LAKESIDE Danbury s Megan Twarek broke loose for 14 third-quarter points, including seven in the first three minutes of the period, to push the Lakers to a key Toledo Area Athletic Conference girls basketball win over Ottawa Hills.
Twarek finished with a game-high 23 points. Kim Zura added 15 as Danbury took sole possession of the TAAC lead with a 48-38 victory.
With the win Danbury moved to 11-2 overall and 6-0 in league play in the hunt for the school s first league title after six straight crowns from 1995-2000. Kelsey Netter scored 16 points to lead Ottawa Hills (7-3, 4-1).
We spent a lot of our effort [trying] to stop Twarek, Ottawa Hills coach Sean Mercer said. We knew what she could do, and we just flat out did not take care of business. Our kids inside did not do what we asked them to do [with her].
We let her loose to do whatever she wanted to do, and she made us pay for that.
With the Lakers holding a narrow 20-16 lead at halftime, Twarek responded to an OH basket with a traditional three-point play on a low-post layup and free throw. After another Green Bears bucket, Twarek scored baskets off a loose ball and a steal to expand the Lakers lead to 27-22 with 5:22 left.
I just think we were more ready to play in the second half, Twarek said of her third-quarter effort. I got some good looks [from my teammates] when I was going back-side to the basket.
Late in the period Ottawa Hills cut Danbury s lead to three, only to see Zura drain a trey and Twarek convert a steal into another layup to make the score 37-29 entering the fourth.
Ottawa Hills never came closer than five points after that.
While both teams had identical 16-for-45 field-goal shooting, the primary difference between the two was turnovers. Danbury s full-court press forced 28 Ottawa Hills turnovers, including 24 in the final three quarters.
We were prepared [for the press], so there was no excuse, Mercer said of the Green Bears. We talked about it at halftime, and we came out in the second half and did exactly what we did in the first half.
While the loss is Ottawa Hills first in league play, the Green Bears still have a chance for revenge when the teams meet again at Ottawa Hills Feb. 16.
We still control our own destiny we just have to win out, Mercer said. We have to play better. We have to clean up the mistakes we made, especially on the offensive end and breaking the press.
Meanwhile Lakers coach Ryan Beam said his team doesn t think one win guarantees a TAAC title.
I think we re at the same place we were before the game, Beam said. We re not looking any further than that.
Contact John Wagner at: email@example.com or 419-724-6481.