Wauseon’s stingy defense kept Delta out of rhythm for much of the contest, which was enough to stave off a late Panther rally as the Indians held on for a 37-35 win in non-league girls basketball Thursday in Delta.
“We played hard,” stated Wauseon coach Dan Seiler. “We did a lot of good things. I thought our communication was real good. We didn’t switch a lot of screens because we didn’t think we had to. I think that was probably the biggest thing. Athletically, I think we were there (with Delta).”
The Indians grabbed the lead right away, going up 4-0 in the first quarter following baskets by Marisa Seiler and Chelsie Raabe. They would only add to that lead as the quarter progressed, taking a 12-5 advantage into the second by way of Autumn Pelok’s three-point play with under a minute remaining.
Wauseon pushed their lead to as much as 12 points on more than one occasion. In the second quarter, they got it to 20-8 on the back of consecutive hoops from Seiler.
However, Delta orchestrated a mini rally towards the end of the period and Brooklyn Wymer’s heave from the neighborhood of halfcourt found the net as the horn sounded, trimming the Indians’ lead to 22-16 at the half.
That did not deter Wauseon in the third quarter. They limited the Panthers to a single point for nearly five minutes in the period, while they themselves scored seven.
The Indians got four points from Seiler, two from Raabe and 1 of 2 free throws by Pelok. Delta’s point came by way of a Reagan Rouleau free throw and they trailed 29-17 at the 4:39 mark.
Rouleau then drilled a 3-pointer and later added two free throws, countering a layup from Wauseon’s Addy Case to get them within single digits, 31-22, heading into the fourth.
Then the Indians went cold, going over five and a half minutes without a field goal to allow the Panthers to climb back into it in the fourth.
A Brooklyn Green triple plus Khloe Weber’s hoop made it a 31-27 game with 4:01 remaining.
Hayley Meyer got Wauseon back on the board when she was left open inside, but Rouleau then hit 1 of 2 from the foul line for Delta and a Green bucket on an inbounds play put the score at 33-30 with 1:31 left.
“The last two years we’ve played them we’ve been up on them and then they come back and they beat us at the end,” said coach Seiler on not expecting Delta to go away quietly. “This game’s a lot of mental. It’s having that positive (mindset) and that ability to finish towards the end is where we’ve really been lacking here lately. And we’re working on it; we’ll get there. We’ll get better.”
A Braelyn Wymer triple with two seconds left brought it to the final score as the Panthers had no time for a final possession.
“We didn’t play consistently enough to win the game,” said Panther coach Ryan Ripke. “We had spurts where our defense looked really good but it just wasn’t often enough. We also didn’t seem to have any rhythm on offense. I thought we got a lot of good shots, they just weren’t falling for us. We dug ourselves a hole that was just a bit too big to dig ourselves out of on a night when too many things didn’t go our way.”
Seiler paced the Indians with 13 points while Raabe tacked on 10. Rouleau finished with 12 for Delta.
The win over the Panthers capped off a difficult week for Wauseon. On Monday they fell 60-51 to a talented Fairview team.
“Can’t say enough good about Fairview. Very nice team, very deep. Very athletic group of girls. That was a great game for us. That made us better. But that obviously took a lot out of our tank also. Having that game on Monday night and then coming back and playing a quality squad like Delta (tonight),” said coach Seiler.
Wauseon returns to action on Friday when they are at Archbold for the Northwest Ohio Athletic League opener. Delta is at Fairview Tuesday and hosts Patrick Henry on Friday in NWOAL play.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010