Atop of the Bay division in the Sandusky Bay Conference, Willard blasted its way past visiting Edison in a game that had first place on the line, 62-23, at Willard High School.
Willard improved to 7-3 overall (5-0 Bay) with the win, while Edison fell to 7-4, 3-2.
“I thought we stepped up once again on defense,” Willard coach Jon Dawson said. “When we scouted them, we saw they liked to go to the dribble drive, so we worked on not allowing them in the paint.”
The Chargers entered the season with just one returning starter and two seniors to rely on for leadership. One couldn’t blame coach Tracey Moyer if she expected to have an uneven season fraught with inconsistency — yet through 10 games her Chargers had passed every test and stood at 7-3.
But this time, Edison stumbled out of the gate and never found their footing in getting outscored 33-4 in the first and third quarters.
“We didn’t play all that well,” Moyer said. “We are very young, and I think that showed itself tonight. We couldn’t make baskets and turned the ball over — and they did a good job of taking advantage of our mistakes.”
Edison started the game in a funk, giving the ball away on errant passes and out of control drives to the hoop. In all, it committed eight turnovers in the first quarter alone. Before Edison even attempted a shot from the field, it was already trailing 10-2 and the first quarter was halfway over.
The Chargers were able to get themselves going in the second quarter closing the gap to 12 points after Mariah Medina knocked down a three. That was as close as they got to Willard all night, as Cassidy Crawford dominated the action. She finished the night with 12 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
“They have a lot of size and they don’t make many mistakes, or miss a lot of baskets,” Moyer said. “So, when you aren’t making your baskets and the other team isn’t making many mistakes, it’s going to be hard to win.”
Madie Secor led all scorers with 16 points and added four steals in the win for Willard. But, as Dawson mentioned, it was the Crimson Flashes’ defense that laid the groundwork to getting the win. They held Edison to a paltry 4-of-43 shooting from the field and forced 22 turnovers.
“We had a considerable size advantage on them, so we tried to keep feeding the ball down low to Cassie and allow her to help Madie (Secor) and Brooke (Vipperman) to get good looks,” Dawson said. “It was a good win for us tonight.”
The Chargers were led by Medina and Jessica Stoll with six points apiece. Medina added five rebounds and a steal, while Stoll had five rebounds and a steal in the loss.
Willard visits Huron and Edison entertains Oak Harbor in Bay division play on Tuesday.
Bellevue 69, Clyde 50
CLYDE — The Lady Red jumped out to an 18-7 lead and never looked back in a Lake division win over the host Fliers.
Casey Santoro scored 22 for Bellevue (11-1, 5-0), while younger sister Cory added 15 and Gabby Turner scored 10.
Bellevue visits Norwalk (9-2, 5-0) in a huge Lake division game on Tuesday.