For the second straight week in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball action, Wauseon had to battle some adversity but came out on the winning side, taking down Bryan 60-49 in overtime to improve to 2-1 in league play Thursday night.
“I think we made plays when we needed to,” said Indians’ coach Dan Seiler of the game. “We played with a lot of heart towards the end of that game. Because we were tired, we were getting a little stretched out. But we made our free throws, and that was probably the deciding factor.”
The Indians outscored the Golden Bears 15-4 in the extra session behind 15 of 18 shooting from the foul line.
Tied at 45 at the end of regulation, Autumn Pelok, Kadence Carroll and Marisa Seiler each hit a pair from the line, giving Wauseon a 51-45 lead with 2:31 to play in overtime.
They then reaped the benefit of Bryan’s Kloee Antigo missing the front-end of a one-and-one 27 seconds later. Sam Aeschliman would go 3 of 4 from the charity stripe, and after the Golden Bears’ Shallyn Miley missed a pair, Sydney Zirkle hit 1 of 2 for a 55-45 Indian lead with 1:07 left.
Bryan pulled within eight twice in the final minute; however, free throws from Pelok (4 for 4) and Seiler (1 for 2) helped close it out.
The Indians were forced to rally in the fourth quarter and overtime when a 17-4 third quarter advantage by Bryan allowed them to take the lead and garner the momentum.
The Bears went on a 12-0 run in just over 3:30 to begin the period. Pushing the pace, McKendry Semer scored twice for the Bears around a Miley layup, Antigo effectively used the glass for a bucket, and Addie Arnold scored off a steal.
For good measure, Bre Long capitalized off a perfectly-placed outlet pass, extending the lead at 30-22 and forcing a Wauseon timeout at the 4:18 mark.
An Allie Zimmerman layup with 16 seconds remaining put the Bears ahead 35-26, and that’s where it would be to begin the fourth.
However, roles were reversed in the fourth where the Indians outscored the Bears 19-10. In total, they held a 34-14 edge in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“I think we just picked up the intensity,” stated coach Seiler on his team’s defensive effort down the stretch. “And I think we seen that, oh no, we’re gonna get beat if we don’t do something. They just picked up the pressure and started moving their feet a little bit better. Autumn, Sam, Kadence Carroll, all three of them just really applied a lot of pressure. And with Marisa helping out on Miley, it just all went together. We were pretty lucky to come out of here with a win. Because that’s a good program. I can’t (give) enough respect (to) Todd (Grosjean) and the whole Bryan program. A pretty big win for us.”
Wauseon reclaimed the lead after consecutive hoops from Zirkle, going up 43-42 with 1:47 to go. Bryan would snatch it back on Antigo’s triple 11 seconds later.
Pelok sent the game to overtime when she sank a jumper with 36 seconds remaining. The Bears had an opportunity when Kelly Miller was sent to the line with 22 seconds left, but she could not convert the one-and-one.
So while Wauseon was making their living at the charity stripe at the end of the game, Bryan went just 1 for 6 over the final 12 minutes.
“I don’t know if I’m more excited or they’re more excited that they shot that well,” said Seiler of the Indians’ free throw shooting. “Just finally getting over that hump of…being able to put the ball in the hoop a little bit. Hopefully we can learn from this; come out with more confidence. I loved the way we played the fourth quarter. Loved the overtime. The first three quarters, we’ve got to get better. In high school basketball, if you can put four quarters together you’re gonna be pretty tough.”
The Indians led almost wire-to-wire in the first half, trailling a total of 14 seconds. Arnold’s three for Bryan gave them an 18-17 advantage at the 1:30 mark of the second quarter, but with 1:16 remaining, Zirkle answered from beyond the arc to give her team the lead back. Aeschliman tacked on two free throws and Wauseon took a 22-18 lead into the locker room.
Seiler paced all scorers with 20 points. Zirkle added 16 and Pelok 13 for the Indians.
Bryan (11-4, 2-1 NWOAL) had a pair in double figures as Miley notched 15 points and Arnold 10.
Wauseon (11-3, 2-1) next welcomes Pettisville on Tuesday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010