HICKSVILLE 2/22/14—High octane offense was the key for the Wauseon Lady Indians in their sectional final win over the Bryan Golden Bears. The Tribe set the tone from the get go, and never looked back, beating the Bears 54-40 to advance to the district semi-finals.
Wauseon’s Haley Archibeque struck first for the Indians, driving to the hoop after only thirty seconds had come off the clock, giving Wauseon the early 2-0 lead. The Golden Bear’s answered quickly, as Hannah Schimmoeller, the Bear’s 1,000 point scorer, nailed a shot, tying things up at two a piece with 7:00 left in the opening quarter of action. Despite Schimmoeller’s lift, the Indian’s came right back, as this would be the last time in the contest that the Tribe would not hold a lead, as Sally Frank scored for Wauseon only 15 seconds later. Frank was a key part of the Tribe’s win, as she was constantly hustling, rebounding, and fighting for 50/50 balls all night for Wauseon, giving the Indian’s numerous extra possessions.
The Indian’s began what would be a 15-6 run over the next four minutes, putting Wauseon ahead 17-8 with 2:23 remaining in the first, causing the Bears head coach to call a timeout and regroup. The Bear’s momentum breaking attempt didn’t slow down the Indians too much, as Wauseon went up 21-15 as the neared it’s end. That was until Indian senior Hannah Blaylock stole a pass from the Bear’s in the closing seconds, and ran down the court, launching a 30 foot shot at the buzzer which found pay dirt, giving the Indian’s another offensive spark, and putting them ahead by a score of 24-15 at the end of the first quarter.
It was much of the same in the second stanza, as the Lady Indian’s offense kept up their fast pace, led by junior Natalie Koenig. Koenig’s quick feet and smooth ball handling skills allowed her to find open lanes all throughout the first two quarters, scoring 13 points in the opening half of the contest. A 9-3 run was in store for the Indians through the first six minutes of the quarter, expanding their lead to a 33-18 margin. Sariah Yackee’s first points of the contest came in second quarter, scoring four points in a span of less than two minutes, and helping Wauseon to take a 37-24 lead in to the locker room at the break.
Any hopes that the Golden Bears had of making a comeback in the second half were quickly quieted, as less than 25 seconds in to the third quarter, Koenig launched and drilled a three pointer, and the Indian’s momentum continued to roll. Before long, the Indian’s had earned a 20 point lead, as at the 5:53 mark of the third, Yackee hit a jumper, putting the Tribe up by a score of 46-26. Wauseon’s biggest lead of the night came after Blaylock hit a layup with 1:30 remaining in the quarter, putting the Tribe up by 22, leading 52-30. As the third period came to a close, it was Wauseon who was firmly in control of the contest with a 52-32.
The final quarter of play saw the Indians taking the air out of the ball, while at the same time deflating any Golden Bear comeback hopes. The Tribe slowed the contest down, passing the ball numerous times per possession and only shooting the ball when they had a wide open look. The Bryan offense could do little to try and get themselves back in to the game, and as the clock wound down to zeros, the scoreboard read 54-40 in favor of Wauseon, and the Indian’s would be cutting down the nets as sections champions.
Koenig’s 19 points led the way for the Tribe. Maddie Richer and Blaylock both were able to put up eight points, Haley Archibeque contributed seven, and Sariah Yackee and Sally Frank rounded out the scoring for Wauseon with six points a piece.
With the win, the Indians move on to the district semi finals on Thursday, February 27th in Paulding as they play the Wildcats of Lima Bath High School.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Wauseon: 24, 13, 15, 2 for 54
Bryan: 15, 9, 8, 8 for 40