By ANDY WOLF
Fostoria High School’s Meredith Grine and Tyriana Settles simply couldn’t be stopped in the second half against Genoa on Thursday night.
The senior duo combined for 28 of the Lady Red’s 31 points after halftime while scoring all 16 in the fourth quarter, eight apiece, to help their team rally past the Comets for a 59-52 Northern Buckeye Conference girls basketball victory.
The 5 foot 9 Settles dominated in the paint and put up a game-high 29 points, at least 14 in each half, with six rebounds.
Grine (5-10) pumped in 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. All three of Grine’s assists also went to Settles.
“Our styles relate,” Grine said of her and Settles. “I look up to her. She’s a good player so we read, we know how each other plays. We learned off of each other.
“We’re always pushing for that person to score so we’re always looking for each other, encouraging each other.”
The Lady Red improved to 5-14 overall, 2-10 in the NBC while the Comets are 3-14, 0-12.
Fostoria also topped its win total last season — a 4-19 overall finish.
Fostoria coach Craig Mintz was proud of his whole team’s refusal to quit and ability to play together with enjoyment.
The defensive pressure that allowed 20 second-half points was a full team effort and the Grine-Settles duo shouldered the offensive load to spearhead a comeback.
“Those two are amazing kids; they’re amazing players,” Mintz said. “Meredith, she came off that (ACL) injury last year and it took her a while to realize she can really play. Now she is and man is she fun to watch.
“Tyriana is just Tyriana. She gets the ball and creates things — and she sees it before I see it which is sometimes scary because I think some of our girls aren’t ready for it yet.”
Genoa got out to a 32-28 halftime lead and opened it up to 36-28 midway through the third quarter as Fostoria committed three turnovers to start the third.
“We’re a team that loves to give teams about a 12-spot head start; I don’t know why,” Fostoria coach Craig Mintz said. “Then, at about 4 minutes to go in the third quarter, we decided to play.”
Settles scored off an offensive rebound for Fostoria’s first points of the quarter at the 4:11 mark and Mintz took a timeout shortly after.
Out of the timeout, the Lady Red ramped up their press to forced four turnovers on Genoa’s next six possessions.
The spurt created an 8-0 run to tie the game and Grine splashed in a 3-pointer from the right wing for their first lead since the first quarter.
Genoa tied it up quickly on a 3-ball by Kendall Gerke and even took a 41-40 lead via Darcie Goodman’s transition layup.
But Settles answered Goodman’s score off an assist by Grine in the final minute and the Lady Red led 43-41 after a free throw by Rubi Dessausure.
“It’s happened all year. Some teams we can fight and continue to get back in the game; some teams we just can’t,” Mintz said.
“If you look at our stats, we beat most teams in the second half but get drilled in the first.”
The fourth quarter turned to the second act of the Grine and Settles show.
Grine opened with one of her unorthodox looking 3-pointers with a low right-handed release.
Her second one gave Fostoria a comfortable 53-46 lead with 3 minutes remaining.
“I used to love threes before my (torn) ACL (last season). I was a big 3-point shooter,” Grine said. “After that I hadn’t really bounced back until these past two or three games.
“Things started falling for me and I started playing the game how I know.”
Grine accounted for all three Fostoria 3-pointers in just five team attempts.
Their gameplan of attacking the rim with entry passes and getting to the rim was working efficient as they shot 52.3 percent overall (23 of 44).
Getting those shots was more the issue, as the Lady Red committed 25 turnovers and were vastly outrebounded at 15-8 in the first half on the offensive end.
Gerke turned in 15 points and recorded six of Genoa’s 15 steals.
Rylee Fredericksen added seven points and nine rebounds, five offensive, while Goodman had 13 points and four offensive rebounds.
“At the beginning I felt that we were the more intense team,” Genoa coach Kimberly Myer said. “That doesn’t usually happen where we bring that intensity.
“I don’t know if it’s something where we get tired or what happens but it’s got to be an all-game thing.”
Dessausure added four points, seven rebounds and two steals as a spark off the Fostoria bench.
“She’s getting there; I see big things for her,” Mintz said of his 5-6 junior post. “… She’s like a guard in a post body; she has that knack of where the ball’s going to be and how she’s supposed to be there.”
GENOA (3-14, 0-12 NBC)
G. Goodman 2-0–6, Gerke 5-3–15, Fredericksen 3-0–7, O. Wiciak 2-0–4, Bradfield 2-3–7, D. Goodman 6-1–13. TOTALS: 20-61 7-11–52.
FOSTORIA (5-14, 2-10 NBC)
Weimerskirch 1-0–2, Grine 5-5–18, Miller 2-0–4, Settles 12-3–27, Dessausure 1-2–4, Overton 1-0–2, Cook 1-0–2. TOTALS: 23-44 10-18–59.
Genoa 15 17 9 11 — 52
Fostoria 13 15 15 16 — 59
3-Point GOALS: Genoa 5-22 (G. Goodman & Gerke 2, Fredericksen); Fostoria 3-5 (Grine 3).
rebounds: Genoa 33 (Fredericksen 9); Fostoria 37 (Grine 9).
turnovers: Genoa 18; Fostoria 25.