By TED RADICK
staff writer
Liberty-Benton’s defensive output was apparent from the opening whistle Thursday.
“We wanted to hold Glick and Cramer down the best we could,” Eagles coach Nate Irwin said. “They came in averaging about 36 points per game between them, so we knew if we didn’t contain them we were going to have to score a lot of points to win.”
Liberty-Benton did the job on defense, keeping Arcadia’s Courtney Cramer (17.9 ppg) and Molly Glick (17.8) below their averages with 16 and 10 points, respectively, in a 55-40 Blanchard Valley Conference victory that clinched at least a share of the league title.
Liberty-Benton, ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press Division III, poll improved to 15-1 and 8-0 in league play. The Eagles host Arlington on Feb. 6 with a chance for an unbeaten BVC season; Leipsic (14-3, 7-1 BVC) plays at McComb that night and remains in the league race.
“It wasn’t just one girl playing defense on Glick and Cramer,” Irwin said. “We knew it would take a team effort. There’s times when Molly just makes plays. You think you have her guarded, and the next thing you know she’s so athletic she just jumps through the lane and makes a basket.”
Cramer scored five points in the first quarter and her putback off an offensive rebound gave Arcadia (11-4, 6-2 BVC) a 17-13 lead with 6:21 remaining to halftime.
Thus challenged, Liberty-Benton responded with a 16-2 run to close out the half. Rachel Myers got things going with a 3-pointer and Lauren Kotey added a layup off an inbounds play to give the Eagles an 18-17 edge.
Another Myers 3-pointer and another putback off an offensive board, this time by Jensen Hiegel, stretched the lead to 23-17. Carrie Reynolds, Kotey and Myers added baskets as L-B went up 29-19 at the break.
That kind of balanced Liberty-Benton scoring was just what Arcadia coach Randy Baker was afraid of.
“They’re just a solid ballclub,” Baker said. “You have an inside-ouside game, you have kids who can shoot the ball, everybody can score. You can’t slough off on one, and when we did we paid for it.”
“We have a lot of players that can shoot,” Myers said. “If other teams slide over on one player, someone else can make a basket. So they guard her tighter, and that opens it up for someone else.”
Irwin, for his part, wanted some more effort on the glass after watching the Redskins grab seven offensive rebounds in the first half.
“We held them to 19 points in the first half and had a 10-point lead, but 12 of their points came from our mistakes,” he said. “We weren’t rebounding well. We were contesting their first shot pretty well, but the points we gave up were easy ones.”
Nicolette DeVincentis added a pair of 3-pointers for L-B in the third quarter and another to start the fourth as the Eagles stretched their lead to 19 points at 46-27.
Myers led the Eagles with 22 points, with DeVincentis adding 12, Kotey 10 and Reynolds 7.
“Balance has been key for us all season,” Irwin said. “Losing Katie Simon and her 18 points before the season left a big hole for us offensively, so we’ve had to have girls respond and they have.”
Arcadia was down but not out. Abbie Dauterman, who finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, put back an offensive rebound of her own shot. Cramer nailed a 3-pointer, Glick got inside for a pair of layups and Cramer finished an 11-1 run with a pair of free throws as the Redskins cut the L-B lead to 47-38.
“We don’t care who we play, we come into every game thinking we are going to win,” Baker said.
“I thought we were playing pretty well,” Irwin said, “but against a good team like Arcadia, sometimes they have a way of making it look like we weren’t. That’s what happens when you play a good basketball team. You’re trying to do the right thing and you can’t, because they’re just making good plays.”
Myers scored six points in the final couple of minutes to finish things off for the Eagles. She added five assists; Heigel led the Eagles with seven rebounds.
Liberty-Benton now turns its focus to a perfect league record and sole possession to the BVC title.
“The three teams we lost to in the league (McComb, Arcadia and Arlington) last year are our last three league games this year,” Myers said. “We knew the final stretch was going to be the toughest, and now we’ve beaten two of the three we lost to last year.
“We’re not satisfied. We don’t want to share.”

Arcadia (11-4, 6-2 BVC)
Mock 0-0–0, Kirian 2-0–4, Pina 0-0–0, Glick 4-2–10, Cramer 5-4–16, Dauterman 4-2–10, Ware 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15-41 8-13–40.
Liberty-Benton (15-1, 8-0 BVC)
Trevino 0-0–0, Kotey 4-2–10, Myers 7-6–22, Hiegel 2-0–4, DeVincentis 4-0–12, Reynolds 3-0–7. TOTALS: 20-43 8-11–55.
Arcadia 13 6 8 13 — 40
Liberty-Benton 13 16 14 12 — 55
3-Point GOALS: Arcadia 2-13 (Cramer 2); Liberty-Benton 7-21 (DeVincentis 4, Myers 2, Reynolds).
rebounds: Arcadia 24 ( Dauterman 10); Liberty-Benton 18 (Hiegel 7).
turnovers: Arcadia 13, Liberty-Benton 12.
junior varsity: Liberty-Benton, 22-20.
Radick, 419-427-8405,
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Findlay High School’s hockey schedule, altered a time or two this season because of weather, had to be revamped again this week when Centerville informed the school it would not be coming north on Friday for its nonleague matchup with the Trojans at the Huntington Bank Arena.
Findlay, which hasn’t played a game since competing in the Walsh Jesuit Tournament on Jan. 19, will still have a home game on Friday, however. Team officials were able to line up a contest with the Eastwood Eagles, a AA Midget program that pulls 14- to 18-year olds from Northwest Ohio districts that do not have school-sponsored hockey teams.
The teams are no strangers on the ice. Eastwood was one of the teams in the Findlay Christmas Tournament. Findlay won the head-to-head matchup between the two squads, 10-2.
Findlay (11-10-4) will hit the road over the weekend, heading to Indiana to face Hamilton on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. and Nobelsville in a 10 a.m. contest on Sunday.
Findlay will also be looking to wrap up Northwest Hockey Conference play before district tournament competition begins Feb. 13 at Tam-O-Shanter Arena. in Sylvania.
A NHC game with Bowling Green, postponed twice by bad weather, has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Bowling Green State University.

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By BRIAN LESTER
STAFF WRITER
On the brink of potentially going to overtime, the University of Findlay women’s basketball team stepped up on defense when it mattered against Walsh Thursday night.
Karli Beasley blocked a desperation 3-point shot up top by Kelsey Funderburgh as the final seconds ticked off the clock and then hit two free throws on the other end to seal the deal on a 56-51 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over the Cavaliers at Croy Gymnasium.
The Oilers have struggled defensively, but against the Cavs, they played well, holding WU to 30 percent (18 of 60) from the field and forced 26 turnovers en route to the victory.
“It’s the first time all year where our defense saved us,” UF head coach Jim Wiedie said.
Defending that final play with UF clinging to a 54-51 lead wasn’t easy. But the Oilers didn’t allow the Cavs to get a good look at the basket in a pressure-packed moment.
“In that situation, you just have to guard your man,” Wiedie said. “There couldn’t be any blitzing or trapping. We had to play straight up and make them take a tough shot. We executed perfectly and Beasley had a big block at the end.”
UF (9-8, 6-7 GLIAC) also made its share of plays down the stretch on offense behind the effort of Margaret Wuebker and Ciara Geiger.
Wuebker extended the UF lead to 47-41 with 5:27 to play and then battled for a steal on the other end. She came up with the ball on the floor and threw it down to Geiger, who sliced into the lane and scored on a layup for a 49-41 advantage.
The Cavs (6-12, 2-10) fought back and pulled within three at 51-48 before Geiger got into the lane, scored on a layup and drew a foul. Her free throw stretched the UF lead to 54-48 before the Cavs answered one more time on a 3-pointer by Sarah Stephenson.
Geiger finished with 16 points and Wuebker netted 12 points to pace the Oilers, who shot 36.7 percent (18 of 49) from the field as they won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 7.
“Ciara is getting more comfortable in the offense,” Wiedie said. “She is a scorer and got to the rim a couple of times. Margaret continues to be a beast. We rely on her so much. I was a little worried about the fouls , but Kelsey Lewis did a fantastic job of spelling her until she got back in.”
The Oilers did still struggle from beyond the arc, connecting on only five of their 22 attempts. Karli Bonar paved the way with three treys to help stake UF to a 27-17 lead at half.
But Bonar was 3 of 10 overall from 3-point range and Wiedie said it’s tough to put a finger on the reason behind the Oilers’ outside shooting struggles as a team.
“I’m not sure what it is with us. We still can’t hit those open threes,” Wiedie said.
“I’ve never coached a team with as good of shooters as we have and we are all off at the same time.”
Whitney Dabbelt led the Cavs with 14 points and Jalynn Graham finished with 13 points but couldn’t prevent WU from falling for the eighth time in nine games.
As for the Oilers, it’s on to a game with South Division leader Malone (13-6, 8-5).
“They have a lot of talent, especially the starting five, but I think our kids will be pumped to play this game. It’s a chance to play the first-place team in the South. We have to be ready to go,” Wiede said.

walsh (6-11, 2-9 GLIAC)
Dabbelt 5-7 4-4 14, Graham 4-10 4-6 13, Trujillo 1-8 0-0 2, Funderburgh 1-13 3-4 5, Stephenson 3-7 0-0 9, Jones 2-3 0-0 4, Gallupe 2-5 0-0 4, Badovick 0-1 0-0 0, Berry 0-6, 0-1 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18-60 11-15–51.
findlay (8-8, 5-7 GLIAC)
Wuebker 4-8 4-6 12, Beasley 1-8, 3-5 5, Andrews 0-0 4-4 4, Geiger 7-11 2-4 16, Bonar 3-11 0-0 9, Gunning 2-7 0-0 4, Kessler 0-0 1-2, 1, Lewis 1-1 1-1 3, Klausing 0-1 0-0 0, Kenny 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18-49 15-22–56.
HALFTIME: Findlay, 27-17.
3-Point GOALS: Walsh 4-24 (Stephenson 3-4, Graham 1-2, Badovick 0-1, Gallupe 0-1, Trujillo 0-2, Berry 0-5, Funderburgh 0-9): Findlay 5-22 (Bonar 3-10, Gunning 2-4, Kenny 0-1, Geiger 0-3, Beasley 0-4).
rebounds: Walsh 44 (Dabbelt 10); Findlay 38 (Wuebker 7).
ASSISTS: Walsh 14 (Trujillo 7); Findlay 11 (Geiger 3).
STEALS: Walsh 19 (Trujillo & Gallupe 4); Findlay 16 (Bonar 6).
BLOCKS: Walsh 5, Findlay 2.
TURNOVERS: Walsh 26, Findlay 27.
TOTAL FOULS: Walsh 20, Findlay 17.
FOULED OUT: None.
Lester, 419-427-8409
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UPPER SANDUSKY — Taylor Graboski recorded a triple-double and Upper Sandusky held off a fourth quarter rally to upset Bucyrus 65-61 on Tuesday in North Central Conference girls basketball.
Graboski finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead Upper Sandusky (8-8, 6-5 NCC), which entered the game in fourth place in the conference, two games behind third-place Bucyrus.
Emma Smith finished with 15 points, Sierra Carey added 14 and Kalene Johnson had 10 for the Rams.
Macey Sheerer scored 26 points and Kelci Simms had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Bucyrus (13-5, 7-4).

BUCYRUS (13-5, 7-4 NCC)
Sheerer 11-1–26, Flaherty 1-1–3, Orewiler 1-2–4, Wyeth 2-3–9, Aubrey 1-2–4, Seibert 1-0–2, Simms 6-0–13. TOTALS: 23 9-16–61.
UPPER SANDUSKY (8-8, 6-5 NCC)
Holly 3-0–6, Calvin 0-0–0, Smith 6-3–15, Johnson 5-0–10, Carey 5-0–14, Stover 1-0–2, Graboski 7-4–18. TOTALS: 27 7-14–65.
Bucyrus 12 20 14 15 — 61
Upper Sandusky 12 20 14 15 — 65
3-Point GOALS: Bucyrus 6 (Sheerer 3, Wyeth 2, Simms); Upper Sandusky 4 (Carey 4).
junior varsity: Bucyrus, 37-35.
TOL. NOTRE DAME 71
FINDLAY 29
Playing state-ranked Toledo Notre Dame is tough enough.
Playing the Eagles when they’ve got something to prove makes it that much tougher.
Notre Dame, still stinging from a three-game losing streak that included its first Three Rivers Athletic Conference loss in three years, cruised to a 71-29 win over Findlay in TRAC girls basketball action on Thursday.
Tierra Floyd, a 6-foot-2 junior being recruited by several Division I colleges, scored 22 points. Kaayla McIntyre, another 6-2 junior, added 14 as Notre Dame, which slid to No. 9 in the state rankings after losing to No. 1 Mason and No. 3 Kettering Fairmont in the Classic in the Country Tournament and to Toledo Whitmer in a TRAC matchup last week, improved to 11-3 overall and 8-1 in the league.
“Floyd is such a tremendous athlete. With her size and ability to play like a guard, she creates a lot of issues,” said FHS coach Connie Lyon. “I was pleased with how we played in spurts. But we strugggled on the defensive end because they are so athletic and so solid on the interior.”
Zoe Swisher, Joslyn Bendt and Sarah Thomas all scored six points for Findlay (2-14, 2-7 TRAC).

NOTRE DAME (11-3, 8-1)
Copeland 1-0–3, Huth 2-1–5, Miller 2-1–6, Ohlinger 0-1–1, Gaines 3-0–6, McIntyre 6-2–14, Goedde 1-1–3, Jefferson 2-1–6, Parker 0-1–1, Floyd 11-4–26. TOTALS: 28-52 12-18–71.
FINDLAY (2-14, 2-7)
Swisher 3-0–6, Bendt 3-0–6, E. Miller 1-0–2, Smarkel 1-2–4, Hardesty 1-1–4, Thomas 2-1–6, Vielhaber 0-1–1. TOTALS: 11-40 5-8–29.
Tol. Notre Dame 19 15 18 19 — 71
Findlay 9 5 7 8 — 29
3-Point GOALS: Notre Dame 3-4 (Copeland, Miller, Jefferson); Findlay 2-10 (Hardesty, Thomas).
junior varsity: Toledo Notre Dame, 34-26.

ALLEN EAST 50
COLUMBUS GROVE 44
COLUMBUS GROVE — Columbus Grove built a 20-13 halftime lead over Allen East, but the Mustangs outscored the Bulldogs 37-24 in the second half and won 50-44 in a Northwest Conference girls basketball game Thursday.
The Bulldogs (12-6, 4-2 NWC) were outscored 15-8 in the fourth quarter. Lynea Diller led Columbus Grove with 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Sammi Stechschulte added 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and had nine rebounds.
Kaycee Rowe dropped 17 points to lead Allen East (13-4, 6-0 NWC), which remained unbeaten in the NWC.

allen east (13-4, 6-0 NWC)
Rowe 8-1–17, Clum 4-2–10, L. Woods 2-2–7, Richards 4-0–11, A. Woods 0-5–5. TOTALS: 18-37 10-20–50.
columbus grove (12-6, 4-2 NWC)
McCluer 2-0–6, Clement 2-2–7, Stechschulte 4-0–11, Schumacher 0-1–1, Wynn 2-0–4, Yinger 1-0–3, Diller 4-4–12, Vorhees 0-0–0, Endicott 0-0–0, Hoffman 0-0–0, Wurth 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15-38 7-10–44.
Allen East 9 4 22 15 — 50
Columbus Grove 11 9 16 8 — 44
3-Point GOALS: Allen East 4-9 (Richards 3, L. Woods 1); Columbus Grove 7-17 (Stechschulte 3, McCluer 2, Clement & Yinger 1).
rebounds: Allen East 16, Columbus Grove 27.
turnovers: Allen East 15, Columbus Grove 13.
junior varsity: Columbus Grove, 49-14.
KALIDA 69
MILLER CITY 34
KALIDA — Nicole Recker’s 17 points, six rebounds and four steals led Kalida to a 69-34 win over Miller City in a Putnam County League girls basketball game Thursday.
Kalida (7-10, 2-2 PCL) held a 23-19 halftime lead and outscored Miller City 19-4 in the third quarter to take control of the game. Brittany Kahle scored 13 points and dished out five assists, and Kylie Osterhage added 12 points, including two 3-pointers.
Tiffany Welte and Jenelle Kuhlman each scored seven points to lead Miller City (1-14, 0-6 PCL).

miller city (1-14, 0-6 PCL)
Welty 3-1–7, Kuhlman 3-1–7, Lammers 2-1–5, Berger 1-2–4, Warnimont 1-1–3, Altman 1-1–3, L. Schroeder 1-0–3, Alexander 1-0–2, Klear 0-0–0, Roth 0-0–0, M. Schroeder 0-0–0, Heuerman 0-0–0. TOTALS: 13-27 7-15–34.
kalida (7-10, 2-2 PCL)
N. Recker 7-2–17, Kahle 4-4–13, Osterhage 5-0–12, Siebeneck 1-4–6, Hoffman 2-0–5, Basinger 2-0–4, Reindel 1-0–3, A. Recker 1-0–2, Vorst 1-0–2, Laudick 0-0–0. TOTALS: 26-57 10-21–69.
Miller City 11 8 4 11 — 34
Kalida 14 9 19 27 — 69
3-Point GOALS: Miller City 1-7 (L. Schroeder 1); Kalida 7-18 (Osterhage 2, N. Recker, Kahle, Hoffman, Kaufman & Reindel 1).
rebounds: Miller City 20 (Lammers 6); Kalida 25 (N. Recker 6).
turnovers: Miller City 35, Kalida 17.
ADA 46
BLUFFTON 42
BLUFFTON — Ada’s Tori Wyss pumped in 18 points and the Bulldogs used an 11-5 advantage in the second quarter to fend off Bluffton 46-42 in a Northwest Conference matchup Thursday night.
Ada (7-9, 2-4 NWC) led 7-6 at the end of the first period before using the second stanza to build an 18-11 lead from which the Pirates could never recover.
Alexis Amburgey added eight points, including two of the Bulldogs’ three 3-pointers.
Sarah Schriner finished with 14 points and Paige Buroker netted 10 for Bluffton (10-6, 4-2).

ADA (7-9, 2-4 NWC)
Gonzaga 1-0–2, Marshall 3-1–7, Amburgey 3-0–8, Archer 0-0–0, Faine 2-0–4, Wildman 2-1–5, H. Wyss 0-2–2, T. Wyss 6-5–18. TOTALS: 17 9-12 — 46.
BLUFFTON (10-6, 4-2 NWC)
Schriner 4-5–14, Hunt 0-4–4, Baker 0-0–0, Buroker 3-2–10, Fruchey 3-0–8, Schmutz 1-0–2, Parkins 1-0–2, Prichard 1-0–2. TOTALS: 13 11-14 — 42.
Ada 7 11 13 15 — 46
Bluffton 6 5 12 19 — 42
3-Point GOALS: Ada 3 (Amburgey 2, T. Wyss); Bluffton 5 (Buroker & Fruchey 2, Schriner).
PATRICK HENRY 87
LIBERTY CENTER 69
HAMLER — Katie Wagner and Alyson Prigge each scored 17 points as five Patrick Henry players scored in double figures in a …read more

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