Indians hold off Blackbirds, 44-36

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

Wauseon girls basketball coach Dan Seiler doesn’t mince words and always calls it like he sees it, and what he saw didn’t totally please him Tuesday night at Pettisville.

However, despite losing most of a 17-point second quarter lead, Seiler’s Indians warded off the Blackbirds in a 44-36 win.

“Give a lot of credit to Pettisville,” Seiler said after. “They played hard and had a good game plan. Our backside help was not rotating for some reason, I’m not sure it was because we had the day off yesterday and we struggled getting back into the flow but I thought our effort could’ve been a lot better. I definitely know we are better than what we showed tonight but obviously we didn’t show it. Hopefully from here we go to practice tomorrow and get ready for a league game (with Evergreen) on Thursday.”

The Indians’ go-to big girl, senior Hayley Meyer, almost single-handedly gave Wauseon a six point lead after one, by scoring eight of the Tribe’s 10 first period points.

It took all of two and a half minutes into the second to make that six point margin nearly triple at 21-4.

Mackenzie Stasa, Kaylin Ehrsam and Aizlynn Coronado all drained triple tries and Ehrsam had a swipe and score during that 11-0 burst to begin the quarter.

Then just that quick, the running torrent of points shut off and Pettisville began to fight back into the contest.

Alli King and Ellie Grieser each hit from outside and Amanda Grimm scored off a turnover to slice the Wauseon lead to 11, 24-13, at the half.

“We hit a couple of threes there and we thought that maybe we got it going and shot the ball the way we are capable of,” expressed Seiler. “And then we went right back to missing shots.

“Then we had a stretch where I didn’t believe our rebounding was where it needs to be and I don’t think our effort was as good as it should be.”

Stasa’s three-point play and basket off a Pettisville turnover, expanded the margin back to 16 (31-15) with 4:55 left in the third and again Pettisville mounted a comeback.

King nailed her second 3-pointer and putbacks from Grace Crawford and Hollyn Klopfenstein once more chopped the deficit to 11, 33-22, at the end of three.

The Blackbird rally continued into the fourth with Leah Beck and Crawford leading the charge.

Four times Beck got inside around a Crawford foul line jumper to make it 39-32 with 2:25 left.

Crawford’s pump fake and jumper, then up and under move brought the Birds within 40-36 with 28 ticks left.

However, after missing the front-end of the bonus at the foul line 15 seconds eariler, Stasa knocked home 2-2, then Meyer did the same to bring the Indians home.

For the game Wauseon shot 15-39 from the floor.

Pettisville was 16-45 but shot 50 percent in the fourth (7-14).

Meyer scored 17 points to lead Wauseon (9-6). Stasa added 10.

Beck led Pettisville (9-8) with 10.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor