BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Business Manager
LIMA – Wayne Trace’s girls basketball team outplayed host Lima Shawnee in the second half of Tuesday’s non-league contest, but it was a dismal first quarter that proved to be too much to overcome for the Lady Raiders.
The host Indians forced 13 Raider turnovers in the opening stanza and posted a 24-8 lead after one quarter before holding on down the stretch for a 67-62 win over the Raiders.
Wayne Trace scored first in the contest with a Lauren Speice basket but the Indians answered with ten straight points, highlighted by two buckets each from Jaden Marlowe and Maryssa Herschler. Shayna Temple hit one of two free throws to stop the run before a Speice basket kept the Indian lead at 13-5. However, the hosts again responded with seven straight points to post a 20-5 advantage. Danyelle Hughes and Rayna Magee added late baskets to give Lima Shawnee the 24-8 lead after eight minutes of action.
“Way too many turnovers,” commented Raider head coach Bethany Hughes. “We can’t dig a hole like that, especially with so many unforced errors. After the first quarter, we played a lot better but we have to figure out a way to play four quarters of good basketball.”
The Raiders opened the second stanza with a 9-2 run, capped by a pair of Brooke Wilcox free throws, to trim the deficit to 26-17. Lima Shawnee, though, answered with a three-point play by Marlowe and a Claire Dahlke basket to post a 31-19 halftime lead.
Wayne Trace put together a 10-2 run to start the third quarter that got the red-white-and-blue within 33-29 after two Brenda Feasby free throws. Following nine straight Lima Shawnee points to expand the lead back to 42-29, the Lady Raiders got baskets by Wilcox, Sylvia Young and Feasby along with two free throws each from Erin Mohr and Temple to close within 47-40 entering the final stanza.
“We worked our way back into the game,” Hughes added. “We just need to learn to take care of the ball and make better decisions.”
A Mohr trey got the local squad within 51-48 before two Hughes foul shots gave the Indians a 53-48 advantage. However, two straight Feasby treys on back-to-back possessions gave Wayne Trace a 54-53 lead with 5:02 remaining in the contest. The Lady Raiders still led 56-55 after a Speice basket but the Indians would take over from there.
Lima Shawnee got a basket and a three-point play by Hughes along with a three-pointer from Dahlke to put the hosts on top 62-56. It was a lead that the Indians would not relinquish en route to the 67-62 victory.
“I am pleased with the fact that we continued to play and we fought our way back into the game,” concluded the Raider mentor. “But we need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball and not put ourselves in that position in the first place.”
Dahlke, Hughes and Marlowe each had 15 points for the Lady Indians, who move to 9-11 on the season. Hughes also had a dozen rebounds for Shawnee with Marlowe recording six. Dahlke and Marlowe each posted six steals as well.
Speice and Feasby each scored 16 to pace Wayne Trace and Mohr chipped in 13. Mohr also had eight rebounds while Speice grabbed seven and Young recorded five.
The Raider junior varsity fell to 12-7 on the year with a 39-33 loss to the Indians. Courtney Mead bucketed ten points to top the Raiders while Stacy Flint, Brianna Sinn and Estie Sinn scored five each. Estie Sinn and Mead each picked up six rebounds.
Wayne Trace, now 13-8, will host Edgerton in the regular season finale tomorrow.