Fayette girls basketball, hampered by many losses to graduation, made just two shots from the field in the first half as Pettisville limited them to 12 percent shooting from the floor for the game while on their way to a 60-18 home victory on Thursday.
“I think we played very well defensively. And we kind of set the tone,” said Pettisville coach Jason Waldvogel. “Our girls are being more and more aggressive and they are getting used to each other. They are starting to be able to read each other’s minds a little bit. So it is nice to see them come together, as a group of kids that hadn’t played a lot together.”
“We just didn’t compete,” said Fayette mentor Tim Morr. “They are not 40 points better than we are. If we come out and compete I don’t know if we win that ball game obviously, but, we didn’t show up to play tonight. The girls, their attitude wasn’t in it.”
With the score at 2-1 in the opening quarter, the Blackbirds scored 12 straight to make it 14-1 at the 2:23 mark. First it was Nichole Foor converting a basket inside for Pettisville, then Morgan Leppelmeier hit a jump shot, Brandi Schnitkey split a pair of free throws and Alexa Leppelmeier’s steal led to two more free throws.
Pettisville forced Fayette into 16 turnovers total.
“We cannot turn the ball over and give teams free shots,” explained Morr. “I think when we were able to run our offense – we got good looks. Obviously, we didn’t shoot the ball well but we got good looks. But when we make mistakes and other teams turn it into points, you can’t have that.”
Morgan Leppelmeier hit another jumper, Schnitkey added a steal and score, and Alexa Leppelmeier split a pair of free throws before Fayette’s Janaya Hibbard hit her team’s first shot of the game to make it 14-3 with 1:14 left in the quarter.
Two more from the charity stripe for Morgan Leppelmeier closed out the scoring in the frame.
She scored five points in the second quarter to lead the Blackbirds, while Hibbard had a bucket for the Eagles as Pettisville led 29-5 at the half.
“That is great,” said Waldvogel on the play of his sophomore guard. “And we want her to be aggressive and do things, because we think we can play off of her. The other kids know that. They know there is a lot of attention that is gonna be paid to her. They are ready to go when everybody collapses on her.”
The Eagles scored 13 in the second half, seven of which came from Hibbard who finished with 11 points, but the Birds still managed to outscore them 31-13.
Leading Pettisville was Morgan Leppelmeier with 22 points. Schnitkey was next with 11 and Foor added 8.
It was the Blackbirds second Buckeye Border Conference win of the season after opening with a commanding 52-23 win over North Central.
“It is a different feel, starting off this quickly with league (play),” explained Waldvogel. “Usually we’ve got at least a couple of games in before we get to league. But, especially with a young team, it’s been nice to get a couple wins early.”
Pettisville (3-0) is at Edon on Tuesday for another BBC match-up. Fayette, after hosting Swanton today, hosts North Central Tuesday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010