On December 30th the Manchester Lady Squire basketball team lost in the championship game of the county tourney to Wabash in embarrassing fashion. The Squire offense had the hiccups and the Apaches held Manchester to just 21 points in a 44-21 thumping.
Since that day the Manchester offense has been finding their swagger again, winning four in a row, awaiting their rematch. The rematch came Saturday night at Manchester and the Lady Squires come out inspired right from the opening tip, defeating Wabash 57-46.
The game started with Apache Kelsey Cromer draining a three pointer and then the Squires took over, or should I say Hannah Little took over. Little would convert a three point play to tie the score, followed by a three from Hannah Schmidt to give the Squires a 6-3 lead. Little would score 6 of the next 8 Squires points for 9 in the quarter, while holding Wabash to 4 points the remainder of the quarter and Manchester led 14-7 after one.
Schmidt would start the second quarter with back to back buckets to increase the Squire lead to 18-7 before Cromer hit two free throws. Kayla Flack would get in on the action with a free throw and a three point play to make the Squire lead 22-11. Katelyn Vogel and Kyleigh Hampton would close the gap with buckets, making it 22-15 before Schmidt hit again. Claire Cromer ended the second quarter scoring with two consecutive buckets and Manchester led 24-19 at the half.
The last couple Wabash games the Lady Apaches had struggled in the first half and then stormed back in the second half to win. Saturday would not be one of those nights. Little and Flack started the third with buckets to increase the lead back to 28-19 before a Kelsey Cromer three, making it 28-22. At 28-22 it looked as though the Apaches could follow suit from previous games, coming back in the second half, but the Squires refused to let that happen, beating them to the spots, applying pressure and rebounding. Behind 8 points from Little in the quarter the Squires built a 10 point lead and led 42-32 with a quarter to go.
Kayla Flack got things started in the fourth with two straight buckets and the Squires were up 46-32. After a Hannah Schmidt bucket made it 47-35 the Apaches would go on a 5-0 run with buckets from Kelsey Cromer, Kyleigh Hampton and a free throw from Marin Hill to put the Apaches within striking distance at 47-40 with 3:11 to go. The Squires refused to lose, getting buckets from Flack and Little to make it 51-40. Kelsey Cromer, trying to will her team back, scored five quick points and with 57.2 left it was 52-45. With under a minute left the Apaches were forced to foul and the Squires capitalized, hitting five free throws down the stretch to secure the 57-46 win.
Leading Manchester was Hannah Little with 20 points, 1 assist, 1 block and 9 rebounds. Kayla Flack had 16 points, 2 assist and 13 rebounds. Hannah Schmidt had 14 points, 2 assist, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Meika Kennedy had 5 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds and 1 steal. Bekah Brunn had 2 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound. Malyssa Bedke had 2 assist and 3 rebounds. Lindsey Budnik had 1 rebound.
For Wabash, Kelsey Cromer had 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assist, 1 steal and 1 block. Kyleigh Hampton had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Claire Cromer had 7 points, 1 rebound, 3 assist, 3 steals and 1 block. Kalie Obenour had 2 points and 1 rebound. Katelyn Vogel had 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal. Marin Hill had 1 point, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Abby Stein had 1 rebound.