If Oak Harbor senior Andrea Cecil has made a bigger shot in her basketball career, she doesn’t remember it.
Cecil canned a 3-pointer with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter Saturday to re-establish an advantage in a 41-38 victory over Clyde in the Sandusky Bay Conference.
“That gave us back the lead,” Cecil said. “When I hit big shots like that it pumps up the team. The team looks to me in tough situations and that helped us get the momentum.”
Morgan Bannister made a 3 and Bree Dowling added a jumper for a 38-36 lead before Cecil’s bucket. The Fliers hadn’t lost a conference game at home since falling to Perkins during the 2009 campaign.
“(I’d) never won in this gym,” Cecil said. “It’s such a hard atmosphere. It seems like nothing goes our way in this gym. It feels good to win here finally. Clyde was our first loss in the SBC last season.
“When you’re picked to win (the league crown) and you’re playing one of the better teams early in the season, you have to step up big and (meet) expectations.”
Clyde (3-2, 1-1) was tabbed to finish second in the SBC in the preseason. The Fliers scored 12 straight points bridging the third and fourth quarters, including five of Dowling’s game-high 17 to climb within one at 34-33.
“The kids battled,” Clyde coach Dave Lozier said. “We’ve got some kids who can shoot. We never had fluidity. We’ll bounce back. The Harris girl in the third quarter was the difference.”
Rockets freshman Logan Harris dropped in a hook shot along the baseline for a 34-21 lead before Clyde’s spurt. Harris made a nifty move for a bank shot in the post and again demonstrated nice touch to finish off a transition feed from Emma Barney.
“I expected her to have more freshman mistakes,” Cecil said of Harris’ acclimation to the varsity level. “We run that screen and roll. She’s good on defense. She gets the big girl (on defense) and usually shuts her down.”
Harris, who dribbled up the floor with her own defensive rebound on several occasions, had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
“I’m just going with the flow and playing,” Harris said. “I’m not worrying about what I have to do. Rebound, be tough and then when I get the opportunity, score. I’m fine. After the jump ball it’s fine.
“I’m just playing basketball. Heart over hype. We had to keep our emotions down and play our game. We all have to do our part. Just play the game.”
Cecil, who scored 13 points, missed more than eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. The Rockets (5-0, 3-0), however, led 23-17 after Cecil’s 3 to start the third quarter scoring.
“Sitting on the bench is obviously awful, especially when it’s for some fouls,” Cecil said. “I was super proud of my team. They picked it up with me and Emma out.”
Harris’ burden increased without Cecil on the floor, but Harris didn’t flinch.
“I’ve had to do that,” Harris said of her experience prior to varsity. “It’s not new. I had to be a leader in the post. When she’s out, it’s … me. Everyone has to step up. Andrea is our leading scorer so everybody had to step up to stay on top.”