By DAVE HANNEMAN
After opening the season with six straight road game, Findlay High School’s girls basketball team was hoping to click its sneakers together and say, ‘There’s no place like home,’ on Monday.
Oregon Clay, though had other ideas.
Oregon Clay capitalized on a big night at the foul line and a sub-zero shooting effort by Findlay to notch its first win on Monday, edging the Trojans 55-48 in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference game at Findlay High.
“I liked our kids’ toughness tonight,” Oregon Clay coach Corey Slovak said after his Eagles, beaten 88-18 by Toledo Notre Dame and 56-19 by Toledo Whitmer in two earlier TRAC games, improved to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the league.
“We came in 0-5, and there were a lot of times in the game where could have gone the other way and kinda went back to bad habits. But they showed resiliency, they showed toughness and they made some shots when we needed to, especially free throws there at the end.
“Give Findlay credit. I know they play hard all the time. We consider this a very good win. We told the girls in our league no matter who you play or what the records are, a road win is a big deal.”
In a foul-filled contest that saw Findlay’s Kaylee Brodine foul out with five minutes left in the game and five players — three for Findlay, two for Clay — carrying four fouls each when the final horn sounded, Clay was able to cash in. The Eagles converted 11 of 19 free throws in the fourth quarter and 19 of 36 for the game. Findlay was 16 of 24 from the line.
“We had, like, seven fouls with 6:14 left in the third quarter. That can’t happen,” said Findlay High coach Brian Rosendale “We have to move our feet. That’s just lazy defense.”
Findlay fell to 1-6 overall, and is 0-4 in the TRAC heading into Thursday’s game, also at home, with Toledo Notre Dame.
They say the home team gets a friendly bounce now and then.
Rosendale might dispute that coaching axiom.
Findlay ran its offense system well against Clay’s man-to-man and zone defenses. Despite getting consistent looks inside, though, the Trojans couldn’t beg, borrow, steal, coax, coerce, cajole, entice, tempt or wheedle the ball into the basket.
On 2-point attempts, Findlay was 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter, 0-for-9 in the fourth and 7-for-36 for the game. A 6-for-23 effort on 3-pointers left the Trojans shooting 22 percent (13 of 59) overall.
“We were getting the shots we wanted. We just could not put the ball in the hole,” Rosendale said.
“We’ve struggled with that all year. That’s what is hurting us right now.”
Still, Findlay’s defense came up with enough turnovers (16), senior sharpshooter Katie Thomas connected on enough 3-pointers (5) and Clay missed just enough free throws (8 of 17 through three quarters) to keep things competitive.
Possession by possession competitive to be exact.
Findlay led 22-18 late in the second quarter, but Clay’s Olivia Henneman-Dallape converted one of two free throws and Kennedy Slovak nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the teams into the locker room tied 22-22.
There were nine lead changes in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Findlay led 41-38 at the end of the period, but Alivia Rew scored to open the fourth quarter, then converted two foul shots after Clay grabbed two offensive rebounds.
Findlay tied it 45-45 on a free throw by freshman Brianne Nichols with 4:02 to play, but the Trojans would hit just one more basket the rest of the game, a 3-pointer by Thomas to cut Clay’s lead to 50-48 with 1:30 on the clock.
Clay’s Faith Johnson, who missed her first three free throws of the fourth quarter, made a double bonus with 1:18 to play. Tiffany Stevens converted two more with 46.5 seconds on the clock, and a final one for the final margin with 10 seconds left.
Clay got a monster double-double from Henneman-Dallape. The 6-foot-1 junior scored six of her 18 point and grabbed seven of her 17 rebounds in the fourth quarter.
Slovak, (8 rebounds), Stevens and Rew (7 rebounds) added nine points each. Clay outrebounded Findlay 51-45
Thomas led Findlay with 21 points. Chloe Holliday had nine points and 11 rebounds and Brodine seven points and 10 rebounds before fouling out.
Findlay’s junior varsity beat Clay’s reserves 40-18 to improved to 5-2.
Findlay also won the freshman contest, 41-14.
OREGON CLAY (1-5, 1-3 TRAC)
Johnson 0-6 5-10 5, Slovak 4-10 0-0 9, Stevens 2-8 4-6 9, Henneman-Dallape 7-12 4-11 18, Al. Rew 3-3 3-4 9, Takacs 0-2 2-4 2, Pawlaczyk0-0 1-2 1, An. Rew 1-4 0-0 2. TOTALS: 17-46 19-36–55.
FINDLAY (1-6, 0-4 TRAC)
Thomas 5-18 6-8 21, Brodine 2-10 3-4 7, Puchta 0-5 0-0 0, Holliday 3-7 3-6 9, Shindeldecker 1-3 2-2 4, Michola 0-5 1-2 12, Johnson 1-7 0-0 3, Hamm 0-0 1-2 1, Prusnek 1-3 0-0 2, Scherger 0-0 0-0 0. Meyer 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 13-59 16-24–48.
Orgon Clay 5 17 16 17 — 55
Findlay 6 16 19 7 — 48
3-Point GOALS: Oregon Clay 2-15 (Takacs 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Slovak 1-5, Stevens 1-6, Henneman-Dallape 0-2); Findlay 6-23 (Prusnek 0-1, Thomas 5-14, Puchta 0-3, Johnson 1-5).
REBOUND: Oregon Clay 51 (Henneman-Dallape 17, Slovak 8, Al. Rew 7); Findlay 45 (Holliday 11, Brodine 10, Nichols 8).
TURNOVERS: Oregon Clay 16, Findlay 7.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Findlay, 40-18.
FRESHMEN: Findlay, 41-14.