A tale of two halves had plenty to do with the outcome of Saturday's girls basketball game between Southview and Findlay.
The Cougars outplayed the Trojans in the first half, but the tide turned after halftime, and Findlay escaped with a 49-42 victory on the Cougars' home court.
The Trojans outscored the Cougars 30-19 in the second half.
Jacey Hardesty scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth quarter for Findlay, which trailed Southview (11-5) by as many as eight points in the third quarter. Christina McQueen scored a game-high 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Trojans (11-3).
"We got our heads focused and did what we had to do," said McQueen, a 6-foot-3 senior post player.
Findlay made 11 of 14 foul shots, including a nine-for-10 effort during the fourth quarter. Southview made seven of 10 foul shots for the game, but was only three-for-six from the foul line during the final quarter.
The score was tied at 37 when the Trojans went on a 10-4 run and led 47-41 after Hardesty was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws with 51 seconds left in the game. The Cougars, who had made only one 3-pointer in the game up to that point, came up empty on a couple shots from behind the 3-point arc late.
"We came out and played extremely well in the very beginning," Southview coach Tim Nottke said. "I thought we did a lot of things great. We had effort. We had energy, and our intensity was great, and our enthusiasm was great.
"Then we came out in the third quarter, and it seemed like Findlay kind of stepped up and started playing a little bit more, so give them a lot of credit. We couldn't execute a lot of things that worked well in the first half."
Findlay was guilty of 18 turnovers compared to only 12 for Southview.
However, the Trojans, led by McQueen, did a better job on the boards, which led to Findlay scoring a half-dozen baskets on putbacks.
"Our post players did a good job of rebounding," Findlay coach Connie Lyon said. "Down the stretch, in the fourth quarter, I think rebounding was the key for us."
Taryn Stanley scored a team-high 11 points to lead Southview. Emily Westphal added eight points. Maria Pappas added six.
Despite the loss, Nottke, who is in his first season as Southview's coach, said taking on Findlay in a nonleague game between a team from the Northern Lakes League and the Three Rivers Athletic Conference is beneficial for the Cougars.
"We want to play the upper echelon teams because it's going to make us better in the long run," Nottke said. "It's a great matchup against a team like Findlay because if you want to be a successful program, you've got to start knocking off the people at the top.
"We just have to learn how to play and learn how to win."
It looked good for the Cougars early.
After closing out a turnover-plaqued first quarter with a 6-4 lead, the Cougars finished the first half with a 23-19 lead.
But Findlay's activity near the basket on offense and defense in the second half allowed the Trojans to overcome the turnovers, and the Cougars.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.