Wapakoneta Redskins junior Morgan Miller (30), left, attempts to set a screen on Jackson Center Tigers freshman Vanessa Winner (40) in a non-league varsity girls basketball game Saturday at Jackson Center High School. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)
JACKSON CENTER — The Wapakoneta Redskins had to find patience on defense Saturday as the young Jackson Center Tigers aimed to be deliberate in their offense regardless of what the scoreboard showed.
Wapak comfortably led the entire game Saturday in its 56-33 non-league win over Jackson Center in varsity girls basketball action at Jackson Center High School.
Although scoring increased as the game wore on, plenty of patience was still required of the Redskins when defending Jackson Center, as the hosts have just two seniors on the team, neither of whom started Saturday.
“We knew they were going to be deliberate, probably even more so against us,” Wapak varsity coach Rusty Allen said. “We figured they wouldn’t be able to match up with us size-wise. They’re a dribble drive team, and we’ve faced that before. The girls did a nice job of sticking to the game plan and not panicking.
“It’s very easy to panic against a team that’s going to be deliberate, start gambling and taking chances. They stayed true to what we needed to do. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
The Tigers’ first possession of the game lasted for more than a minute but their first made field goal did not come until 10 seconds left in the first period.
By then, Wapak had a 9-2 lead.
The Redskins began to extend their lead immediately in the second quarter, holding a 19-2 advantage with 3 minutes to go before halftime, as Megan Watt helped with two 3-pointers.
The Wapak offense, however, stalled slightly before halftime as the two teams played even at 4-4 the rest of the second period to see a 21-8 Redskins lead at the break.
“We talked about it,” Allen said. “We got a little stagnant mid second-quarter. You get a big lead like that and you kinda start standing. Coming out of halftime, we needed more movement. Our girls responded well and executed well.”
The Redskins’ response was a 35-point second half, as Wapak was routinely crisp in their offensive sets, with sound cuts, solid passing and good effort in the form of offensive rebounding.
Six different players accounted for Wapak’s 17 points in the third period Saturday.
The Tigers picked up their scoring, too, in the second half.
JC managed five made 3-pointers after halftime, as 15 of its 25 points in the second half came on those five 3s.
With a slight 17-13 advantage in the third period, Wapak took a 38-21 lead into the fourth and closed the game with an 18-12 margin in the final quarter.
Sara Warner paced the Redskins with 12 points Saturday.
Karli Schneider had 10 points off the bench for the Redskins, including one made 3-pointer in each period after halftime.
Megan Watt tallied eight points, Carly Buzzard added seven and Erin Schnell scored six.
“I thought today was a very good team performance,” Allen said. “Carly did a nice job. I personally was kind of concerned going into today because she woke up with a stiff neck today. She did a nice job.
“Megan Fisher did a nice job. She took some good steps forward as a freshmen, playing some quality minutes.”
Allen praised the Redskins’ point guard Maddi Stiles for her role in managing the pace of Saturday’s game.
“Maddi doesn’t get a lot of applause sometimes,” the coach said. “She controlled the tempo for us.
“She didn’t get caught up in being deliberate like them. She did a good job of pushing the ball up the floor and recognizing and when to get it up the floor and when not to.”
Wapak moved to 9-5 overall with its third straight win following its Jan. 9 loss to Bath.
The Redskins will next play Tuesday at home against the New Knoxville Rangers in a non-league contest.
Kaneta Schaub and Haley Elchert led the Tigers with six points each.
The Redskins had no issue in the junior varsity game either.
Wapak posted a 49-18 win Saturday over the Tigers.
Blasia Moyer paced the Redskins with 16 points. Faith Hensley added nine.
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