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The Perrysburg girls basketball team took advantage of a lengthy, much-needed breather.
Then, after halftime, the Yellow Jackets returned to the court with a purpose — and maybe even with a certain vengeance.
Facing the prospect of losing its first game of the season, Perrysburg used a blistering second-half start to defeat Southview 53-39. The Yellow Jackets opened the third quarter with a 12-0 run to break a 24-all tie at halftime, and regrouped after trailing for much of the first half.
“We knew it was going to be a physical game,” said Perrysburg center Allex Brown, who led the Yellow Jackets with 11 points. “We had to get our rebounds, and after the first half, we knew we were kind of slow but we came back harder.”
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The key for Perrysburg in the second half? Countering Southview with the same style of play the Cougars used in the first half.
“We knew we had the confidence to come back,” Brown said. “Even though it was tied, we still knew we could come out physical and just shut them down.”
Perrysburg (12-0, 9-0 Northern Lakes League) rebounded after a first half in which the Cougars (9-4, 7-2) controlled the pace of the game with athleticism and aggressiveness.
But those two components didn’t carry over to the second half for the Cougars. Southview scored only three points in the third on Morgan Ersig’s layup and Emily Westphal’s free throw and trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half.
“Our guards, we had a hard time handling the ball, and we turned the ball over a number of times,” Southview coach Timothy Nottke said. “We didn’t have people in the right places, and we were very passive. We didn’t attack the press like we should have.”
The two teams went a combined 7 for 23 from the floor in the second quarter, and Southview contained Perrysburg’s inside presence while its offense continued to pressure the Yellow Jackets.
“I don’t even know how many points we left up on the board in the first half, and we’re talking one-footers,” said Perrysburg coach Todd Sims, whose team was 8 for 27 shooting in the first half. “Under the basket, we’ve got to become a lot better finishing. You have to reward yourself after putting out all that energy.”
Sarah Baer finished with eight points but went 0 for 5 from the floor in the second quarter, yet Brown stepped in as a reinforcement in the paint by scoring six points in the second.
Still, Perrysburg trailed 13-11 after the first quarter and didn’t take its first lead of the game until nearly four minutes into the second quarter, when Abby Sattler’s free throws gave her team a 16-15 lead. Perrysburg then took a 24-22 advantage with 1:21 left in the half on Katie Dunphy’s bucket, before Natalie Harlan’s shot tied the game just before the half.
“That’s the one thing we had to do, and we had to maintain that for the entire 32 minutes,” Nottke said. “We did it for a half, but for whatever reason, we came out in the third quarter and we were just kind of flat. Perrysburg hit a couple baskets, and we couldn’t respond. Once we got down like that, we couldn’t get back into it, no matter what we tried.”
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: email@example.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.