COLLINS — With a 60-51 overtime over St. Paul, the Western Reserve Lady Riders are still in the chase for the Firelands Conference crown.
The Lady Riders, 11-1, 8-1 FC, stay one league loss behind unbeaten Plymouth. St. Paul drops to 9-4, 6-3.
Thursday night’s win over the Lady Flyers did not come easy. St. Paul started the game with a 13-4 burst and eventually led 20-9 at the end of the first.
Western Reserve began to fight its way back into the game, outscoring the Lady Flyers 12-4 in the second with St. Paul’s only points coming on two Audrey Badovick field goals.
The Lady Flyers took a 24-21 lead into halftime.
Western Reserve coach Brenda Friend originally wanted to switch defenders on all St. Paul screens, but with seniors Badovick and Taylor Brown combining for all 24 first-half points for St. Paul, she adjusted her team’s defensive strategy at half.
“I didn’t think St. Paul had to work very hard to get wide open looks. In the second half, I assigned players to guard (Badovick and Brown),” Friend said. “Our goal was to wear them down.”
Badovick was limited to just four second-half points.
The Lady Riders combined the change in defense with a terrific scoring night by Theresa Jackson, who tallied 25 points after halftime and 34 for the game.
“We put so much pressure on her,” Friend said. “She just went one-on-one. That’s not normally the way we do things. She just took over that fourth quarter. She was the difference.”
Taking a four-point lead after three quarters, St. Paul managed just six in the fourth. The Lady Flyers had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation.
Erin Kramer rebounded a missed free throw, ran the length of the floor and scored a lay-up, but St. Paul was awarded a time-out with three seconds left and the basket didn’t count.
The Lady Flyers didn’t score with the time remaining, forcing overtime.
A 15-6 margin in the overtime gave Western Reserve the hard-fought win.
Kelsey Wyant notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Western went 14-of-19 from the free-throw line and had 38 rebounds with 19 turnovers.
Playing a rotation of just seven players, the Lady Flyers struggled to find points toward the end of each half and in overtime.
Badovick had 20 points to lead St. Paul. Brown scored 19, including five triples.
The Lady Flyers had just 12 turnovers, collected 31 rebounds and went 6-of-9 from the line.
St. Paul coach Jeremy Bliss didn’t focus on the loss afterward. Rather, he talked about the improvement his team is making against Western Reserve in his two seasons.
Last season, St. Paul dropped 13- and nine-point decisions. This season, the Lady Flyers have battled Western Reserve to a one-point loss and an overtime defeat.
“I’m proud of every single girl,” Bliss said. “If we keep playing with this type of effort, we’ll be happy at the end of the season.”
“Both teams battled really hard and a lot of credit to Jackson,” he added. “She had a heck of a night. That’s what it took to beat us.”
St. Paul emerged victorious in the reserve game.
The Lady Flyers grabbed a 48-44 win from Western Reserve. Lydia Ott had 18 points to lead St. Paul, while Lauren Traina notched 16 for Western Reserve.
Both teams resume FC action at home Thursday. Western Reserve plays South Central, while St. Paul battles Mapleton.
St. Paul 51
Badovick 8-4-20, Kramer 2-1-5, Brown 7-0-19, Draime 2-0-4, Schaffer 1-1-3. Totals: 20-6-51.
Western Reserve 60
Palmer 2-2-6, Jackson 13-8-34, Robson 0-1-1, Patrick 3-0-6, Wyant 4-3-11, Clouse 1-0-2. Totals: 23-14-61.
Score by quarter
St. Paul 20 4 15 6 6 — 51
W. Reserve 9 12 14 10 15 — 60
St. Paul 48
Nickoli 1-0-2, Moore 2-4-8, Stoll 3-1-8, L. Ott 9-0-18, B. Ott 1-1-3, Chandler 2-2-6, Schaffer 1-0-2, Newcomer 0-1-1. Totals: 19-9-48.
Western Reserve 44
Traina 7-0-16, Rennert 2-2-6, Barker 4-0-8, Kortney Winebrenner 2-1-6, Kelsey Winebrenner 1-1-4, Ward 1-2-4. Totals: 17-6-44.
Score by quarter
St. Paul 13 15 12 8 — 48
W. Reserve 16 7 10 11 — 44