The Indians made a second-half run, but could never get back into the game.
“They are just good,” Wauseon coach Dan Seiler said of the Panthers. “You know what you are going to get. It’s nothing fancy. Their kids play hard and they know how to win. We just have to get there.”
Both teams handled a quick pace to begin the contest. The Panther started 7 of 13 shooting with two triples, while the Indians were 5 of 8 with three treys, in a 17-15 opening frame. Stryker extended that lead with a 13-3 run to start the second period. Emma Grime’s triple – which gave her 16 points in the first half, was the final points in the run.
“I don’t know if they shoot that well every night, but if they shoot that well they are going to be a very good team,” Seiler added about Stryker on offense. “We don’t have enough of a defensive presence to be able to cover that many outside shooters.”
Wauseon turned to Sydney Zirkle to get back on track. Zirkle came up with four quick points – and six of Wauseon’s last eight of the half – to make the score 38-26 by halftime.
The hot shooting that started the half went away for both teams in the second half. Stryker turned to its defense to power a 8-0 run, but that was answered by the Tribe, who reeled off six quick points in a minute and 10 seconds to trim the score to 47-36 late in the third period.
“We were trying to learn,” the first-year Wauseon coach said of playing the game. “I have a young group and a new coaching system and that’s a lot for a high school kid to understand. We didn’t quit and that’s one thing I’m proud of.”
Wauseon was never able to get the lead into single digits the rest of the way as the Panthers pulled ahead to win 63-48.
Stryker finished 26 of 53 from the floor for 49 percent. Wauseon was 19 of 42 for 45 percent. Stryker also won the rebounding battle 35-23 and committed 15 turnovers to 17 for the Indians.
Zirkle led the Indians with 14 points. Marisa Seiler added 13 and Sam Aeschliman added 12. Wauseon (3-6) returns to action after Christmas when they play in the Signal Classic.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org