By TED RADICK
FOSTORIA — Arcadia didn’t lead for more that one minute of the 32 minutes of game play Thursday at Fostoria High School.
But it’s the team with the lead when the buzzer sounds that wins, and the Redskins rallied in the fourth quarter and hung on in the finals seconds to defeat Old Fort 47-45 in a girls Division IV district semifinal.
In Thursday’s first game, Hopewell-Loudon pulled away from North Baltimore in the fourth quarter to post a 55-39 victory. Arcadia (19-5), seeded first in the district, faces No. 2 Hopewell-Loudon (20-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fostoria with a trip to the Elida Regional at stake.
Arcadia had two brief leads, in the first and third quarters, that Old Fort (17-7) erased on its next possession. Other than that, the Stockaders stayed in front.
The lead, though, never got more than six points. And that played large when Arcadia’s Samantha Watkins picked up her third and fourth fouls 13 seconds apart early in the third quarter.
“We were able to keep it close,” Arcadia coach Randy Baker said. “Even when we weren’t playing our best game, we were able to keep it close. We didn’t give them that separation. It was a one- or two-possession game the whole way, so I felt pretty good about that.”
Old Fort center Morgan Miller did score a game-best 19 points, but Stockaders coach Tim Ritzler lamented that his team couldn’t do more with Watkins, a senior leader for the Redskins, on the bench.
“They got some really good contributions off their bench,” Ritzler said.
The game remained a tight affair in the fourth quarter. Arcadia’s Danielle Burnett converted steal into a runout layup with 3:30 remaining to tie the game at 43-43.
Miller grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback to give Old Fort a 45-43 lead, but Burnett again tied the game with a layup.
Caity Cramer hit both ends of a one-and-one with 30 seconds left for what proved to be the final score, but Arcadia still had to sweat it out. Danielle Burnett made a key steal, but Samantha Burnett missed a free throw with five seconds left to give the Stockaders one final chance.
That last possession ended in a double dribble by Old Fort’s Jenna Clouse, as Arcadia escaped.
Lyndee Ward led Arcadia with 15 points and seven rebounds. Danielle Burnett added 10 points.
“The kids didn’t quit, we hung in there and we made plays in the end,” Baker said. “How long were we ahead?”
In Thursday’s opener, Hopewell-Loudon raced to a 25-13 halftime lead, saw North Baltimore claw back within six points after three quarters and pulled away for the victory with a 22-12 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.
The Chieftains got 15 points from MaKayla Elmore, 14 from Olivia Zender, 11 from Mackenzie Coleman and 9 from Hope Kreais in a balanced attack.
North Baltimore (14-10) closed the third quarter on a 9-4 run and had the lead down to 35-30 early in the fourth.
“We kind of lost our focus there for a bit in the second half,” said Hopewell-Loudon coach Bob Gase, who starts two freshmen and two sophomores.
The Chieftains soon righted the ship. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Zender and Coleman upped the lead to 41-30 and Hopewell-Loudon cruised home.
Elmore 11 rebounds and Zender seven for Hopewell-Loudon. Olivia Light led North Baltimore with 19 points; Grace Hagemyer had 11 rebounds and Mia McCartney seven rebounds.
“We made some shots in the second half, but they shot it well all game,” North Baltimore coach Cody Pelton said. “In a box-and-one on one player, you can overcompensate and that’s what I feared. They got nice play out of the players other than Elmore.”
Zender 4-4–14, Elmore 3-8–15, Kreais 4-1–9, Beidelschies 2-0–6, Coleman 4-2–11. TOTALS: 17 15-19 — 55.
NORTH BALTIMORE (14-10)
Light 7-1–19, Lee 1-0–3, McCartney 0-2–2, Hagemyer 3-1–7, Watson 1-0–2, Thompson 2-0–4, Inbody 1-0–2. TOTALS: 15 4-7 — 39.
Hopewell-Loudon 7 18 8 22 — 55
North Baltimore 7 6 14 12 — 39
3-Point GOALS: Hopewell-Loudon 6 (Zender 2, Beidelschies 2, Coleman, Elmore); North Baltimore 5 (Light 4, Lee).
rebounds: Hopewell-Loudon 28 (Elmore 11); North Baltimore 34 (Hagemyer 11).
turnovers: Hopewell-Loudon 17; North Baltimore 23.
OLD FORT (17-7)
Guth 2-0–5, Magers 1-0–3, Clouse 3-0–8, Davidson 0-3–3, Gillett 1-1–3, Reineck 2-0–4, Miller 7-4–19. TOTALS: 16 8-15 — 45.
S. Burnett 2-3–8, D, Burnett 4-0–10, Cramer 1-2–4, Ward 4-7–15, Keefe 1-0–2, Watkins 3-1–8. TOTALS: 15 13-16 — 47.
Old Fort 12 12 12 9 — 45
Arcadia 12 8 12 15 — 47
3-Point GOALS: Old Fort 5 (Clouse 2, Magers. Guth, Miller); Arcadia (D. Burnett 2, S. Burnett, Watkins).
rebounds: Old Fort 31 (Miller 9); Arcadia 26 (Ward 7).
turnovers: Arcadia 14; Old Fort 20.