ARCHBOLD — No. 2 ranked Archbold faced more adversity on Thursday night than it had been accustomed to for much of the season.
League rival Wauseon wasn't intimidated by facing one of the top-ranked teams in the state on its home court.
If anything, it seem to inspire the Indians as they pestered Archbold for four quarters in a key Northwest Ohio Athletic League clash.
However, the talented Blue Streaks eventually pulled away from the Indians to claim a 62-48 victory.
Sophomore Cassidy Williams came off the bench to score a game-high 19 points, including 11 in the first half, to lead the Blue Streaks (15-1, 7-0 NWOAL).
Sophomore Hannah Hesterman pumped in 17 points while All-Ohio junior Cassidy Wyse chipped in 14 points and recorded a game-high seven steals in a contest where the Blue Streaks owned the lead for most of night.
“Wauseon is our big rival, and we knew they were going to make runs at us,” Archbold coach Brian Ziegler said. “We were fortunate enough to get the lead and we were fortunate enough to get the ball where we needed it to end their runs most of the time.”
The Blue Streaks entered the matchup having won games by an average of 22 points. The Indians (10-6, 5-1 NWOAL) remained relatively close until the Blue Streaks went on a 12-2 run during the fourth quarter and went up by as many as 17 points.
Alyssa Reed paced Wauseon by pouring in a team-high 17 points while Sariah Yackee provided 10 points. A basket by Reed with 6:46 remaining in the game cut Archbold's lead to 50-43, which was the closest Wauseon had come since early in the third quarter.
However, the Blue Streaks responded with their late-game run to hold off the Indians.
“I thought we battled them,” Wauseon coach Brad Myers said. “We made runs but when you get down against a good team like that it's hard.
“When you make those kind of runs you end up expending a lot of energy to get back. Give them a lot of credit, they made plays.”
Archbold's defensive effort — led by Wyse — resulted in Wauseon committing 22 turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter.
However, Wauseon's defensive play forced Archbold into an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers to keep the Blue Streaks from making it another quick win over an overmatched opponent.
“I thought defensively, for the most part, we did all right,” Myers said. “They hit some shots. I thought our girls battled. They're a very good team, and they did a great job on the boards.”
The Blue Streaks and Indians played the first half at a frenetic pace as both teams tried to push the ball up court whenever the opportunity presented itself.
However, Archbold came out of the first half with a 35-26 halftime lead thanks in part to 11 turnovers from Wauseon.
Williams came off the bench in the first half and provided an immediate offensive lift while Hesterman added 10 to lead the Blue Streaks early on. Wyse picked up two fouls in the first quarter and had to sit on the bench during the final minute of the first half and for nearly three minutes to start the second quarter.
Yet, Archbold still maintained hold of the lead over Wauseon by the time Wyse returned to the court in the third quarter.
“It's always hard getting in foul trouble early, but my team picked it up and pushed through,” Wyse said. “I came back in the third quarter and just tried to push it.”
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.