By ANDY WOLF
Julie Hotz and Cheyenne Davis scored 15 points apiece to pace Rossford’s offense, but it was the defensive pressure by the Bulldogs that caused the most fits for Fostoria High School.
FHS couldn’t overcome 32 turnovers and fell 48-32 to the Bulldogs (11-6 overall, 7-6 NBC) Wednesday night in Northern Buckeye Conference play.
“Our effort isn’t a question. We always play hard, but our execution isn’t where we need to be,” Fostoria coach J.T. Bates said. “Until we take pride and do that, we won’t have success.”
The Lady Red (1-14, 0-9) shot only 25 percent (10 of 40) from the field for the night after going the entire first quarter without a field goal.
Freshman Deija Williams sank a pair of free throws at the 4:17 mark for Fostoria’s only points in the first period.
Still the Lady Red only trailed 9-2 at the quarter’s end.
Baskets by juniors Erica Moore and Jada Hampton cut the lead to 11-6 within the first couple of minutes of the second period until the Bulldogs closed the half with a 7-2 spurt.
“Our pressure was good, but I don’t think we took advantage of it. We played our game plan, but we didn’t finish,” Rossford coach Eric Simon said. “We missed a lot of opportunities with some mental mistakes, but when you’re struggling with open shots sometimes you try to do too much.”
With her team trailing 18-8 out of halftime, FHS sophomore Olivia Valenti opened the quarter with a fast-break layup off a Rossford turnover, quickly followed by a long jumper from Alexus Smith to trim the margin to 18-12.
But the Bulldogs kicked up the pressure again, leading to a pair of easy scores by Davis just a minute later, the second coming off a turnover.
“I told the girls at halftime to keep executing and taking the same shots. We still didn’t shoot great, but we made enough of them to make a difference,” Simon said.
Hotz followed up that spurt up with a 3-pointer to make the score 25-12 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
“I told the girls when (Hotz) hit the three, ‘Every one of you deflated.’ I’m not questioning their abilities to win, but they all deflated and it snowballs from there,” Bates said.
Valenti closed the quarter with a 3-pointer of her own, but by then the deficit had stretched to 36-17 with a quarter to play.
Valenti led Fostoria with 13 points, but she was the only FHS player to score more than five points.
“We were mentally prepared, but our shots just weren’t falling,” Valenti said. “We weren’t communicating on the traps. They hit a three and we all put our shoulders down.”
Rossford outscored the Lady Red 18-9 in the third quarter, with Davis and Hotz combining for 12 points.
Hotz also stuffed the statistical sheet with game-highs of eight rebounds, six steals and five assists.
Collectively the Bulldogs shot 40 percent (17 of 42) from the floor while winning the rebounding margin 37-25.
“Until we can move the ball and not be right-hand dominant, we’ll struggle,” Bates said. “Those are growing pains we’re going through with a very inexperienced team, but right now it’s not where we need it to be.”
Moore scored five points and collected eight rebounds for Fostoria, while Hampton came up with three steals for the Lady Red, who forced 18 Bulldog turnovers.
Hotz 6-2–15, York 1-0–2, Jackson 1-1–3, Davis 5-5–5, Pietrasz 1-1–3, Keller 1-2–4, Clay 1-0–3, Gozdowski 1-1–3, Beyer 0-0–0, Swope 0-0–0, Schaller 0-0–0. TOTALS: 17-42 12-22–48.
Valenti 3-6–13, Moore 2-0–5, Hampton 1-2–4, Williams 0-2–2, Velazquez 2-0–4, Smith 1-1–3, Fretz 0-0–0, Pederson 0-0–0 . TOTALS: 10-40 9-16–32.
Rossford 9 9 18 12 – 48
Fostoria 2 6 9 15 – 32
3-Point GOALS: Rossford 2-7 (Hotz, Jackson); Fostoria 3-11 (Valenti 2, Moore).
Rebounding: Rossford 37 (Hotz 8); Fostoria 25 (Moore 8)
TURNOVERS: Rossford 21; Fostoria 35.
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