From staff reports
PERKINS TWP. — For every team going through the rebuilding process, there’s usually a marquee win that signals the program has turned a corner and is on the path to success. That might’ve been the case for Port Clinton in its 53-52 victory over Perkins.
The Redskins (4-11, 2-6 Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division) rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Pirates in dramatic fashion. With about six minutes to play, the Port Clinton girls trailed, 47-40, but finished the game on a 13-5 run, which culminated with Da’Cariya Lanier, who had a game-high 28 points, stealing the ball and scoring on a layup with eight seconds to play for the final points.
Following Lanier’s layup, Perkins pushed the ball up the floor and took a timeout in the front court. After the Pirates took two timeouts, the ball was thrown to Cameron Kaufman, who was fouled by Lanier. But Kaufman missed both free throws, and Claudia Gillum grabbed the rebound before getting tied up. The possession arrow favored the ‘Skins, and they were able to run out the final 1.5 seconds.
“We were down seven points after a couple minutes into the fourth quarter at 47-40, and we just kind of whittled away at the lead. We got the deficit to four with about two minutes to play, and we kept getting stops, but kept turning the ball over as well,” said Port Clinton coach Lucas Kennedy. “There was a timeout and we talked about the importance of valuing the basketball and not giving up extra possessions.”
Late in the third quarter, the game was tied, 40-40, but Perkins went on a 5-0 run to finish out the quarter and took a 45-40 lead into the fourth before scoring on a basket to take a seven-point lead. The game was tied at 15-15 after one quarter and the ‘Skins held a 29-28 lead at the half.
Port Clinton has won three out of four and could be peaking as it enters the stretch run. A commitment to defense has been the reason for the group’s success.
“Anytime that we start to make a run, or we’re coming back, it’s because we’re playing great defense. Our defense gets us going, we pick up the intensity, and we start to shut other teams down. We’re getting great looks at the other end, we’re able to get out in transition, we get a steal, and that gets us going offensively. The girls have gotten a good understanding of that,” said Kennedy. “A lot of our games we’re fighting from behind. In our early win against Huron, we had a terrible first quarter, but we fought back and our defense got the win. I think our girls have a good understanding of the importance of playing good defense.”
Three players finished in double figures for Port Clinton. Lanier had 28 points, including 12 in the second half, Olivia Jackson finished with 12 and Taylor Bollinger scored 10.
Lanier, who is just a freshman, is establishing herself as one of the best players in the conference.
“You could see the talent and potential was there, she’s unbelievably skilled. Physically, she’s elite, she’s learned a lot quickly, she has a high capacity to learn and develop as a player,” said Kennedy. “She’s just gotten better and better at understanding the game defensively; not forcing things, letting the game come to her. She’s really learned how to get others involved, she’s done a really good job of that.”
Kendall Zeiher led the Pirates with 15 points, Kelley Baker had 13 and Kaufman finished with 11.
Margaretta 88, Port Clinton 35
MARGARETTA TWP. — Port Clinton found out just how good Margaretta was in its 88-35 loss to the Lady Bears.
Margaretta jumped out to a 26-6 lead after one quarter and led 46-18 at halftime.
Elliana Schaefer scored 42 points to lead the Bears and Kylie Leibacher finished with 16.
Da’Cariya Lanier had a team-high 18 points to lead the Redskins.
Rockets rout Western Reserve, 56-34
OAK HARBOR — Oak Harbor jumped out to an early lead and dominated in its win over Western Reserve, defeating the Roughriders, 56-34.
The Rockets (6-12) led 16-5 after the first quarter and took a 29-14 lead into the half.
Oak Harbor had four players finish in double figures. Riley Steinbrick led all scorers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, Ryann Steinbrick finished with 14 points, Auna Tack had 12 points and Kaitlin Paul chipped in with 10.
“That’s big, that’s what I kind of expected going into the season,” Oak Harbor coach Adam Steinbrick said of his four players scoring in double figures. “When you get four scoring like that, and the other ones contributing and doing their roles with Katie May playing defense, and the other ones coming in off the bench, that’s important. When you have balance like that, it sure does help.
“We’re still looking to put all four quarters together. We haven’t played our best basketball, by far. With these games coming up, it’s going to be tough. Hopefully, we can see what happens with Lexington in the tournament and go from there.”
Ellie Blankenship scored nine points to lead Western Reserve.
Oak Harbor holds off Monroeville for win
MONROEVILLE — Oak Harbor held off a second-half rally by Monroeville and defeated the Eagles, 46-37.
The Rockets led 17-9 after one quarter and 30-17 at halftime. Monroeville cut the deficit to 35-30 after three quarters, but Oak Harbor outscored the Eagles, 11-7, in the fourth.
Oak Harbor’s Ryann Steinbrick scored 13 points and Auna Tack had 12 points.
Payton Scheid had nine points to lead Monroeville.
Huron rallies late, edges Oak Harbor, 60-54
OAK HARBOR — Oak Harbor led for much of the game, but Huron made a late rally and defeated the Rockets, 60-54.
The Tigers trailed 37-26 at halftime but outscored Oak Harbor 34-17 in the second half.
Huron’s Jessica Holsapple led all scorers with 21 points and Rae Roldan finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Holsapple scored 15 of the Tigers’ 20 fourth-quarter points.
Ryann Steinbrick led the Rockets with 21 points and Auna Tack had 20.
Lakers fall to Huron, 40-36
HURON — Trailing by four points heading into the fourth quarter, Danbury had an opportunity to win its game with Huron, but the Lakers (4-11) scored just six points in the final eight minutes and lost, 40-36.
The Tigers led 13-9 after one quarter, 23-17 at halftime and 34-30 after three quarters.
“Our girls played hard. We knew we were in for a tough game,” said Danbury coach Dick Heller. “Huron runs an aggressive transition offense, they attack the basketball and they can shoot the 3. Our players did a good job for the most part, but we have to score more. We’re getting there.”
Huron’s Ava Winnestater led all scorers with 13 points and Regan Roldan finished with 11 points.
Gabrielle Maringer finished with eight points and Kamil Stephens and Maria Maringers scored seven points apiece.
New Riegel defeats Danbury, 43-33
DANBURY TWP. — New Riegel slowly pulled away in the second half and defeated Danbury, 43-33.
A competitive first half saw the two teams battle to an 18-18 tie at halftime.
The Blue Jackets outscored the Lakers, 12-10, in the third quarter to take a 30-28 lead into the fourth. New Riegel held Danbury to just five points in the fourth quarter.
The Blue Jackets’ Sydney Hohman led all scorers with 15 points and Aubrey Bouillon finished with 10 points.
Gabrielle Maringer had 10 points to lead the Lakers.