GENOA – Port Clinton’s Sydney Alexander waited for a whistle while Hannah Weaver just waited for the ball.
Bowling Green was dominant Saturday when it came to collecting offensive rebounds. The Redskins, however, did manage to grab three offensive rebounds during a key stretch in the second half as Port Clinton defeated the Bobcats 49-45 for a Division II sectional crown.
The Redskins (20-3) play Toledo Central Catholic at 8 p.m. Thursday at Perrysburg.
Alexander jumped with a Bowling Green player between herself and the ball and avoided committing a foul as she reached to cup the ball and back tap it directly to Weaver behind the 3-point line. Weaver calmly canned the shot as part of a 14-2 spurt bridging the final two quarters that put the Redskins ahead 39-36 and they never trailed again.
“We all knew coming in … Coach (Toby Bickel) said rebounding is what they did – offensively and defensively,” Alexander said. “I just went for it. I saw the ball and saw an opportunity. I was going to catch it, but I didn’t want to foul.
“When I went up I thought I was going to hear the whistle, but it never happened.”
Alexander, who often blocks shots with the same skills she uses on the volleyball court, expanded the equation as she served up the open shot for Weaver during the scoring spike.
“Syd’s a great athlete,” Weaver said. “She’s got the length and the arms. She’s aggressive and when she’s confident she can step up. Our team was overlooked (in the preseason) because nobody knew about her and Bethany (Urban).
“Our girls never give up. That (blitz) was the turning point. Our intensity went up on defense. When I hit that shot our fans went crazy and that got us pumped up.”
Bowling Green’s Livvy Dill committed her third and fourth fouls sandwiching a free throw from Port Clinton’s Emily Ashley that started the run. Ashley scored six points during the stretch, including one following another offensive rebound for the Redskins.
“We picked up the pace a little bit in the second half and got up and pressed,” Redskins coach Toby Bickel said. “I’ve said all year this group finds a way to win.”
Urban scored the final bucket of the third quarter following her offensive rebound before Alexander (three) and Ashley (one) capped the spurt with free throws. The Bobcats’ Kendal Glandorff, who scored a game-high 17 points, committed her fourth foul with 32.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
“Her free throws … she’s awesome,” Ashley said of Alexander. “She hit clutch free throws. We got a couple baskets and our intensity went up. We had a lot of silly mistakes and turnovers, but we overcame it like we always do.”
Dill, who scored 12 points, and Glandorff returned to the court together with 7:20 left to play. Ashley battled early foul trouble of her own as she left the game with three fouls with 2:47 left in the second quarter, but she was back to start the second half and avoided her fourth.
“Normally, I’m pretty smart with fouls,” Ashley said. “This game didn’t work out very well in the first half. I knew I couldn’t foul (any more).”
Livvy scored after she and Glandorff grabbed offensive rebounds for a 45-45 tie with 56 seconds to play but Port Clinton capped the scoring from the free throw line.
Marissa Day made two 3s and Adrianna Hall another as Port Clinton led 16-15 after one quarter, but the Redskins were held to five free throws in the second and trailed 25-21 at the half. Ashley finished with 14 points while Weaver added all of her 11 in the second half.