By SHANNON DOVE
OLD FORT — In an arduous season for first-year coach J.T. Bates and his Fostoria High School Lady Red, perhaps as difficult a challenge as any came Saturday night.
With a Division-II sectional title on the line, the Lady Red squared off against once-beaten Clyde — No. 4 state-ranked Clyde.
The Fliers wasted no time in proving they deserve their ranking, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in a 78-13 thrashing of the Lady Red.
Clyde improved its record to 22-1 and will face Toledo Central Catholic in a district semifinal at Perrysburg High School Thursday night. Fostoria finished the season with a 1-21 record.
“We played hard, we guarded hard. I was happy with what the kids did tonight,” Fliers coach John Cahill said. “We’ve been looking forward to the tournament for awhile. … We’re in the toughest district in Division-II in the state, so we’ll gear up for next week and see if we can get through two really good teams.”
Four Fliers finished in double figures, including 6-foot-1 senior Amanda Cahill, the coach’s daughter, who has committed to Indiana. She totaled 11 points and five rebounds, while Kelsey Michaels had a game-high 14, Bre Michaels scored 13 and Hannah Wadsworth had 12.
“Tonight we played one of the best teams in the whole, entire state of Ohio,” Bates said. “Everybody knows it. In any division, you can put them against anybody and I like their chances.
“We played hard. We were outgunned, outmanned, outsized in every single aspect of the game. This was a learning experience, not only for them but for me as well. The future is bright; we’ll keep working, we’ll get better.”
Amanda Cahill scored Clyde’s first four points and prompted a Fostoria timeout just 1:16 into the game. The stoppage didn’t halt the Fliers’ momentum, however, as Fostoria turned over the ball three times in the next 30 seconds. All three led to Clyde points, as Kelsey Michaels sandwiched a pair of layups around a layup by Bre Michaels to extend the lead to 10-0.
“They just do things that you really can’t teach as a coach,” John Cahill said. “I get a lot of credit for it, but in reality it’s just having a lot of really gifted athletes and players. They made a lot of good defensive plays and turned it into good offense.”
With the score 13-0, the Clyde defense ceased pressing, but it didn’t change the fortunes of the Lady Red, who committed 15 of their total 37 turnovers in the first quarter. Jada Hampton finally put FHS on the board with 2:49 remaining in the quarter, making the score 21-2.
Making matters worse for the Lady Red, they lost Erica Moore late in the period after she banged her head on the floor during a tussle for a loose ball with a Clyde player.
Wadsworth scored eight of her points in the second quarter, as she uncorked a pair of 3-pointers and added a 2-point field goal, helping the Fliers take a 66-9 lead into halftime.
Hampton accounted for all of Fostoria’s offense until Alexus Smith’s layup with 4:52 left in the game made the score 72-11.
Hampton finished with 11 points for the Lady Red. Deija Williams pulled down seven rebounds.
“We had eight players, but the eight players that stuck it out and managed to get through the whole (season) are better basketball players,” Bates said.
“The future is very bright for us. … We’ve got a really good eighth-grade class coming in. They’re back-to-back (Northern Buckeye Conference) champs, so we have something to build with.”
Laconis 2-0–4, Weber 1-0–3, B. Michaels 5-0–13, Amdt 0-0–0, Bannister 1-2–4, Wadsworth 5-0–12, K. Michaels 7-0–14, Cahill 4-3–11, Marcha 0-0–0, Royster 1-0–2, Dowling 1-0–2, Kardotzke 2-2–6, Miller 2-3–7. TOTALS: 31-55 10-12 — 78.
Moore 0-0–0, Fretz 0-0–0, Hampton 5-0–11, Velazquez 0-0–0, Williams 0-0–0, Smith 1-0–2, Pedersen 0-0–0. TOTALS: 6-31 0-2 — 13.
Clyde 26 22 18 12 — 78
Fostoria 2 5 2 4 — 13
3-Point GOALS: Clyde 6-19 (B. Michaels 3, Wadsworth 2, Weber); Fostoria 1-10 (Hampton).
rebounds: Clyde 28 (Cahill 5); Fostoria 22 (Williams 7).
turnovers: Clyde 11; Fostoria 37.
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