Central routs Northview

Central s Brianna Jones shoots over Northview s Kate Schmidt (4) and Olivia Fouty.
Central s Brianna Jones shoots over Northview s Kate Schmidt (4) and Olivia Fouty.

Central Catholic never allowed Northview to get comfortable by applying an oppressive, smothering defense in a Division I girls district basketball semifinal last night.

A total of 31 turnovers led to the downfall of the Wildcats and the Irish committed just eight miscues. Central throttled Northview 68-36 before about 500 spectators at Clay High School to advance to the district final for the second straight season.

The thing I was most happy about was that we only had [eight] turnovers tonight and we forced maybe 30, Central coach Steve Pfahler said. That was a big indicator. They were kind of looking over their shoulders a little bit and never got into an offensive rhythm.

The Irish (20-3) play Waite at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Perrysburg in the district final. Northview, which lost by just two points to Central (55-53) earlier in the season, bows out at 17-6.

Northview led just twice in the game and both came within the first two minutes. The Wildcats took a 3-2 advantage with 6:16 left in the first quarter and would never lead again.

Central answered with a 14-2 run to go up 16-5 with just over a minute remaining. The Wildcats killed themselves with seven turnovers leading to transition baskets.

We did a good job contesting shots and they didn t know where the traps were coming from, Pfahler said When you have good athletes that are executing well, it makes it real tough.

Sharise Calhoun, Katelyn Nowacki and Brianna Jones scored six points apiece to help Central grab an 18-7 lead after one quarter. Calhoun finished with 17 points, including 11 in the third quarter when the Irish outscored Northview 21-11.

Nowacki scored eight points in each half to finish with 16 and seven rebounds.

We were supposed to come out strong and keep pushing the ball, Nowacki said. We wanted to go all out and try to make it to where the lead was big after the first quarter and take it from there.

Northview continued its giving ways in the second quarter, turning the ball over 10 times. The Wildcats committed five miscues in the first two minutes and the Irish took a 22-7 lead.

Central opened it with a 10-2 spurt to go up 28-12 with 2:50 remaining. Jones finished the half and the game with 10 points. Nowacki had six points and six rebounds to give the Irish a 34-14 lead after two quarters.

We got beat by a better team tonight, Northview coach Jerry Sigler said. They were just more disciplined than us. We had 17 turnovers in first half. We couldn t get out of their traps.

When Northview pulled within 16 points early in the third, Calhoun took advantage of more turnovers to score 11 of her team s next 14 points. The Irish grabbed a 47-20 lead with3:59 left when Calhoun hit a fade-away jumper for her seventh straight point that capped a 13-2 run.

We thought we could pressure them and get the game in an up tempo, Pfahler said.

Nowacki gave her team a 30-point lead in the third quarter.

I think we were more prepared because last time we had a 12-day layoff, the senior said. We just didn t play well and we only won by two.

We knew we could play better and we came out ready to go.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com or 419-724-6354.