By SCOTT COTTOS
To say the least, it’s been a highly unusual week for Fostoria High School’s girls basketball team.
A fire at the school on Tuesday morning has forced the cancellation of classes for the rest of the week, prompted odd practice times at Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School and forced Thursday night’s game against Rossford to be moved next door to FIES.
If it all has been a distraction for the Lady Red, it didn’t show.
FHS pressed full-court to cause the Bulldogs’ offense some trouble and shook off some early shooting woes to make off with a 43-30 victory in Northern Buckeye Conference play.
Junior Tyriana Settles put together a 17-point, 16-rebound double-double and Evion Taylor came off the bench to add 10 points as the Lady Red (3-12, 1-7 NBC) snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Megan Dunne’s 12 points paced Rossford (4-8, 3-5).
“It’s a little weight off the shoulders,” Fostoria coach Gabe Sierra said. “With all the stuff that’s going on at the school, in the district, the girls needed a little something.
“And they were rested, too. We cut practice times back a little bit, just to get them in, get them out. When we do that, it gives them a quick bit of basketball and gets them back to relax. We’ve been working hard in practice. They’re all running harder in sprints and maybe we’re about to turn a corner here.”
The Lady Red showed a definite interest in winning Thursday night’s game by persuading Sierra to change the defensive game plan.
“The girls decided on their own to come out and full-court press,” he said. “They were sick of the losing and they wanted to come out and they wanted to work hard. It was all on them. We were going to pull them back. We were going to come out and play a half-court game and play a little extra aggressive on the half-court side. But they said, ‘No, Coach, we’re going to play full-court.’ That’s all on them and that was the difference in the game.”
Sierra said he let the the players have their way with hopes it would translate into some self-motivation.
“We needed that inspiration,” he said. “We needed that fire and for our seniors to take over and make those decisions. If they’re willing to work hard, I’m all for it. It’s a team effort and I’m not a dictator by any means. Everybody has a say, and they decided to work hard, so we were going to go with it.”
Fostoria never trailed after a Larai Williams basket provided a 12-11 advantage with 4:31 left until halftime.
Back-to-back Settles scores gave the Lady Red a 26-17 lead with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter. The Bulldogs battled back and narrowed the gap to 29-26 when Dunne hit a 3-pointer with 6:44 to play in the game. But Taylor had six points as FHS rattled off the next 13 points for a 42-26 lead with 1:05 to go.
J’Breonn Jones tallied nine points and Larai Williams had seven as only four players scored for Fostoria.
Sammi Mikonowicz followed Dunne with seven points for Rossford.
ROSSFORD (4-8, 3-5 NBC)
Dunne 5-0–12, Seman 1-0–2, Peters 2-3–7, Mikonowicz 2-4–8, Carlin 0-0–0, De. Utley 1-0–2, Linkous 0-0–0, Schimming 0-0–0, Swope 0-0–0, Pupik 0-0–0, Duvall 0-0–0. TOTALS: 10 8-14 — 30.
fostoria (3-12, 1-7 NBC)
Jones 4-0–9, Weimerskirch 0-0–0, Miller 0-0–0, Settles 7-3–17, Williams 3-1–7, Taylor 3-4–10, Cook 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15 8-16 — 43.
Rossford 8 7 8 7 — 30
Fostoria 5 11 11 16 — 43
3-Point GOALS: Rossford 2 (Dunne 2); Fostoria 1 (Jones 1).
rebounds: Fostoria 36 (Settles 16).
turnovers: Fostoria 18.
junior varsity: Rossford, 35-24.