Maumee Girls Rebound From Loss With Big Win At Rossford

Maumee’s Autumn Gugger looks for an open teammate. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — After getting off to a slow start against Bowling Green in a loss last week, Maumee girls basketball coach Rafael Soler had been stressing the need for a better start in the week’s contest at Rossford.

The Panthers were obviously listening, hopping out to a big lead in the first half and cruising to a 45-22 win in their Northern Buckeye Conference opener.

Maumee led 20-7 after one quarter and 30-9 at halftime.

“We tweaked some things in our pregame, not only in the warmup but also how we are conducting ourselves in the locker room before the game,” Soler said. “It seems to have worked and the girls were locked in the entire game.

“It also had to do with our attention to detail in practice. It led to the product we were able to put on the court Friday night. I have to give a lot of praise to my assistant coach Nick Porter for his effort to try and fix our slow starts.”

The Panthers fell behind 12-2 in a 34-30 loss to BG, outscoring the Bobcats 28-22 after the first quarter. Taylor Smith led the team with 10 points. Autumn Gugger added eight points, and Lucy Porter had six.

In the win over Rossford, Porter scored 15 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting, with four rebounds and four steals.

Megyn Calopietro had nine points, five boards and three steals, and Smith added seven points and four assists. Izzy Yancy pulled down 10 rebounds and scored three points.

“Right now we are playing some great team basketball,” Soler said. “Against Rossford, we had 19 made shots and had an assist on 15 of those shots. The girls are really buying into the team-first concept and are working hard for each other more than anything else.

“This team knows that multiple people have to step up and that they are all capable of taking that leadership role on any given night. It makes it fun for the team and us as coaches to not know who is going to shine each and every game.”

The Panthers ended the week 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Soler said his team, which was picked to finish next-to-last in the NBC by a coaches’ vote, is playing with a chip on its shoulder.

“Going into a new league presents new challenges and opportunities,” he said. “A lot of these teams have been playing each other for a long time and know everyone really well. We are embracing the role of underdog and playing with a little chip on our shoulder to prove that we belong in this league.”

Next up for Maumee are two more away games in the NBC – Thursday at Otsego and Saturday at league-favorite Fostoria. 

“The focus of this team is to do all of the little things,” Soler said. “We are trying to win our next game with everything that we do in practice. The contest will take care of itself if you work as hard as you can to prepare. The girls are embracing the process and just want to get better every day.”

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