VAN WERT — The game between the Van Wert Lady Cougars and Defiance
Lady Bulldogs at the Cougar Den inside Van Wert High School Thursday
evening was a dead heat - through one quarter.
Van Wert, however, the Lady Bulldogs took off on a run to open the
second and never looked back, en route to a 53-37 win.
fought to an 11-11 tie after a quarter but, after an offensive explosion
for Defiance in the second, the game went to halftime with the Lady
Bulldogs leading 29-18.
“I think our energy was great (early). I
think we came out in the second quarter and thought ‘hey, we can play
with these guys.’ Then they increased the intensity a little bit, and I
don’t think we were quite ready for that,” said Van Wert coach Rob
Van Wert got four points each from freshman forward Jamison
Clouse and sophomore post Abby Jackson in the first. Meanwhile, eight
first-quarter points from Defiance’s senior guard Morgan Porter kept the
Defiance finally broke serve in the second thanks to 10 points from junior guard Morgan Wityk.
game had a decent flow,” said Adams. “They just went on a couple
different runs. We’ve been used to this thing all season and, with a
young team, you ride the roller coaster. We hit a few here and there,
then Defiance gets eight or 10.”
Defiance didn’t give up any ground in the second half, and easily held on for the win.
Lady Bulldogs shot 42 percent from the field (22-of-52) to Van Wert’s
32 (13-of-41) and the Lady Bulldogs were led by Wityk’s game-high 12
points. Junior forward Emily Poling added 11 points to a balanced
Defiance attack which saw six players score 5 points or more.
Abby Jackson was the only Lady Cougar in double figures, with 10
points. She added a team-high 8 rebounds as well. Junior guard Cassidy
Meyers and sophomore guard Sierra Shaffer each added 7 points for Van
Van Wert’s lone senior senior, guard Ally Jackson, had just 3
points in her final home game as a Lady Cougar. Adams explained that it
was an emotional night for the team in sending off Jackson, who broke
the school record for 3-pointers in a game and in a season earlier this
“We really wanted to play well for Ally,” said Adams. “I
think it was an emotional night for everybody. Being our one senior,
she’s been through a lot in this program - a lot of ups and downs. I’m
proud of her and I’m proud of where she is going.”
The good news
for the Lady Cougars is that they will get an immediate chance at
revenge, as the two teams square off again in the tournament opener next
Wednesday at Spencerville High School.
“This game is over. We’re
going to start preparing for Defiance again. We’ve got a lot of film to
watch; a lot of things to watch from this game’s film,” said Adams. “I
told the girls we’ve got to be ready for next Wednesday. I think they
know now. They know that they can do it if they put their minds to it.”
win improves Defiance to 14-8 on the season, and 4-5 in the Western
Buckeye League. The loss drops Van Wert to 6-16 and 2-7 on the season.
Poling 4-7 2-3 11, Zariah Scott 1-6 0-2 2, Laney Baldwin 2-6 0-0 5,
Morgan Porter 4-8 0-0 8, Natalie Wichman 3-4 1-2 7, Caroline Turner 3-7
0-0 6, Morgan Wityk 4-9 3-3 12, Kennedy Replogle 1-5 0-0 2.
VAN WERT (37)
Priest 2-9 0-2 4, Abby Jackson 3-5 4-6 10, Cassidy Meyers 2-10 3-6 7,
Alexis Rupert 0-2 0-0 0, Ally Jackson 1-7 0-0 3, Olivia Kline 0-0 0-0 0,
Sierra Shaffer 3-5 0-0 7, Jamison Clouse 2-3 2-3 6.
Defiance 11 18 10 14 - 53
Van Wert 11 7 8 11 - 37
Field Goals: Defiance 3 (Poling, Baldwin, Wityk), Van Wert 1 (Ally
Jackson); Rebounds: Defiance 25 (Replogle 7), Van Wert 31 (Abby Jackson
8, Meyers 7); Turnovers: Defiance 9, Van Wert 15.