Van Wert junior Erin Morrow drives to the hoop during the Lady Cougars 64-35 win over the Memorial Roughriders on Thursday night. Van Wert improved to 4-1 with the win. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Nick Johnson
Times Bulletin Correspondent
ST. MARYS - The Van Wert Lady Cougars traveled to St. Mary's High School on Thursday night for girls high school basketball action in the Western Buckeye League. The Cougars were able to come away with the win by beating the Roughriders 64-35.
The Roughriders and Cougars exchanged three-pointers to start the game as Erika Angstman nailed one from the corner for St. Marys. Van Wert got three-pointers from Erin Morrow and Emily Moonshower to take a 6-3 lead.
After two made foul shots by Lee Ann Bertke for the Roughriders, Van Wert went on a 7-0 run to increase the lead to 13-5. Van Wert got another three, this one from Cheyenne Handy, and a basket from Claire Bulter during the run.
A Cougar triple by Morrow and a made free throw from Alexis Dowdy moved the score at the end of one quarter to 17-7.
Van Wert got a Dowdy layup and a Riley Jones three-pointer to start the second period and increase the Cougar lead to 15.
The Roughriders went a little run of their own in the second as St. Marys scored eight unanswered points, getting four-in-a-row from Reagan Aller, to cut the lead back to 22-15, but the Cougars closed the half with a fury, running off the final seven point to take a 29-15 lead into the break.
With the score 39-19 in the third quarter, the Roughriders went on a 7-0 run to decrease the Cougar lead. St. Marys got three points from Angstman and a basket from Rachel Meier to cut the Van Wert lead to 39-26, but was really the last noise Memorial would make.Van Wert got back-to-back layups from Dowdy to end the quarter and push the lead back to 19.
The Cougars continue to build their lead in the fourth quarter as Van Wert got a layup from Emily Bair and layup from Kaitlynn Hall.
The Roughriders got three points from Mallory Kill in the fourth quarter but it wasn't enough as the Cougars got the win 64-35.
Van Wert had three girls in double figures as Erin Morrow had a game high 14 points, Alexis Dowdy chipped in 12 points and Cheyenne Handy added 11 off the bench. Only one St. Marys player was able to score in double digits and that was Erika Angstman with 10 points.
"A little sloppy, but a pretty solid effort overall. We were settling for threes early. They were open and we preach not to pass on open shots but I really think we could have been a little bit more patient and worked it inside in the first half. When we did get it inside, we had much better results," noted Lady Cougar head coach Lance Moonshower.
"I'm still not happy with our foul shooting and we aren't shooting well from there for whatever reason. But WBL game on the road, I'm happy with the win."
"We were working all week on getting the ball into the high post. The high post, we thought, would be readily available and a lot of times we weren't even waiting for the high post to get open. We were just jacking up threes. There were good shots, we just didn't need them so early in the possession," added coach Moonshower.
With the win on Thursday night the Cougars improve to 4-1 on the year and 1-0 in the WBL. St. Mary's drops to 0-5 on the season and 0-1 in the WBL.