Wauseon girls basketball got into the win column and in a big way Friday night, edging rival Archbold 34-29 at home. The Indians were led by senior Hayley Meyer who finished with half of the team’s points, scoring 17 in the game.
However, she did foul out with a little over four minutes to play, but the Indians still managed to hang on.
“They managed to get Hayley fouled out, which is what everybody’s gonna try to do. And really can’t blame them. But when she’s on the floor, I don’t know if there’s anybody better in this area than how she’s playing. She’s got to be smarter and we’ve got to make sure we can take care of her a little bit better than what I did tonight. That’s on me,” said Wauseon coach Dan Seiler after the game.
Archbold drops to 2-1 on the young season.
“Too many missed layups. Not enough rebounding. We’re small so it’s got to be a team effort; it’s got to be a little bit of heart in there to go after the ball and we didn’t have that. Wauseon did. Too many turnovers. Yeah offensive execution wasn’t there. Give Wauseon credit, they took our execution away. They deserved to win,” said Archbold coach Brian Ziegler on what led to the game’s final result.
In the fourth quarter, a pair of Meyer buckets put Wauseon up 30-23 with 7:05 remaining, causing Archbold to call timeout. Out of the stoppage Leah McQuade scored for the Blue Streaks, however, Mackenzie Stasa’s hoop with five minutes left kept the margin at seven.
Stasa had six points on the night.
“We’re just playing a lot of young kids,” noted Seiler. “We got freshmen and sophomores out there that are giving us huge minutes. Mackenzie Stasa was really good tonight. Kaylin Ehrsam was really good. Them two did a lot of good things, but we can’t continue to foul and think we’re gonna win many games. That’s just too many fouls, and that’s not like us.”
A Maite Marugan hoop extended the Wauseon lead to nine (34-25) with 4:30 left. And although Meyer would foul out just over 20 seconds later, the Indians’ defense was able to step up and limit the Blue Streak offense.
“I thought we did a nice job of holding the ball,” Seiler said of his team holding off Archbold. “I thought maybe he (Coach Ziegler) would come out and foul us a little bit more. And try to get us to the line to gain that possession, but he didn’t. I’m thankful for that because I’m not sure we would have made the free throws.
“We’re just young. We’re getting better, I think, with every practice. Our effort was awesome tonight. I really loved how hard we played.”
Wauseon clung to an 8-7 lead after the first quarter as Meyer had all of their points in the frame.
In the second quarter the Indians pushed the advantage to seven, 16-9, following 1 of 2 free throws by Stasa and Aizlynn Coronado’s 3-pointer.
But the Streaks responded with a 6-0 run of their own.
Sophie Rupp got it started with a layup, Makena Thiel scored off her own miss, then a putback hoop by Rupp made it 16-15 with less than a minute left in the first half. Closing out the scoring in the half was a three-point play by Stasa, then 1 of 2 at the foul line by Nyah Grime.
Wauseon at one point led 25-18 in the third quarter after consecutive buckets again from Meyer. But Archbold would close to within three, 26-23, entering the fourth.
Marugan also had six points for the Indians. Rupp led the Streaks with 16, while Thiel added seven.
Archbold has a long time before it will meet Wauseon in Northwest Ohio Athletic League action, hosting the Indians in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 9. So they cannot take too much away from this one to use for that matchup, and instead must keep their focus in the present, says their coach.
“I don’t know if you take anything away from it right now,” admitted Ziegler. “Because, we don’t play them until game number 22 now, so a lot can happen between now and then. We need players to step up is what we need to do — between now and the next game. We didn’t have players step up tonight.”
Wauseon travels to Edgerton Tuesday while Archbold plays host to Fairview the same night.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.