DEFIANCE– On Tuesday, February 21st, the Edgerton Bulldogs faced the North Central Eagles in a rematch from earlier in the season. On the first encounter the Eagles were able to win on their home court, 32-26. However, this time the contest was on a neutral court at Defiance High School. Edgerton capitalized on their inside game, as well as forcing 18 North Central turnovers en route to a 49-34 triumph over the Eagles in the Division IV Semi-final.
After almost 2:30 with no score, Alyssa Swank got the Eagles on the board with a 3 pointer from the top of the key. Following two turnovers by each team, Edgerton got their initial basket in the paint from Bree Hug at the 4:26 mark of the first quarter. A drive to the bucket with an “and one” by Makayla Hayes put NC up 6-2. Lindsey Brown powered one up inside for the Eagles to take an 8-2 lead with 3:02 left.
Edgerton’s Claire Flegal halted the NC run with a basket, but Swank hit another from downtown with 2:24 left in the opening stanza to extend the lead to 11-4.
The Lady Bulldogs ended the quarter with baskets in the paint, first on a drive by Ally Cape, then by Cloey Whitman to make the score 11-8 after one.
Quarter number two began with a series of exchanging baskets until the score was 15-14, North Central, with 5:33 remaining in the stanza. The final score, by Whitman, prompted a time out by the Eagles.
Following the stoppage, North Central suffered two turnovers, and a score on a drive by Flegal gave Edgerton the lead 16-15, prompting Eagle Head Coach, Eric Stantz, to call another time out with 3:48 left in the quarter. Flegal added another basket to make the score 18-15.
The first of two free throws by NC’s Madyson Bonney went in, followed by an Edgerton miscue, then two more foul shots from Payton Taylor, which knotted the game at 18 all as 1:53 was on the clock.
Whitman powered up a score inside, and was fouled on the basket. She converted the charity toss, her 9th point of the quarter, to give Edgerton the lead back at 21-18. The Eagles Sidney McKarns was hacked in the act with 43 seconds left, and sank two more foul shots to close out the first half scoring for NC. Edgerton got the final score before intermission when Bree Hug drove to the basket with four seconds left. As both teams headed to their locker rooms, Edgerton led 23-20.
The momentum Edgerton gained before halftime carried over into the third quarter as the Lady Bulldogs scored nine unanswered points, the final basket a lay-up from Sara Roth. A basket by Lindsey Brown on an inbounds play stopped the bleeding for North Central at the 4:57 mark of the quarter.
Both teams struggled taking care of the ball as well as shooting the rest of the quarter. As the clock ticked to zero, Edgerton headed into the fourth with a 35-26 lead.
Hug received a sweet feed from Cape to open the scoring for the Bulldogs at the 7:40 mark of number four. Hayes, North Central’s leading scorer, who had been held to just three points to this point, added two more on an inbounds play, followed by Swank nailing her third trifecta of the night. Hayes was fouled by Flegal, and made the second of two free throws to cut the lead to 37-32, with 5:37 left in the contest, prompting an Edgerton time out. The timing was perfect as Autumn Gruver hit a huge 3 pointer for the Bulldogs.
Hug scored again in the paint, then Cape drove hard to the hole for another bucket extending the lead to 12 points, 44-32, with 4:11 left.
Bonney scored on a lob for the Eagles, but that ended up being the final score on the night for North Central.
Hug was fouled on two different occasions dropping in one free throw each time, and added another basket inside to complete her 8th point of the fourth quarter. Cape hit the second first of two charity tosses to provide the final score 49-34, and advancing the Lady Bulldogs to the Sectional Final where they take on the #1 seeded Stryker Panthers.
Turnovers played a huge role in the game’s outcome as Edgerton had just 9, while North Central doubled that number. The Bulldogs exerted their will on North Central as most of their points came from inside the paint. Edgerton connected on 21-46 shots for 46%, including two three pointers, and made 5 of 11 free throws. They had nine offensive, and 14 defensive rebounds.
Edgerton was led in scoring by the post pair of Hug and Whitman who added 12 and 11 points respectively. Cape and Flegal each scored 8 points, while Gruver had 5. Rebecca Schroeder had 3 points and Roth 2 to close out the scoring for the Lady Dogs.
The Lady Eagles connected on just 11 field goals, with three of those field goals coming from behind the arc, and was good on 9 of 17 charity tosses. North Central gathered 5 offensive, and 20 defensive boards.
Swank’s three trifectas gave her 9 points for the night, while Lindsey Brown added 8 points off the bench. Hayes was held to 7 points and McKarns had 5. Bonney had 3 and Taylor added a pair of free throws for the Eagles.
With the win, Edgerton moves to 6-17 on the season. North Central concludes their schedule standing 8-15. The contest was the final one for seniors Kelsie Beres, Makayla Hayes, Alex Richmond, and Alyssa Swank.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Edgerton 8 15 12 14 – 49
North Central 11 9 6 8 – 34
Kent Hutchison can be reached at email@example.com