BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — The only win for the Anthony Wayne girls basketball team in the Northern Lakes League tournament was over visiting Maumee, 66-9.
In a crazy season marred by a global pandemic, it was refreshing for AW to pull one out, even if it was Maumee’s first game since being quarantined and not being on the court for a couple weeks.
“It feels very good to win,” said AW coach Jami Carter. “It’s been a rough year, but our kids have battled. They have done what we have asked of them.
“You can’t fault the kids for anything that is going on and they come in every day ready to work.”
Ten Generals got into the scoring column, led by junior guard Sophia Schneider, who had 12 points, six steals and four rebounds.
AW junior post Jenna Rybicki had a double-double (12 points and 15 rebounds) and senior guard Kayla Crandall added 10 points.
The Generals led 42-7 at halftime and forced Maumee into 42 turnovers, including 29 steals by the AW defense.
Anthony Wayne outrebounded the Panthers, 47-30, and the Generals shot 38 percent from the field, made one of two free throws and had 14 turnovers.
Senior guard Shelby Myers chipped in seven points and five steals and sophomore guard Mallori Pollock had six points, two steals and nine rebounds.
Senior guard Kelsey Ragan had six points, five steals and four rebounds and senior post Hannah Pfundt added four points, four rebounds and two steals.
AW junior guards Maison Barrow, Zoey Ludwig and Amelia Womack added two points each, while Barrow had four steals and Womack grabbed four rebounds.
For Maumee, sophomore guard Haley Hughes scored three points and senior Maia Wilms, junior Taylor Westrick and sophomore Katelyn Owens added two points each.
Junior forward Jessica Roper led the Panthers with six rebounds, Owens had five boards and Hughes grabbed four.
Despite the margin of victory, MHS coach Rafael Soler does not want to make any excuses.
“We told them we can use any excuse in the world – we’ve had all these breaks, the quarantine and all that kind of stuff,” Soler said.
“We just told them, ‘Stick with me.’ Our mantra has been we have to keep getting better every day, so that is our next step now. They keep working hard and trusting in what we are doing.
“As for the coaching staff, we are just going to keep working and we know that they are going to try and do the best they can, and we’re going to keep getting better.”
Carter was impressed with Maumee’s effort, too.
“Their coach does a really good job of staying positive,” she said. “They have been in quarantine, too, and they just got back to playing.”
AW heads into the sectional tournament at 5-10 overall and finished their NLL season 3-3 but went 1-2 in the tournament.
Despite the losses, Ragan believes the team has come a long way since the season began.
“I think we struggled in midseason, but I think we’re on the rise a little bit, “she said. “Now would be a good time to turn it around.”
The Generals open the Division I tournament hosting Bowsher at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. A win would send them into the district semifinals against the Northview-Lima Senior winner at Central Catholic on Thursday, February 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Carter hopes the win over Maumee and the two tournament losses will help the team grow heading into the tournament.
“They deserve the win, but we’re ready,” Carter said. “We’re hitting our peak, but the shutdown hurt us big-time.
“Everybody is coming in enthusiastic and with the intensity level that we saw at the beginning of the season. We are now getting that back.”
Maumee opened the D-II tournament on Wednesday, at Lima Bath. If the Panthers win, they will travel to play the Rogers-Rossford winner on Saturday, February 20 for the right to advance to the district tournament.
Anthony Wayne freshman guard Lauren Abodeely scored 21 points to lead the JV Generals to a 67-19 over visiting Maumee.
Junior guard Maison Barrow and sophomore guard Chloe Zenk scored 11 apiece for the Generals, which forced 46 turnovers.
Zenk had seven steals, Abodeely had six, Barrow five, freshman guard Lyndsay Borcherdt four and freshman post Anna Rasmusson, junior guard Zoey Ludwig and freshman post Maddie Mitchell three steals apiece.
Borcherdt scored seven points, Ludwig and Mitchell added six apiece and freshman guard Tatum Roder had three points for AW.
Anthony Wayne benefitted from seven rebounds by Rasmusson and six by Zenk, but Maumee had a 27-22 edge off the glass, led by freshman Hannah Binkowski, who had six caroms.
Sophomore Camy Wedge led the Panthers in scoring with nine points, Binkowski added four and sophomores Evelynn Schneider and Autumn Miller and freshman Sky Janes contributed two apiece.
Maumee freshman Lily Duling did not score but had three steals on defense.