Wauseon’s pressure defense led the way as they made Evergreen out of sorts early and ultimately ran away with a 65-45 home victory on Thursday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball.
The Indians turned the Vikings over numerous times in the opening quarter, leading to baskets in transition and an early double-digit advantage.
Four different Indians scored in the game’s first 5:40 — Chelsie Raabe, Marisa Seiler, Autumn Pelok and Hayley Meyer — giving them a 14-2 lead.
“I really liked our defense; we switched really well. We played really well defensively,” said Wauseon coach Dan Seiler. “And they missed some shots that they probably normally hit — whether that was our defense or whether we just got lucky, I don’t know which. I thought we really rebounded well tonight.
“The girls worked hard tonight. I’m just so pleased with their effort.”
Bekah Bowser got Evergreen back on the board with a reverse layup, but Seiler’s drive and score kept the margin at 12 with 1:07 left in the period.
The Vikings also scored the final five points of the quarter on a Morgan Foster three-point play plus Sydney Woodring’s hoop off a steal, which trimmed the deficit to 16-9 after one.
The second quarter, however, was all Indians. They would outscore the Vikings 17-4 in the frame.
It started with an 11-0 run to begin the stanza. Kadence Carroll went 1 of 2 from the free throw line and Pelok made a shot with her body contorted. Then consecutive Seiler hoops and two Meyer free throws put them up 25-9 at the 3:08 mark.
Raabe swished a jump shot 13 seconds later, capping off the run.
Evergreen’s Macy Chamberlin got them back on the board with a deuce, but Meyer responded at the other end with a bucket down low.
Seiler was fouled and split a pair with 1:24 left in the half, and when her second attempt missed, Meyer was there for the putback that extended the Wauseon lead at 32-11.
Two free throws for the Vikings’ Jordan Lumbrezer and 1 of 2 again from Seiler closed out scoring in the half.
“We went back to our press,” said coach Seiler of his team’s second quarter success. “I thought we turned them over a little bit. And we sped them up. We made them uncomfortable. That really worked out well for us. And we were able to make some shots, which was kind of nice to see our shots go in. I think we’re shooting with a lot more confidence than what we did earlier in the season.”
The Indians had a better third quarter (19-12) while the Vikings, behind a 15-0 run in the game’s final 3:25, won the fourth. But it wasn’t enough to erase the deficit, one in which Wauseon led by as many 37 just past the midway point of the fourth.
Coach Seiler was not sure if this was his squad’s best outing, but he was impressed. And while some girls are battling nagging injuries and others are easing their way back into the lineup out of quarantine, the effort was there.
“Chelsie hasn’t practiced a lot this week. Ellie Rodriguez hasn’t practiced a lot. Kadence Carroll has kind of been in and out with injury and back and forth. I’d like to think we’re a little bit better yet. But maybe that is (the best we can play). I’ll take our effort. Win or lose, if we can play like that, that’s all we can ask out of these high school kids,” he said.
The Indians had three girls finish in double figures. Seiler had 24 points, Meyer kicked in 16 and Pelok 14.
Bowser finished with 13 points and Foster 10 for the Vikings (0-5 NWOAL).
With the victory, Wauseon improved to 3-2 in the league.
Evergreen bested Hilltop 56-44 Saturday at home while Wauseon took down Anthony Wayne at home, 40-23.
For the Indians, Seiler led the way with 15 points and Raabe added 10.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.