WHITEHOUSE – After overcoming some first-game jitters in the early minutes of the opening quarter, Wauseon eventually seized control and behind strong performances from senior Sam Aeschliman and sophomore Marisa Seiler, defeated Anthony Wayne 48-34 on the road to start the girls basketball season Tuesday.
The Generals got a pair of jumpers from Sam Schofield – who finished with 18 points on the night – for a quick 4-0 lead in the game’s first minute.
Aeschliman got the Indians on the board with a three-pointer at the 5:55 mark, then Seiler’s drive and score through the lane put them on top. Anthony Wayne briefly took back the lead at 6-5 on a long deuce from Kayla Crandall with 3:24 left in the first quarter. However, the Indians closed the stanza with a 10-0 run, never relinquishing the lead again.
“Our girls were nervous,” said Wauseon coach Dan Seiler of his team’s slow start to the game. “I get it a little bit, but you know everyone of them’s a starter (from last year) except for one. And they’ve all seen a lot of time. I keep telling them, we just can’t have that. We gotta come out and play hard. But we got valuable minutes off of our bench. Which I think is developing very nicely. We’re not where we need to be. But if I can get them kind of minutes and that production out of our bench, I think our program’s headed in the right direction.”
Autumn Pelok’s bucket got the rally started for Wauseon, while Seiler closed it scoring the final eight points for a 15-6 advantage after one. Seiler would finish with 17 points.
“She didn’t shoot well from outside, and that’s ok. She could have got frustrated, she could have quit. And she got a little frustrated. But she overcome it by getting to the rim. She (drew) a few fouls. Her maturity level for her age is pretty phenomenal,” said coach Seiler. “I can’t say enough good about her and the rest of the girls as far as that goes.”
Aeschliman, who scored 6 of her 15 points in the second quarter, helped the Indians double up the Generals by halftime, 26-13.
Anthony Wayne twice got within 10 in the third quarter, but Wauseon left no doubt as an 11-0 run put it out of reach.
First Seiler split a pair from the foul line, Chelsie Raabe added a bucket off Pelok’s assist, and Seiler drilled a triple out of a timeout. Back-to-back buckets from Aeschliman by way of Kadence Carroll assists – the latter of which constituted a three-point play – gave the Indians a 39-18 lead at the 2:37 mark of the third.
The Generals did outscore the Indians 11-9 over the game’s final eight minutes, however, it wouldn’t be enough.
The Indians’ defense held the home team in check for most of the night, using an array of bodies to do the trick.
“I’m gonna keep sending girls at them (the opposing team),” said Seiler. “We’re deep. I really feel that we can go five or six girls off the bench at times if needed. And that’s a good thing to have. Especially when it comes tournament time. That’s gonna help us.”
Wauseon travels to Archbold on Friday for a non-league tilt.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010