(photo Will Fehlinger)
SHELBY CO. – Oldenburg Academy girls basketball continued their storied season with a stellar performance at the Southwestern Shelby sectional last week. OA ultimately came up short to a 20-win Jac-Cen-Del squad in Saturday's championship.
Behind a pair of threes, JCD led 8-5 after one frame. Rachel Suttmann had two early baskets for OA. Threes by freshman Gina Grote and senior Sadie Wachsmann followed as play picked up in the second.
JCD went on a roll at the end of the first half into the second, bumping the total from 20-15 up to 27-15 and forcing a timeout from Twister coach David Disbro. Senior Ellie Ryan landed a three, but two layups by the Lady Eagles pushed the Jac advantage up to 13.
Then OA made things interesting. Senior Kate Weber completed a drive and Wachsmann got a rise out of Twister nation by burying two triples – though one was offset by JCD's Reagan Hughes.
An 8-point game at 34-26, Weber was fouled on a putback and hit the charity for a 3-point play. The Eagles began spreading the court with long possessions, including chewing up most of the last two minutes of the frame that ended with a 36-29 score.
Julia Meyer extended the lead to start the fourth quarter. Then it was Grote's turn from downtown; she turned two Suttmann passes into six points and quickly it was 40-35.
Out of a timeout, JCD committed two turnovers while looking to run clock and the Twisters capitalized. Weber got to the rack for two and dished to Suttmann for a long 2-pointer; JCD coach Scott Smith called time with his side clinging to a 40-39 lead.
Oldenburg (19-5) spent the next couple of minutes trying to get up to five fouls, needing more possessions after a Kaylin Hinners basket. It was JCD who got their first when Hughes was called for an offensive foul. With 44.1 seconds left, Weber hit 1 of 2 at the line to make it 42-40. At 27.8 seconds, Ryan drew a blocking foul and split her free throw tries; it was 43-41. Jac then went a perfect 6-of-6 at the stripe – Meyer and Hinners – to earn Smith his 18th sectional title in 23 seasons.
In an unofficial tally, Meyer led all scorers with 15 and teammate Kelsey Borgman added 10. Weber (11), Wachsmann (9) and Ryan (6) finished their OA careers. Grote had 9 and Suttmann 6.
Wednesday, behind 23 points by Suttmann and 15 by Weber, OA crushed the host Lady Spartans 52-24.
SW had no answer for Suttmann on the low post. She scored 10 points in the second period as the Twisters went up 28-11 at the break; she added 11 more in the third as OA put the game out of reach at 41-20.
Weber scored six of OA's first eight to begin the game. SW had cut it to two at 12-8 by the end of the first. The Twisters completely dominated in the second frame, starting with a two for Weber and a 3 by Ryan.
Ryan added 7 to the cyclone total, Grote 3 and Wachsmann and Lambert 2 each.
In the semifinals, things were a bit closer, but OA eventually notched a 62-47 win over Morristown. This was the Twisters' ninth straight win. After one the score stood 15-13. Oldenburg increased its lead at each successive stop, going up 32-26 at half and 45-35 by the fourth.
OA moves to 7-9
Oldenburg boys hoops ran their record to 7-9 with Saturday's home win over Milan, 67-53.
OA hosts Union County Friday, traveling to Hauser Saturday night.