Looking to spoil Delta’s chance at a third straight Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball title, Archbold did just that when sophomore Karsyn Hostetler sunk a 3-pointer with just over a second remaining to give them a 33-32 win at Delta Thursday night.
Delta would go on top with 20 seconds left following a pair of free throws from Brooklyn Wymer. She drew the foul while forcing a steal, and was awarded a trip to the foul line as the Panthers were in the bonus.
But the Blue Streaks were left with enough time and coach Ziegler was able to get the troops in order with a timeout prior to the final possession.
After working the ball around trying to find an open shooter, it eventually made its way to Hostetler, who had already knocked down three triples earlier in the game, and the second-year player swooshed it to send the visiting crowd home happy.
“We set up a different option and they took it away,” said Archbold coach Brian Ziegler of his team’s final possession. “We didn’t have great timing on it, but we did a good job with some penetration and kicking the ball to the corner. Karsyn was there, and she just knocked down the shot. You fight, you get to that point, we had a chance to win, and she stepped up and made the shot.”
Hostetler finished the game with 12 points.
“She played a strong game for us,” said Ziegler. “She’s not one of our leading scorers by any means, but she stays within herself. She did a good job knocking down shots. I thought that when she got hot, she was feeling confident. On one pass and letting it fly. That’s what we tell them, if you’re hot, keep shooting.
“They started taking her away the second half. Give Delta credit, they played a good defensive game. This was a defensive battle by both teams. It wasn’t that the offense was that bad, but I think the defense was pretty good both sides. Both teams played hard.”
Panther coach Ryan Ripke said his team went into the game knowing it would be a struggle offensively. “Archbold is a very good defensive team and so any time you play them, you know you’re going to have to earn every basket,” he said.
It was a signature league win for the Streaks, who previously suffered losses to Bryan and league-leading Wauseon – including a 48-45 loss to the rival Indians in a game they led by double digits in the first half.
“We’ve had some close games that’s gone the other way,” said Ziegler on the significance of the win. “And it’s hard to keep coming back time, time, and time again. But hey, our girls kept fighting. It was looking kind of bleak there in the last seconds. Again, you have girls step up, that’s what you need this time of the year.”
Archbold now sits at 4-2 in the NWOAL, tied with Delta as both teams trail the Indians and Golden Bears.
Ripke has elected to look on the bright side, highlighting the fight his girls showed down the stretch in his postgame talk with the team.
“After the game, I told the girls how proud I was of how hard they fought to get back into the game,” he said. “They could have folded with an 6-point deficit (28-22) going into the fourth but they never gave up.”
Archbold reached its biggest lead of the game, 28-20, following four straight points from Abi Brojevich around the two minute mark of the third quarter. First she converted underneath the basket, then after Ripke was assessed a technical foul, Borojevich knocked down the free throws with 2:04 left in the period.
The Panthers cut it to 28-22 by the end of the period, thanks to a basket from Braelyn Wymer.
They continued that momentum into the fourth where they went on a 10-2 run to take the lead.
Delta also tried to seize control in the second quarter, after trailing for much of the first.
Brooklyn Green’s triple handed them a 10-9 advantage with 3:47 before halftime. However, the Streaks responded quickly on a Borojevich drive and bucket along the baseline, then Leah McQuade’s three-point play with just under two minutes to go put them up four.
Braelyn Wymer hit two free throws, then Kylie Sauder answered with a basket off a nifty backcut to give Archbold a 16-12 halftime lead.
Rouleau had 10 points to pace Delta. After Hostetler, Borojevich chipped in with nine and Sauder eight.
The Panthers (15-5, 4-2 NWOAL) then got a 44-33 win at home over Fayette Saturday. Rouleau had 18 points, while Green and Brooklyn Wymer added 12 each.
Archbold (12-7, 4-2) got another game-winning shot, this time from Addi Ziegler, to win at Springfield 45-44 Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010