SPENCERVILLE — The Van Wert Lady Cougars looked to kick off postseason play on Tuesday night at Spencerville High School against the Elida Lady Bulldogs as part of the Division II sectional tournament. The Lady Bulldogs used a big second quarter to pick up the 61-44 victory over Van Wert.
The start of the matchup was back and forth as Van Wert and Elida were tied at 10-10 in the first quarter. The Lady Bulldogs went a 10-0 run to end the first quarter and start the second period. The Elida run started with five straight points from Amiah Jones, including a 3-pointer, making it 15-10, Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Bulldogs ended the first period with a put-back bucket from Shyah Wheeler and opened the second quarter with a made foul shot from Hayleigh Bacome to put Elida up 20-10. After the Lady Cougars got a jumper from Abby Jackson cut the score to 24-15, Elida used a timeout with 3:12 left in the first half.
Elida closed out the first half with a 9-0 run getting a triple from Amire Freeman and four points from Jones to put the Lady Bulldogs up 33-15 at half.
Back-to-back buckets from Caylee Phillips and Reagan Priest for Van Wert cut Elida’s lead down to 41-24. A couple of possessions later, Priest hit a corner 3-pointer for Van Wert to bring the deficit down to 44-28.
With the score 48-28 Elida, the Lady Cougars got a layup from Sierra Shaffer followed later by five straight points from Priest to bring the score to 52-35, Elida, in the fourth quarter.
Later on in the period, Priest hit another trey which Elida quickly countered with a 3-point play from Wheeler to bring the score to 59-42, Lady Bulldogs. With the Lady Bulldogs slowing the pace of the ball game both teams scored another two points before the final buzzer rang and Elida picked up the 61-44 victory.
“We showed some flashes in the second half but consistency and turnovers really doom us,” said Van Wert head coach Rob Adams. “We weren’t the team that we know that we could have been. We didn’t move the ball as well tonight; we had a little too much one-on-one going tonight. That is something we will work on in the offseason.”
The game was the last in the Cougar careers of seniors Cassidy Meyers and Alexis Rupert.
“Cassidy and Rup meant a lot to our program. Both of them mean the world to us and we are going to miss them a lot,” Adams said. “Our effort was a little too late; if we could have maintained a 10 or 11 point deficit at half that would have been much better than the 18 points.”