FREMONT — The Western Reserve Lady Riders captured a sectional tournament title Saturday in the Division III girls’ basketball final at Fremont Ross.
Western Reserve, champion of the Firelands Conference, downed Port Clinton, 53-37, to advance to the district tournament at Old Fort.
The Lady Riders led 16-13 after the first quarter. They began the second period with a 6-0 run to push the lead to nine.
Western Reserve’s lead would remain at nine after the second quarter, 30-21.
Port Clinton trimmed the lead to eight, 36-28, with 3:25 left in the third quarter, but the Lady Riders shut down Port Clinton on the defensive end after that.
The Lady Riders emerged from a timeout and went on a 15-2 run that covered the final 3:25 of the third quarter and until 3:33 in the fourth.
During that stretch, nearly an eight-minute span, the Lady Redskins failed to score a field goal, while Western Reserve built a commanding 51-30 lead on its way to a 16-point win.
“We had over a week off and came out a little slow,’’ Western coach Brenda Friend said. “We picked up the pace.”
Western Reserve (19-2) was paced in scoring by sophomores Theresa Jackson with 14 points, Natalie Robson 13 and Kasey Clouse 10.
The Lady Riders shot 22-of-41 from the floor (54 percent) and 9-of-13 from the foul line with 16 turnovers. They held a 21-16 advantage in rebounding.
Alex Stephenson led the Lady Redskins with 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Freshman Hope Thorbahn added nine points.
Port Clinton, which finishes its season with an 8-14 mark, committed 18 turnovers, shot 12-of-43 from the field and went 9-of-17 on free throws.
The Lady Riders are scheduled to play Bucyrus in the second district semifinal Thursday at Old Fort.
“We’re taking this one game at a time,’’ Friend said. “Some of these girls were at the regional finals last year, but we have to take this one game, step by step.”
Port Clinton 37
Stephenson 5-0-13, Piacentino 1-1-3, Day 0-1-1, Payne 1-2-4, Millinger 1-0-2, Thorbahn 3-2-9, Colston 1-3-5. Totals: 12-9-37.
Western Reserve 53
Jackson 5-4-14, Czompoly 4-0-8, Robson 5-3-13, Patrick 2-2-6, Wyant 1-0-2, Clouse 5-0-10. Totals: 22-9-53.
Score by quarter
P. Clinton 13 8 9 7 — 37
W. Reserve 16 14 12 11 — 53