Wauseon went on a 12-3 run in the fourth quarter to close out Archbold 46-32 in a physical contest at Archbold Friday night.
“I think we got some contributions from some other girls and I think that was huge,” said Wauseon coach Dan Seiler, who wasn’t totally pleased with his team’s play. “But we’re still fouling too much. Definitely out of control at times. To come out of here with a win is huge for the girls. Haven’t won over here (at Archbold) in quite awhile. It just something that they’re not used to, not accustomed to. But we’re getting that confidence. We just got a long ways to go.”
The Blue Streaks pulled to within three, 32-29, near the end of the third quarter, but Wauseon’s Sam Aeschliman bumped it back to five by the quarter break with the help of a Kadence Carroll assist.
Then came the fourth quarter, which belonged to the Indians.
They scored the first six points of the frame on a pair of buckets from Sydney Zirkle – who had six in the fourth as part of her 14-point effort – and Chelsie Raabe’s jumper in between. This gave the Indians a 40-29 edge with just under six minutes remaining.
“Sydney Zirkle did a phenomenal job of making herself available. Especially the third and the fourth quarter,” stated Seiler.
Archbold could only muster three free throws in the final period. Abi Borojevich hit a pair to pull them within nine, but Zirkle responded at the other end with a basket for a 42-31 lead at the 5:30 mark.
Delaney Garrow then split a pair from the foul line for the Streaks with 4:05 to play. However, little did they know it would be their final point of the contest.
Marisa Seiler and Carroll each added buckets down the stretch, closing out the 14-point win for the Indians.
“We set so many back screens and we set so many high ball screens that with Archbold doesn’t work,” said coach Seiler on what was key to his team’s strong finish. “We got to keep the floor spread and we gotta make good hard passes. And we gotta go meet the ball. I thought that was the difference in the fourth quarter for us. We spread the floor more. Made their athletes run the floor harder, and that opened up a lot of stuff for us on the back side.”
The Indians exploded on a 9-0 run near the end of the first quarter and into the second, opening up a 15-5 advantage at the 6:25 mark of the second.
Autumn Pelok got it started by drilling a three-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter. Aeschliman added a steal and score 11 seconds into the second stanza, Raabe then tacked on a pair of free throws, plus another Aeschliman hoop in transition led to the aforementioned 10-point advantage.
The Indians would lead 22-14 later in the quarter thanks to a pair of treys from Seiler. However, the Streaks closed the half with a three-point play from Kylie Sauder and 1 of 2 at the line by Leah McQuade, trimming the Wauseon lead down to 22-18.
They tied it 1:35 into the third by way of Borojevich’s three and 1 of 2 at the line by Sauder. But it was all for not as the Indians saved their best effort for the end of the game.
“Wauseon did a good job keeping us out of any kind of offensive flow we tried to get into,” said Archbold coach Brian Ziegler. “We did a nice job competing the first half, but Wauseon did a much better job in the second (half). Wauseon deserved to win the game.”
Seiler paced the Indian offense with 16 points. For the Streaks, Borojevich finished with 13 and Sauder 10.
Wauseon (2-0) welcomes Edgerton on Tuesday. Archbold (1-2) is also in action when they head to Fairview.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010