Lady Whippets Can't Run With The Big Dogs

By Dan Woodlock
Times-Junction Sports Editor

Shelby discovered what a tall task Saturday's Northern Ohio League encounter against Willard truly was.

The Lady Flashes feasted on their size advantage over the Lady Whippets, seizing control from the opening tip, on their way to an overpowering 71-39 win at the Robert L. Haas Gymnasium.

Hannah Adams led five WHS players in double figures with 16 points, to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Gabi Baldridge added 15 points, 11 boards and four assists, while CeCe King (12 points, seven rebounds, three blocks), Hunter Feltner (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Hannah Schloemer (10 points, eight rebounds) all had big games in the 32-point rout.

Baldridge converted three baskets in the opening three-plus minutes, as Willard (6-0, 1-0) burst out to a 10-3 lead, landing their first five shots of the contest.

Three consecutive field goals by Feltner helped establish a 20-5 advantage with 1:37 still to play in the period. Shelby (1-4, 0-2) managed to chip the deficit to 12 by the end of the quarter (22-10), but the crimson avalanche had only just begun.

"We definitely wanted to establish our size today, and we especially wanted to get Gabi some looks inside," said Willard Head Coach Jon Dawson. "The kids came out with a lot of energy and executed well."

Although they committed eight second quarter turnovers, the Lady Flashes pushed their lead to 20 by halftime (39-19), limiting Shelby to just 3-of-14 shooting in the quarter, while building a 27-11 advantage on the glass. Willard went on to double-up the Lady Whippets in that category, 49-24.

Schloemer tallied all 10 of her points in the opening half. Adams put together a 10-point third period, outscoring Shelby by herself, 10-6, as the Lady Flashes thrust their lead out to 58-25 heading into the fourth.

Jackie Garrett tossed in 19 points and added four steals for SHS. Eight of her points (including a pair of three-point goals) came in the final four minutes of the game, after Willard had broken out to their largest lead at 68-26.

Nine of the Lady Flashes' 22 turnovers came in the fourth.

"We knew they would want to press us, so we spent a lot of time working on our press-breaker this week," said Dawson. "It's easy to get lazy with it, since our kids can normally just throw over the top of it.

"For the most part, I thought we took pretty good care of the basketball," he added. "Things got a little sloppy at the end, but we didn't overdribble possessions and we did a good job again of making the extra pass to get good looks."

Willard created 24 Shelby turnovers, piling up 14 steals, including seven by Maggie King, who also shared game-high honors in assists with five.

Kennadie Goth added 10 points for Shelby, but struggled from the field, landing just 3-of-22 shots, overall. The Lady Whippets, playing without the services of co-captain Gabby Stephens, dropped their fourth straight contest.

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