Archbold's Chelsea Goebel (12) goes to the net against Delta's Bri Raab. Goebel scored 10 points for the 19-0 Blue Streaks.
DELTA -- The best regular season in Archbold team history only got better on Thursday night at Delta.
The No. 2-ranked Blue Streaks kept a perfect record intact by fighting off a pesky Panthers team en route to a 53-49 triumph in a Northwest Ohio Athletic League showdown at Delta.
The victory clinched an outright NWOAL championship for Archbold, which improved to 19-0 overall and finished 8-0 in league.
"It's a great win for us," said Archbold senior guard Chelsea Goebel, who pumped in 10 points for a Blue Streaks bunch looking for an outright league title after sharing the crown a year ago with Evergreen. "It's an honor to share it, but it feels even better to win it outright."
Taylor Coressel, a 5-4 junior guard, led a balanced Archbold attack by pouring in a team-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Cassidy Wyse added 10 points, while Mindy Rupp chipped in with eight.
A 14-2 run by the Blue Streaks that stretched over a six-minute span of play between the end of the third quarter and the opening minutes of the fourth quarter resulted in Archbold taking a comfortable 49-35 lead after Coressel swished a 3-pointer with 5:38 left in the game.
The Panthers, who were led by Alexa Salsbury's game-high 17 points, couldn't quite overcome the double-digit deficit against a Blue Streaks team that played with a purpose.
"We shared it [the NWOAL title] last year, and we didn't want to share it this year," Archbold coach Brian Ziegler said. "That was the big thing."
But the final league game of the season didn't come without a worthy fight from the Panthers, who had an opportunity to end up sharing the title with the Blue Streaks with a victory.
However, the Blue Streaks defense forced the Panthers (14-4, 6-2 NWOAL) into committing 18 turnovers, which led to several easy baskets for Archbold.
"That's why they're ranked No. 2," Delta coach Ryan Ripke said. "They've beaten the best teams in the area with that pressure. We came out and wanted to attack offensively against their attacking defense."
Archbold's Darian Oberlin, back, battles Delta's Bri Raab for the ball Thursday night at Delta High School. The Panthers had a shot at tying the Blue Streaks for a league title but fell short.
Kirsten Fruchey scored 13 points, and Brigan Wymer added 10 in a game the Panthers ended up losing by only four points, which is the closest anyone has come to defeating the Blue Streaks during their undefeated season.
"I thought we really did an outstanding job of attacking, and that's what kept us in the game," Ripke said.
The two NWOAL rivals slugged it out during the opening quarter in which there were five lead changes before Archbold took a 12-11 edge into the second quarter. The game remained tight during the second quarter before the Blue Streaks finished out the period with a 6-0 spurt and took a 29-23 advantage into halftime. The score was tied at 23 when Archbold scored the final six points of the half.
The Blue Streaks maintained hold of the lead in the third quarter but never led by more than six points before ending the period with a 41-35 lead.
Archbold opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and never looked back before Delta made a late push during the final minute to make the Blue Streaks sweat out the final ticks of the game clock.
"We were 18-0 for a reason coming in," Ziegler said. "We didn't play our best, but give Delta credit.
"We had a nice run in the fourth quarter, but Delta did a nice job coming back."
The Blue Streaks, who have never finished a regular season 20-0, will face Ottawa-Glandorf on Tuesday in their final regular season contest.
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