A second quarter run by Defiance, highlighted by a 15-4 stretch, made it too tough for Wauseon to come back as they were defeated by the Bulldogs, 51-32, in a home girls basketball contest Tuesday evening.
Back-to-back three pointers from Defiance’s Brooklyn Miller and a long deuce by Laney Baldwin put the Bulldogs on top 8-0 early. However, Wauseon responded as Lexi Sauber was fouled and drilled a pair of free throws, then Karli Penrod added two more.
Jana Armstrong scored inside at the 3:22 mark for the Indians who cut the Bulldog advantage to 8-6 at the quarter break.
But even though the Indians managed to knot the score with Penrod’s score on a drive to the hoop just 1:20 into the second quarter, the Bulldogs fired back with their pressure defense that would force turnovers and lead to points at the other end.
“We knew that they can pressure. They do a nice job of it,” said Wauseon coach Ashley Oyer. “We had to be able to handle that. I thought we just had spurts where we didn’t do a great job of going and meeting passes, and getting to the middle of the floor like we needed to. They took advantage of that.”
Zariah Scott got Defiance on the board in the second with two free throws, Baldwin followed with a mid-range jumper, and Emily Poling hit a jumper which drew a timeout from the Indians with 4:03 left until the half.
Wauseon’s Rylee Campbell converted a layup out of the timeout to reduce their deficit to 14-10, but Morgan Porter scored on a cut to the basket at the other end, Morgan Wytik rattled home a three and Kaytlynn Thornton tacked on a bucket in the post to push the Bulldog lead to 21-10.
“They went through a spurt where they hit some shots,” said Oyer. “Give them credit they can shoot the ball. But I think part of it too was some of our defensive breakdowns where they were getting some wide open looks.”
Miller’s score after a Defiance steal and Sauber’s bucket for Wauseon made the difference 23-12 at the intermission.
Campbell hit a three 32 seconds into the third period to bring the margin back to eight, but consecutive baskets for Porter around one of two free throws for Defiance’s Natalie Wichman pushed it back to double digits.
Kallie Strauss’s floater in the lane pulled Wauseon within 11, however, Thornton scored inside, Scott added a bucket and a triple for Wytik put it out of reach at 35-17 with 1:57 to go in the third.
The Indians failed to bring their deficit to under 15 points the rest of they way as the ended up losing by 19.
“I thought there were times where we got flustered by their press and then we just kept pushing and attacking,” said Oyer. “I think we need to be more patient on offense.”
Porter had 10 points to lead the Bulldogs while Miller and Wytik each finished with eight.
Campbell finished with nine for Wauseon who is now off until Jan. 14 when they host Archbold in NWOAL play.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010