It was semi-final night at the Wabash girls basketball sectional with the Manchester Lady Squires taking on North Miami in the first game and county rivals Northfield and Wabash playing in game two.
Manchester raced out to a great start, leading at all four stops as they earned the right to play for a sectional title on Saturday bydefeating North Miami 54-41.
With the game tied at 2 with 5:33 on the clock, the Lady Squires made their move that would be the deciding run of the game. Sydney Snep would hit to start an 11-0 run to open a 13-2 lead and Manchester never looked back. Snep and Autumn Brewer led the charge with 4 points each, with Claire Barnett also hitting a bucket and Manchester led 13-7 after one.
Things went a little cold in the second quarter for Manchester, as they shot just 28% from the floor, but still managed to build their lead to 20-10 before North Miami would make a run. The Warriors would score 7 straight to close the gap to 20-17 before Brewer hit her second bucket of the quarter to give Manchester a 22-17 halftime lead.
The third quarter is when the Squires would make their move to propel themselves in to the championship game. Sydney Snep and Bekah Brunn would hit and were followed by a three from Kalene Freshour to open a 12 point lead at 29-17. After a Warrior bucket Snep would hit two free throws and freshman Katelyn Andritsch drained a bucket when things got a little out of control. A North Miami player was called for a technical foul, which the Squires took advantage of with free throws and led 37-23 after three.
Before the fourth quarter could even start, the Warrior bench was called for another tech, with Kayla Flack hitting both free throws for her first points of the night. The tech seemed to give North Miami a little life, as they chipped away and cut the lead to 43-35. Manchester would respond with 5 straight points, 3 from Freshour and 3 from Snep. With Manchester up 51-38 with 1:15 to play, North Miami would play the foul game, with Manchester connecting on 5 free throws the last 1:15 to seal the win.
Sydney Snep had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal. Autumn Brewer had 11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 block. Kayla Flack had 10 points, 4 assist, 1 block, 9 rebounds, 1 steal. Kalene Freshour had 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals. Bekah Brunn had 6 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds. Claire Barnett had 3 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound. Madison Isbell had 3 points, 1 block, 5 rebounds, 1 steal. Katelyn Andritsch had 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal. Tabby DeWitt had 2 points, 3 rebounds.
Coach Underwood ” Really a nice win for the girls tonight. We had nine different players score. I’m really proud of my team.”
Game two was a much anticipated rematch with Northfield and Wabash locking horns. Wabash had won the regular season matchup with Northfield defeating Wabash in the county tourney championship. The rubber game was everything it was built up to be, with the exception of the point total, as Wabash used a strong third quarter to hold off Northfield 36-29.
With both teams coming out with intense defense, both teams struggled on the offensive end. The first bucket didn’t come until 5:16 when Sydney Eltzroth hit to give the Lady Norse a 2-0 lead. The next bucket wouldn’t come until there was 3:36 on the clock when Eltzroth hit again. Kyleigh Hampton broke the ice for Wabash with 1:45 remaining to make it a 4-2 game. Northfield’s Katie Stephan would give the Norse a 6-2 lead, followed by a Eltzroth free throw to go up 7-2. With just seconds left, Apache Claire Cromer was driving for the bucket and fouled as time expired, hitting both free throws and Northfield led 7-4 after one.
The second quarter was the lowest scoring quarter of the game, but maybe the largest for Wabash. The two teams scored a combined 7 points, with Wabash getting 6 of them. Neither team scored until Hampton drained a three with 2:43 left to knot the game at 7 and the next point didn’t come til 57.1 when Kylie Echard hit a free throw to keep Northfield up 8-7. Wabash would work for the last shot, with Hampton connecting on her second three pointer at the buzzer to give Wabash a 10-8 lead at the half.
The two teams would regroup at the half and things would pick up in the third. Hampton got the scoring going to give Wabash a 12-8 lead, with Arie Kennedy hitting two free throws to cut the lead in half. The Lady Apaches would open the gap a little midway through the quarter on a Lyndsie Thomas bucket and Hampton’s third three pointer of the game to give Wabash a 17-10 lead with 4:06 remaining. The Lady Norse worked their way back to 20-14 on free throws from Stephan and a bucket from Sidney Reed before Hampton hit from behind the arch for the fourth time. Reed hit again before time expired, as Wabash led 23-16 with a quarter to go.
The Lady Norse came out with some emotion to start the fourth. Kylie Echard got things going with two free throws and after Hampton’s fifth three of the night gave Wabash a 26-18 lead the Norse made a move. Echard would hit, followed by a Reed free throw to make it 26-21. The Norse defense then forced a five second call, getting the ball back and immediately going to Echard for a bucket. Sidney Reed converted one free throw and the gap was closed to 26-23 with 3:54 to play. Free throws would then become the name of the game. Claire Cromer and Lyndsie Thomas hit two each to give Wabash a 30-23 lead before Echard hit two, making it 30-25 with 2:56 remaining. Echard would hit her second bucket of the quarter with 1:55 left to make it 30-27 and fouling to stop the clock. Cromer would hit both free throws to increase the Wabash lead to 32-27 with 1:35 left. Northfield could not convert on the offensive end and fouled Cromer again with 29.6 on the clock. Cromer connected on both free throws, with Wabash stealing the ball and Hampton hitting to make it 36-27 in route to the 36-29 final.
Leading Wabash was Kyleigh Hampton with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks. Claire Cromer added 9 points, 4 assist. Lyndsie Thomas had 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assist. Katelyn Vogel had 1 rebound. Charlie Pardo had 1 assist. Abby Stein had 3 rebounds.
For Northfield, Kylie Echard led with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 5 blocks. Sidney Reed and Katie Stephan had 6 points each. Reed had 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Stephan had 2 rebounds. Sydney Eltzroth had 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal. Arie Kennedy 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist. Payton Thomson had 1 rebound.