Perrysburg's Samantha Gremler gets a hand on the ball as Anthony Wayne's guard Abby Allen attempts to shoot.
Todd Sims admitted this much about the Perrysburg girls basketball team: while the Yellow Jackets handled their defensive responsibilities in a 44-36 win over Anthony Wayne, they didn’t have the same ease offensively.
“We’re a little bit scattery on offense sometimes,” the Perrysburg coach said. “What happens is defensively, we’re so up and hectic, that we need to do that defensively, but tone it down offensively.”
But Perrysburg guard Maddy Williams realized this much about her team in its win Friday at home: when the Yellow Jackets struggled to muster much in the way of points, it compensated with one of its intangibles.
“Our hustle kept us in this game,” said Williams, who paced the Yellow Jackets with 11 points.
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That became evident when the Generals (6-3, 4-2 Northern Lakes League) whittled down Perrysburg’s double-digit lead in the final two minutes of regulation. Left open under the basket, Jasmine Bonivel (12 points) effortlessly sank a shot to cut the margin to 40-36 and made the game into the Yellow Jackets’ closest contest since a 60-50 win Dec. 7 at Bowling Green.
“We did a better job of taking care of the basketball, and we talked about the end of the third quarter in the fourth quarter, during timeouts,” Anthony Wayne coach Jeremy Terwilliger said. “It’s got to be one stop at a time. It’s got to be, a stop and a score, and try to cut into that lead to give us an opportunity at the end of the game to have a chance to be successful.”
But Terwilliger didn’t pin the fourth quarter as the game’s turning point. Instead, he isolated it to the first quarter, when Perrysburg (9-0, 7-0 NLL) took a 13-4 lead and held the Generals to 1-of-7 shooting.
The Yellow Jackets wasted no time being opportunistic, generating many of their early scoring chances off turnovers and shutting down the inside lanes, defensively.
“They came out a little more prepared to play, and after that initial eight minutes, I thought we played better,” Terwilliger said. “We had some opportunities but we turned the ball over way too many times for us to be able to be successful. To give away that many opportunities, it’s kind of hard to recover from it.”
Perrysburg took a 22-14 lead at halftime despite the fact that Anthony Wayne held post players Sarah Baer and Allex Brown to two points in the first half.
Williams and Abby Sattler picked up the slack; Williams scored seven points in the first half, while Sattler added five of her nine points in the first half, and Samantha Gremler came off the bench to add four in the second quarter.
Perrysburg maintained a lead of at least eight points en route to a 34-24 lead into the fourth quarter, but after Brown missed a pair of free throws with her team ahead 40-31 with 4:05 left, Sara Zankl (12 points) completed a three-point play and with 1:56 left, Bonivel’s bucket made it a four-point game.
“When we got it down to four, they did a good job of spreading the floor,” Terwilliger said. “They’re so athletic, and it’s hard when you have to start chasing them.”
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