Classic in the Country

Day 3: Great Action & Another Overtime Wraps Up Classic in the Country XIV

Day 3 of Classic in the Country Challenge proved to be another exciting one as we saw our fourth overtime game with Ft. Wayne Homestead (IN) vs. Huber Heights Wayne, and an exciting game with Gilmour Academy handing Hiland their first loss of the season.


Game 1

Ottawa-Glandorf Titans 60

Massillon Tuslaw Mustangs  26

o-g-kadie-hempflingPlayer of the Game – Kadie Hempfling – Ottawa-Glandorf

Ottawa-Glandorf and Tuslaw found themselves squaring up to start Day 3 of The Classic and it got ugly quickly for the Mustangs. A balanced, relentless attack by O-G on both ends of the floor shutout Tuslaw in the first quarter.

It wasn’t until the 2nd quarter with 5:43 left that Tuslaw finally put some points on the score board with a bucket in the paint by the Mustang’s Hallie Jordan.

By halftime, Ottawa-Glandorf found themselves up 32-6 with thanks to their balanced scoring across their front court and a relentless effort pestering Tuslaw into a bevy of turnovers. The Titans seemed to be everywhere at the right time, their swarming defense turned into their best offense as the Mustang turnovers turned into easy layups for the Titans.

Tuslaw came out after intermission and scored 20 points in the 2nd half. It’s tough to get a team to respond after such a slow start in the 1st half, but give Coach Hose and his staff a lot of credit for getting the Mustangs to come out and play with pride and energy.

In the end, the Mustangs couldn’t overcome Ottawa-Glandorf’s pressure which forced 23 turnovers and held Tuslaw to only 20.6% shooting for the game.

Ottawa-Glandorf was led by Kadie Hempfling (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists), Erin Kaufman (14 points, 3 assists, 3 steals), Kylie White (11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals). As a team, the Titans shot 50% from the field and committed 11 turnovers.

Tuslaw was led by Mayci Sales (11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists) and Harmony Miller (3 points, 7 rebounds).


Game 2

Westerville South Wildcats 54

Akron Archbishop Hoban Knights 42

westerville-south-sommer-pitzerPlayer of the Game – Sommer Pitzer – Westerville South

In an entertaining game where both teams shot a combined 96 field goal attempts, Westerville South led at the end of the 1st quarter, 19-6 behind the solid play of Anyssa Jones with 8 1st quarter points and Sommer Pitzer (5 points).

Despite the early hole they dug themselves into, Hoban gathered their composure in the 2nd quarter by controlling the tempo and shot their way back into contention. A 3 pointer from the Knights’ Emma Tecca narrowed the Wildcat lead, 22-20, with 2:15 left in the 2nd quarter.

Westerville South responded to Tecca’s 3 with two baskets to stretch their lead to six points at halftime, 26-20.

Westerville South made some adjustments at halftime and came out for the 3rd quarter on a 5-0 run, but Tecca hit another deep three-pointer to stop the Wildcats’ run.

Peyton Guice from Westerville South took business into her own hands at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th, becoming a one girl wrecking crew as she personally went on a 7-0 run to give the Wildcats a double digit lead 38-28 with 7:31 left in the 4th. From that point, Hoban couldn’t muster together another run to keep it close.

Westerville South was led by Sommer Pitzer (13 points, 5 assists, 2 steals), Anyssa Jones (12 points, 5 rebounds), and Cailin Duffy (10 points, 7 rebounds). The Wildcats shot 42.6% from the floor and turned the ball over 19 times.

Hoban was led by Emma Tecca (19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals), Lonasia Brewer (11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocked shots), CaraMia Bentley (5 points, 10 rebounds). The Knights shot 28.6% from the field and turned the ball over 21 times.


Game 3

Reynoldsburg Lady Raiders 65

Shaker Heights Lady Raiders 48

reynoldsburg-brooklyn-pannellPlayer of the Game – Brooklyn Pannell – Reynoldsburg

Reynoldsburg had it going on early right after the opening tip as their starters shared the wealth in scoring and defensively shut down Shaker Heights’ ability to score. After the 1st quarter of play, Reynoldsburg stretched their lead to 19-3.

Reynoldsburg held the lead throughout the 2nd quarter and entered intermission up 32-19 thanks to a quick Mackenzie Davis steal and easy 2 of her 6 1st half points before the halftime buzzer. Jalynda Salley led Reynoldsburg into halftime with 8 points. Jamir Huston led Shaker Heights in the 1st half with 9 points.

Shaker Heights began the 3rd quarter with back-to-back baskets narrowing Reynoldsburg’s lead to 32-23, but Reynoldsburg responded with great ball movement, balanced spacing, and shored up their team defense and suddenly the game was 40-25 with 2:57 remaining in the quarter.

Reynoldsburg continued their momentum from the 3rd and opened the 4th quarter on an 8-0 run, extending the game beyond Shaker Heights’ reach from that point.

They also did a nice job containing Shaker Heights’ Jamir Huston in the 2nd half, holding her to 4 points for the half. Reynoldsburg held Shaker Heights to 31.1% shooting for the game and forced 32 turnovers.

Defensively, Reynoldsburg’s Brooklyn Pannel was an absolute thief this game, getting 6 steals with her quickness and nose for the ball. Offensively, Reynoldsburg was led by Jalynda Salley (12 points, 8 rebounds), Obianuju Ezuedu (12 points, 5 rebounds), Adrian Crockwell (11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists), and Mackenzie Davis (9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals). The Lady Raiders shot 37.5% from the floor and turned the ball over 14 times.

Shaker Heights was led by Jamir Huston (13 points, 15 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots) and Daryn Zeigler (8 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists).


Game 4

Solon Comets 66

West Chester Lakota West Firebirds 54

solon-dee-bekeljiaPlayer of the Game – Dee Bekelja – Solon

The Firebirds started the game en fuego with a 9-0 run and the Comets were scrambling to adjust to Lakota West’s tempo. It took Solon the 1st quarter to find their legs, but they finally recovered and turned this into a fun ball game.

Solon’s Dee Bekelja did what all great players should do, she took over the game in the 2nd quarter and Lakota West couldn’t stop her – let alone contain her. Solon stormed back and took the lead from the Firebirds and never looked back the rest of the way.

Jasmine Ballew drilled a long 3 for the Firebirds but Bekelja answered with one of her own and then scored Solon’s next 7 points. Not only did Dee go on a personal 10-0 scoring run, she also wasn’t afraid to get on the floor and show she can scrap with the best of them.

Not to be out done by Bekelja’s effort, fellow Comet Gabby Mitchell wasn’t afraid to sacrifice her body on the defensive end of things as she stood in and took back-to-back charges on the Firebirds end of the floor.

When the dust finally settled on the 2nd quarter, Solon held a 36-32 halftime lead, but Lakota West still had plenty of fight left as play entered the 3rd quarter. The Firebirds Madisyn Oxley and Abby Prohaska kept it a close 5 point game through the end of the 3rd with Solon still leading 50-45.

In the 4th quarter, Solon finally started to pull away with just over two minutes left in the game and Lakota West was left to try and send the Comets to the free throw line where they struggled, making only 13 of 22 in the 2nd half. But it was enough and the Comets

Side Note: Game action came to a brief halt when Solon’s Alexis Stover scored her 1,000th career point. It was a nice gesture by Classic in the Country Challenge to recognize the milestone and let her keep a game ball to mark the achievement.


Game 5

Huber Heights Wayne Warriors 64  (overtime)

Fort Wayne Homestead Spartans 59

wayne-hh-shai-mcgruderPlayer of the Game – Shai McGruder – Wayne

In the fourth overtime of this year’s Classic in the Country, Wayne and Homestead found themselves in an absolute slugfest from the opening tip. Both teams tossed up a combined 111 field goal attempts with Homestead shooting 46.3% from the field and Wayne shooting 38.6% from the field.

Homestead enjoyed a 43-41 edge over Wayne going into the 4th quarter of action with Maya Dunson leading the offensive attack for Wayne and Karissa McLaughlin going bonkers from behind the arc for Homestead.

Both teams got cold the final three minutes of regulation with neither offense able to get anything done against the opposing defense.

The clutch moment of the game came when Shai McGruder from Wayne saved it for the Warriors when she swatted away Homestead’s Haley Swing’s potentially game winning basket.

In overtime, Wayne finished strong behind McGruder’s and Destiny Bohanon’s 4 points apiece in the extra period, outscoring Homestead 12-7 to earn the victory 64-59.

For Wayne, Shai McGruber finished with 10 points, 9 boards and 2 blocked shots. Maya Dunson had 21 points, 5 boards and 4 assists. For Homestead, Karissa McLaughlin was raining three’s from everywhere as she finished with 29 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Jazmyne Geist had 14 points, 9 boards and 3 steals for the Spartans.


Game 6

Rocky River Magnificat Blue Streaks 50

West Holmes Knights 40

magnificat-colleen-woidkePlayer of the Game – Colleen Woidke – Magnificat

Looking to join Solon as the only team at this year’s Classic in the Country to win both of its games, West Holmes struggled mightily against a smothering Magnificat defense.

A number of turnovers proved to be very costly, and the Blue Streaks seemed intent on pounding the ball down to the block, where they scored a large number of their points. An early close game saw Magnificat push out to a double-digit lead, and the Knights never really were able to create any kind of challenge thereafter.

Magnificat spread things around in the scoring column, getting a nice contribution across the board. Theresa Farnan scored 11 points, McAuliffe added 8 points and 6 boards, Sara Spicer scored 10 points and Colleen Woidke added 11 points and 4 rebounds as she continues to come back from a lengthy injury lay-off of close to 2 years.

West Holmes was led by Celeste Ryman who knocked down a game-high 13 points on three 3-pointers, while Taylor Yerian matched her from long distance in producing 9 points.


Game 7

Gates Mills Gilmour Academy Lancers 60

Hiland Hawks 49


Player of the Game – Naz Hillmon – Gilmour Academy

Gilmour Academy overcame the meltdown it suffered one night earlier against Mason and shot great from downtown, making nine 3-pointers to overcome a previously undefeated Hiland team that had topped Columbus Africentric two nights earlier. Gilmour sped out to an early lead at 9-3, and led 20-9 on the strength of three 3-pointers from Emily Kelly and two from Anika Corcoran.

The lead grew to 11 at 23-12 before Hiland stormed back right before the half. Led by Tiffany Weaver and Angela Troyer, Hiland actually took a 26-25 edge before Naz Hillmon’s put-back at the half gave Gilmour a one-point advantage.

Hiland would take its final lead of the night on Troyer’s jumper to begin the second half, but Gilmour led 38-36 until the Lancer’s Emma Gurley hit from deep and Sydney Dietrich hit two free throws to end the third. An 8-0 Gilmour run to begin the fourth quarter left no doubt that this was going to go Gilmour’s way.

Hillmon produced a monster game, scoring 11 points, hauling down 16 rebounds and doling out six assists, while Kelley scored 13 points, Diedrich matched that and Sarah Bohn added 10 points. Hiland was led by Troyer, who netted a game-high 21 points, while Kennedy Schlabach added 9 points and Weaver scored 7 points.

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