Wauseon trailed just once all night with just under three minutes left in the opening quarter, then proceeded onto a 22-5 run to end the half, eventually coming away with a 50-15 home win against Stryker Thursday in girls basketball.
A big reason to the Indians’ success on this night was their defense creating turnovers which led to points at the other end of the floor.
Stryker grabbed their first and only lead of the game, 5-4, when Kalista Blevins scored down low at the 2:54 mark of the first.
But, from there Wauseon scored the next 14 points and limited the Panthers to just five more points the rest of the half.
Sam Aeschliman drilled a short jumper at the 2:37 mark to give the Indians the lead back, then her deuce off a Wauseon steal, plus a three-pointer, extended their lead to 11-5.
They led 13-5 after one as Zirkle converted on a pass from Aeschliman with nine seconds to go. It was another fast break opportunity enabled by the Indian defense.
“I thought our defense really bothered them,” said Wauseon coach Dan Seiler. “We did a good job of getting in the passing lanes. We were making them turn, and that really makes it difficult. Give a lot of credit to our girls, they had a lot of fire and a lot of heart tonight. They played hard. You know, you can’t take anything away from Stryker either. They are a great team, very well-coached. It just wasn’t their night tonight.”
The Indians had five different players score in the second period, where they were able to increase the lead to 26-10 by halftime. Marisa Seiler tallied five points in the frame, while Sydney Zirkle, Autumn Pelok, Paige Smith and Aeschliman each notched single buckets. Scoring for the Panthers was Emilyanne Cox who hit a three, plus Sage Woolace who scored inside but missed on the free throw for a potential three-point play.
Chelsie Raabe got into the scoring column for the Indians in the third quarter, marking six points. Zirkle and Seiler added five apiece as the Indians outscored the Panthers 18-5 in the stanza.
For the game, Seiler had 12 points and Zirkle 11. Aeschliman added nine points.
The victory gave the Indians their second straight double-digit win following a 43-35 loss to Delta on Dec. 12. They are now 7-1 on the season.
“You don’t like a loss obviously. You want to win as much as you can. But, to lose to a quality opponent like Delta, early in the season, I don’t think that’s all bad,” said coach Seiler on his team’s play since suffering their first defeat. “Hopefully we learned from it. I think it woke us up a little bit. To realize that maybe we’re not quite as good as what we thought we were. But I don’t think we’re playing as good as what we can play yet either. I just told them in the locker room, ‘we need to get back to playing like we did this summer’. Because we were really clicking this summer.”
Wauseon is next in action on Thursday at the Northwest Signal Holiday Classic to be held at Napoleon. The tournament begins Thursday and concludes on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010