BERLIN, Ohio—While the temperatures outside were climbing to unusual heights for January the shooting percentages were plummeting in the Perry Reese Center throughout day two of the 2017 Classic in the Country. Among the 12 teams taking the floor for six games Sunday only two shot 40 percent from the field and those two literally shot 40 percent on the nose. Despite the frosty attack on the rims the longstanding tradition of completive games held true to form with margins of 3, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 points leading to an average margin of just 5.8 points per game. The packed house of fans, college recruiters and media enjoyed the nail biting action all day long and plenty of talent was on display from start to finish.
Below are images and statistical recaps of all the games Sunday. The final day of competition gets underway Monday with the first of seven games tipping off at 10:00 a.m.
The cold shooting arrived early at the Reese Center Sunday morning as West branch could manage just 33.3 percent as a team from the floor in their match-up with Waterford. Not to be out done, Waterford succeeded in lowering the bar just a little more with a 15 of 57 effort and 26.3 percent on their way to a 38 – 35 loss. While the ball may not have been falling, the competitive nature of the game was still there with Waterford jumping out to a one point lead after one and holding on to the same margin at half leading the Warriors 19 – 18. West Branch took the lead in the third by way of a 13 – 8 effort giving them a 31 – 27 edge entering the final period. The Wildcats cut one off the gap but couldn’t find the range to move ahead ultimately falling by four.
There were lots of rebounds to be had in the contest and West Branch grabbed 40 of them to Waterford’s 37. The turnover edge belonged to the Wildcats who had just 10 to 16 errors committed by West Branch. Junior Kayla Hovorka led the way in the win with 13 points and 9 boards while classmate Natalie Zuchowski added 8 points and 7 rebounds of her own. Waterford’s Megan Ball, also a junior, led the way in the loss with 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting including 2 for 2 from deep. Alli Kern, another 2018 grad, chipped in 7 points and an impressive 14 rebounds as well.
The shooting percentages didn’t quite warm up in game two of the day either as Glen Este and Toledo Whitmer struggled to find the range as well. Just like the first contest, it didn’t diminish the competition as both teams battled from the opening tip. Glen Este held Whitmer to just four points in the opening period and still led at the half 18 – 14. The third quarter was back and forth with Glen Este still hanging onto a six point margin going into the fourth. Unfortunately, the final eight minutes saw them get no closer and fall to the Trojans by a final score of 42 – 36.
Glen Este was 15 of 42 from the floor as a team for 35.7 percent while Whitmer could manage just 26.8 percent on an 11 for 41 effort. The Panthers held a 7 rebound edge on the glass but they did commit 17 turnovers to Glen Este’s 12. As in their day one game, junior guard Jasmine Hale led the way with 21 points but did commit 5 of those 12 team turnovers. Kaylin Burdick, also a 2018, added 11 points and four rebounds in the win. Whitmer senior Bryce Blood had a double-double finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds but also had 6 turnovers in the contest. Junior guard Maddie Brown added 9 points to the Panther’s effort.
Easily one of the day’s most competitive match-ups came when St. Rose, visiting from New Jersey, took on perennial Buckeye State power Lakota West. From the start the game was physical and aggressive on both ends with Lakota West jumping out to a 13 – 11 lead after the first eight minutes. Not one to back down, St. Rose responded eliminating the gap by intermission and holding a 25 – 24 lead going into the locker room. Nothing was accomplished in the third as both team’s posted 11 and St. Rose was still leading the way at 36 – 35 entering the final period. The Firebirds responded holding St. Rose to just 7 points in the quarter and claiming a major 48 – 43 victory.
Lakota West was one of the “hot” teams Sunday shooting 20 for 50 in the win for 40 percent. St. Rose was close behind making 17 of their 43 attempts and coming home at 39.5 percent from the floor. The Purple Roses were 5 of 19 from three point range while Lakota West was 3 for 10. St. Rose held a 1 rebound edge but did commit 4 more turnovers than the Firebirds. Junior Notre Dame commit Abby Prohaska had 12 to lead the way for Lakota West. Standout freshman Nevaeh Dean added 12 more while junior Jasmine Ballew contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds to the cause. In the loss St. Rose got 13 points and 6 assists from junior Columbia verbal Makayla Markham. Junior forward Luciana Thomas added a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards as well. Thomas is an early verbal commitment of Monmouth.
The action stayed on the top tier in the next contest as Solon took on Huber Heights Wayne in a talent laden game with just two seniors on the rosters. Wayne wasted no time out of the gate using their transition to establish a 17 – 11 lead after the first quarter. The Comets closed to within 2 at the half trailing just 26 – 24. They knocked one more point off the deficit entering the fourth period trailing just 40 – 39. Solon owned the fourth outscoring the Warriors 17 – 8 and claiming the statement win 56 – 48.
Solon shot 39.7 percent for the contest connecting on 23 of 58 attempts from the floor. Wayne struggled going just 20 for 62 at 32.3 percent. Solon also held a solid lead on the glass grabbing 47 boards to 38 for the Warriors. Wayne did have 3 less turnovers but it wasn’t enough to overcome the other stats favoring Solon. Junior post Valencia Myers had a big double-double with 15 points and 18 rebounds. Much of Myers contributions came in the critical second half run. DePaul signee Dee Bekelja also had a double-double adding 15 points of her own to go with 10 boards. Alexis Stover, an Ohio University commit, added 13 more points to the effort. Shai McGruder had her own double-double in the losing cause finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Destiny Bohanon, a 2019, also finished with 14 points on 7 for 14 shooting. However the promising young guard also committed 6 turnovers along the way.
The hits kept coming as the next teams taking the floor were the highly regarded squads from Mason and Gilmour Academy. Coming off a day one loss Mason struggled to get going and trailed by 16 right out of the gate. By halftime they had dug themselves into a 31 – 18 hole and looked to be on their way to a second consecutive defeat. The Comets were able to trim 2 points off the lead in the third but still faced an uphill battle down 40 – 29 with eight minutes remaining. That battle went their way as they outscored Gilmour 22 – 11 to tie things up at the end of regulation at 51 all. Things went back in fourth in overtime with both teams being their own worst enemies. However, it was Mason who pulled out the win in the end by a narrow 63 – 60 final score.
Despite the win, the Comets were outshot from the floor and out rebounded on the glass. They did force the Lancers into 20 critical turnovers while committing just 10 of their own in 36 minutes of play. Senior Samari Mowbray, a Miami of Ohio signee, had 22 on 7 of 12 shooting while grabbing 7 rebounds as well. Sophomore standout Sammie Puisis also finished with 22 but struggled from the floor going 7 for 21 on the night. Senior Winthrop signee Emily Kelly led the way in the loss with 16 while junior forward Naz Hillmon continued her standout season with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Sophomore guard Annika added 11 more to the total while also racking up 8 assists.
The last game of the night saw the icicles return to the rims as Mount Notre Dame and Wadsworth both “lit it up” shooting 31.9 and 31.8 percent respectively. It was just 7 – 6 MND after one but Wadsworth warmed up a bit to take a 20 – 15 lead at the break. The Cougars closed to within 3 points at 30 – 27 entering the fourth period before going on a 22 – 9 run to finish thing off in a 49 – 39 win. Mount Notre Dame was 15 of 47 from the floor while Wadsworth finished with a 14 of 44 nightmare. The Cougars had a two rebound edge and also committed just 9 turnovers to 14 for the Grizzlies.
Sophmore guard Gabbie Marshall led the way again with 12 points in the win. Junior forward Abby Voss added 11 more along with a team leading 9 rebounds. Sophomore forward Julia Hoefling had some moments as well contributing 8 points and five rebounds. Peyton Banks was the only member of the Grizzlies to hit double digits. The junior forward had 17 points and grabbed 5 rebounds for Wadsworth in the loss.