HOLLAND – Delta left nothing to chance Saturday afternoon at Springfield High School, bursting out to a 21-2 lead after the opening quarter in what ended up being a 63-33 win over Evergreen in a Division III girls basketball sectional final.
“We really played well defensively I thought,” said Delta coach Ryan Ripke on the key to the game. “We were just in the right place at the right time. And we focused a lot on what they do offensively. They were just focused. They knew what they had to do, and they just went out there and they did it.”
The Panthers got nine points from Braelyn Wymer in the opening frame, plus six each by Brooklyn Green and Abby Freeman for the 19-point lead after one.
That trio continued to pour it on in the second quarter. Freeman scored on a drive to the hoop 15 seconds in, then Braelyn Wymer and Green each converted drives. Freeman tacked on a three-point play, Green added a bucket off a steal, and two free throws for Wymer and a hoop on a nice backcut around 2 of 4 free throws from Evergreen’s Savannah VanOstrand gave the Panthers a 36-4 lead with 3:12 to go before half.
Kennedi Keifer and VanOstrand cut into the Panther lead a bit over the next minute as Keifer knocked down a three and VanOstrand a deuce, but the Panthers ended the half on a 8-0 run. Ella Ford and Reagan Rouleau got it started with a basket each on sharp cuts to the rim, then Ford banged in a triple and Freeman scored on a fast break to put them up 44-9 at the break.
“Braelyn made some nice cuts. Reagan Rouleau made some nice cuts,” said Ripke on the Panthers being able to exploit holes in the Viking defense. “Ella Ford even, she came off the bench and she made some nice cuts. She stuck with it one time, got an offensive putback on her own shot. So, it was just a really good team effort.”
The 35-point halftime difference initiated a running clock per Ohio High School Athletic Association rules, resulting in a lightning quick second half.
Freeman and Wymer had 16 points apiece to lead Delta. Green added 10 for the Panthers.
Keifer scored 15 for Evergreen, who finishes the season at 8-14.
Delta can now look ahead to its next opponent, Rossford, who came back to defeat Archbold in overtime of the first game Saturday.
“Obviously, (Sammi Mikonowicz) is real tough. She’s a nice athlete. We’re gonna have to have a plan for her,” said Ripke of Rossford. “And then (Megan Dunne), she came out of nowhere. I don’t think she scored in the first quarter, then all of the sudden she ends up with (double-digit points). We are gonna watch some game film. We are gonna study them, and we are gonna come up with a game plan.”
That meeting with the Bulldogs is Thursday at Lake in the second district semifinal beginning at approximately 8 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010