ARCHBOLD: February 27, 2014 – The Pettisville Lady Blackbirds are no strangers to adversity. When everything appears to be falling apart, the state ranked Ladybirds’ cool demeanor not only carries them through, but also puts them in the winners bracket more often than not. On February 27 though, the Ladybirds met a new kind of adversity in Ayersville. With Dana Fricke, a candidate for postseason awards galore as the tallest girl on the Pettisville team at 5′ 10″, the Lady Blackbirds were facing a potent paint combination of Molly Hammerstein at 5′ 11″ and Megan Schubert in the post at 6′ 4″. It was the damage done by those two that brought the Pettisville season to a close by a 53-48 score.
Hammersmith and Fricke led the scoring early as all nine of the first period points for Ayersville came from Hammersmith, while Fricke accounted for six of Pettisville’s eleven. It was in the second period that the perimeter defense of Ayersville toughened, making outside shots almost as tough for the Ladybirds as challenging the twin towers in the paint. three free throws from Mikala Avina was all that separated Pettisville from a shutout in the second period as the Lady Pilots carried a 24-14 lead going into the half.
The third period saw the Lady Pilots continuing to add the points, but their defense was unable to adjust for Avina, who cranked up her speed and carried her team on her shoulders. Arguably the best point guard in Northwest Ohio, Avina became a blur on the offense, bringing to the fore the adage, ‘You can’t stop what you can’t see.’ Pettisville went on a 23-13 run in the third to tie the game going into the fourth. Of those 23 points, 12 came off the hands of Avina, many as a result of fearlessly crashing into the no-man’s land of the Ayersville interior.
The fourth period was back and forth, but with Avina and Fricke both walking the wire with four fouls apiece, the Lady Pilots began to pound the interior again, then alternated out to guard Kylee Tressler who hit on six of her total seven points in the final frame. Once Ayersville got the lead back late, the Ladybirds were forced to answer on every possession, something they could not do. Pettisville was forced to give fouls, and free throws from Schubert and Hammersmith helped ice away the win.
The loss closes the book on the Lady Blackbird careers of seniors Olivia Wright, Lauren Hostetler and Audra Klopfenstein.
Avina led Pettisville with 17 points, and Fricke had 15. Jordyn Pursel finished with 10 points, Hostetler had 5 points, and Klopfenstein finished with a free throw.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Ayersville 9 15 13 16 – 53
Pettisville 11 3 23 11 – 48
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