Findlays Marissa Wintrow, left, leaps in the air from the baseline to fire a pass to a teammate as she is defended by Toledo Central Catholics Byrdy Galernick. Central Catholic got eight 3-pointers and 29 points from Alex Matus in a 90-53 victory. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)
Findlays Marissa Wintrow, left, leaps in the air from the baseline to fire a pass to a teammate as she is defended by Toledo Central Catholics Byrdy Galernick. Central Catholic got eight 3-pointers and 29 points from Alex Matus in a 90-53 victory. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By DAVE HANNEMAN
STAFF WRITER

Toledo Central Catholic got out of the locker room at halftime so late, the Irish didn’t have time to warm up for the third quarter.

Turns out, it didn’t matter.

Red hot for all but the final few minutes of the game, Central Catholic made 14 3-pointers and connected on 32 of 56 shots overall (57 percent) in rolling to a 90-53 Three Rivers Athletic Conference win over Findlay High School’s girls basketball team on Monday.

“They looked like the Golden State Warriors. They just kept making ‘3’ after ‘3’ after ‘3,’” said Findlay High coach Chris Ireland.

“When they’re making shots like that it’s hard to keep up, because you pretty much have to match them on every possession. If you don’t and they hit a couple of ‘3s,’ their lead can jump to 15 points, then 20 in a hurry.

“That’s what happened at the start of the second half. They came down and boom, boom, just like that they’re up 20.”

Alex Matus was the top gunslinger in the Toledo Central Catholic arsenal.

Matus hit her first three 3-point attempts, all in the first quarter, and connected on 6 of 7 3-pointers in the first half. Matus ended the first half with a Stephen Curry-like 3-pointer from NBA range. Despite having no time to loosen up at the half, Matus opened the third quarter with an even longer 3-pointer that would have been good from the Rocky Mountains.

Matus made 8 of 13 3-point attempts. She was 8 for 9 from behind the arc until missing her final four attempts. The senior guard had a team-high 29 points.

“She was locked in tonight,” said Central Catholic’s Corri Helldobler, who took over as interim head coach in December of last season and now has the Irish, 17-3 overall and 11-2 in the TRAC, on the verge of a second straight league title.

“She was on a roll, so it was our job to keep getting her the ball. I think her teammates were more concerned with trying to get her her 30th point than she was, though. At the end of the game, I’m calling a play to try to get No. 20 (Matus) her 30th point, and she calls a play to try to get her teammate who just came into the game a bucket.

“That speaks to the type of kid she is and the type of team we have. It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we score, is how they look at it.”

Central Catholic’s unselfish play was evident in a sharp passing game that earned the Irish either open looks on the perimeter or lay-ups off give-and-go passes inside.

Katie Kovacs benefited most from the inside passes, finishing with 19 points and leading TCC with eight rebounds. Byrdy Galernick, a 5-8 senior guard headed to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship, also had 19 points for the Irish, who need a win over Fremont Ross on Thursday to clinch at least a share of the TRAC championship.

Toledo Notre Dame (12-7, 10-2 TRAC) entered Monday’s game at Toledo St. Ursula tied for first place in the league standings. The Eagles play are at Oregon Clay (14-6, 7-5 TRAC) in their final league game on Thursday.

Lexi Bronston had a huge 15-point, 15-rebound double-double on senior night for Findlay High (10-11, 5-8 TRAC). Allie Taylor scored 10 points and Sarah Smarkel and Claire Johnson added eight each.

Findlay trailed just 20-16 late in the first quarter and 31-26 midway through the second. But TCC, which got 3-pointers from three different players in opening a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game, kept draining treys.

“I don’t care who you are, it’s tough to beat anybody who hits 14 3-pointers in a game, especially in high school girls basketball,” Ireland said.

“When they shoot like that, I don’t see many teams beating them.”

TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC (17-3, 11-2 TRAC)
L. Matus 1-4 0-0 3, Hanenkrath 1-2 0-0 3, A. Matus 10-16 1-2 29, Galernik 6-11 6-8 19, Kovacs 8-12 3-3 19, Crawford 1-2 0-0 2, Biddle 1-2 0-0 3, White 0-0 2-2 2, Morrison 3-3 0-0 8, Eckhart 0-3 0-0 0, Wasler 0-0 0-0 0, Hoover 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS: 32-57 12-15–90.

FINDLAY (11-8, 5-7 TRAC)
Bronston 6-10 3-4 15, Johnson 3-10 0-0 8, Smarkel 3-12 1-1 8, Wintrow 2-10 4-4 8, Taylor 4-12 0-0 10, Bendt 0-4 0-0 0, Heiman 0-1 0-0 0, Haas 2-3 0-0 4, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Laube 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-63 8-9–53.

Toledo Central Catholic 26 18 29 17 — 90
Findlay 19 9 14 11 — 53

3-POINT GOALS: Toledo Central Catholic 14-24 (Crawford 0-1, L. Matus 1-3, Hanenkrath 1-1, Biddle 1-1, A. Matus 8-13, Galernik 1-2, Kovacs 0-1, Morrison 2-2, ); Findlay 5-23 (Bendt 0-3, Johnson 2-7, Miller 0-1, Smarkel 1-5, Heiman 0-1, Taylor 2-6).
REBOUNDS: Toledo Central Catholic 33 (Kovacs 8, Galernik 5); Findlay 33 (Bronston 15, Wintrow 6).
TURNOVERS: Toledo Central Catholic 10, Findlay 16.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Toledo Central Catholic, 45-37.

Hanneman, 419-427-8408
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