FORT JENNINGS — There wasn't much that separated the Jefferson and Fort Jennings girls basketball teams in their non-league matchup Monday night inside "The Fort" of Fort Jennings High School.



For the first 31 minutes, the biggest margin by either team was six.



It was only in the end that the Lady Wildcats pulled away for a 63-51 victory.



Three Lady Musketeers played their home finales: Abby Von Sossan (team-high 18 points), Haley Wittler (7 boards, 4 points) and Erin Eickholt (2 points).



Both teams were looking to run this night, especially the Wildcats (10-11) with their full-court pressure. They forced eight first-period turnovers and turned it back over four times. However, they could only hit 4-of-17 fielders, while the Lady Musketeers (1-20) countered with 5-of-14. When Marissa Krietemeyer put back a miss at 14 seconds, Fort Jennings led 11-9.







For the first portion of the second period, there was three trades of the lead and a pair of ties. When Sarah Miller (18 points) scored halfway through, the Wildcats took the lead at 22-20 and held it for the rest of the half and most of the third period. When Miller hit a 

foul-line jumper at 1:12, the red-and-white led 30-24 but a 3-pointer on the right wing by Sossan (18 points) at 30 seconds made it a 30-27 halftime scoreboard, Jefferson.



The Wildcats finished 8-of-13 in the second period and followed it with a 6-of-14 third period as they kept the lead between 1 and five. A Von Sossan score at 2:42 gave the Musketeers the lead at 43-42 and there was two more lead changes the remainder of the period, with the Musketeers taking a 45-44 edge on a buzzer-beating deuce by Makenna 

Ricker.



A layup at 7:27 of the fourth period by Macy Wallace gave the visitors the lead for good and the Wildcats ended with a 7-of-11 shooting span. The Musketeers' offense went south as they hit 2-of-10 shots. Still, they only trailed 54-51 on a short bank shot by Wittler at 2:47 but they missed their final five shots as the Wildcats ended up with a 

double-digit triumph.



"We forced some early turnovers that got the tempo we like; we're more comfortable in that pace. Unfortunately, we didn't capitalize on those turnovers as I'd like," Jefferson head coach Dave Hoffman explained. "For the most part, we got good shots, though we had our moments when we didn't get the shots out of our offense; we had a few possessions with one pass and a shot and that's not our best. We hit crucial shots when we needed to, especially late, and we rebounded a lot better the second half. We didn't hit our free throws, which has been a strength, but overall, we played well."



Both teams end their regular seasons later in the week: Jefferson hosting Spencerville Thursday and Fort Jennings at Miller City Friday.



***



JEFFERSON (63)



Kiya Wollenhaupt 0-0 0-0 0, Devyn Carder 5-12 3-5 13, Macy Wallace 4-8 

0-0 9, Addy Stewart 2-3 1-2 5, Kelsey Berelsman 4-9 0-0 10, Alli 

McClurg 2-7 0-2 5, Sarah Miller 7-14 1-2 18, Michelle Rode 1-2 0-0 3.

Totals 25-55 5-11 63.



FORT JENNINGS (51)



Haley Wittler 2-7 0-0 7, Erin Eickholt 1-4 0-0 2, Vanessa Wallenhorst 

2-13 0-0 6, Lillian Wisner 4-5 0-0 8, Makenna Ricker 3-5 0-2 7, 

Madison Neidert 0-0 0-0 0, Kristen Luersman 0-1 4-4 4, Abby Von Sossan 

7-17 2-2 18, Marissa Krietemeyer 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 20-54 6-8 51.



Score by Quarters:



Jefferson 9 21 14 19 - 63



Ft. Jennings 11 16 18 6 - 51



Field Goal Percentage: Jefferson 45.5, Fort Jennings 37.0. Free Throw 

Percentage: Jefferson 45.5, Fort Jennings 75. Three-point Field Goals/

Percentage: Jefferson 8-21/38.0% (Miller 3, Berelsman 2, Wallace, 

McClurg, Rode), Fort Jennings 5-22/22.7% (Von Sossan 2, Wallenhorst 2, 

Ricker). Rebounds: Jefferson 33/11 offensive (Miller 7), Fort Jennings

34/11 off. (Krietemeyer/Wittler 7). Assists: Jefferson 12 (Carder 6), 

Fort Jennings 10 (Wallenhorst 3). Steals: Jefferson 15 (Wallace 5), 

Fort Jennings 4 (Von Sossan/Eickholt/Wittler/Luersman 1). Blocks: 

Jefferson 1 (Miller 1), Fort Jennings 1 (Wittler 1). Fouls: Jefferson 

9, Fort Jennings 11. Turnovers: Jefferson 11, Fort Jennings 17.