SPENCERVILLE, OH – St. Marys was unable count on their biggest weapon in the three pointer on Tuesday night but kept fighting and found a way to defeat Shawnee for the second time this season by a 38-34 margin and send the Indians into the offseason.
In the first quarter the Roughriders were held to just one basket, a Makenna Mele make with 1:53 to go in the opening stanza but connected on 3/6 from the line to find themselves down just 7-5 after the opening eight minutes.
Shawnee standout Alissa Stahler connected on 11 of her game high 17 points in the first half but was held relatively in check in the second half by a ferocious St. Marys defense.
Jill Schmitmeyer who led the Riders on the boards with 7 caroms for the contest tossed in all 6 of her points in the second period and even hit the free throw that tied the game at 17 all just moments before the break. On the evening Schmitmeyer would be a repeated pest for the Shawnee offense as she stepped into the Indian passing lanes and pilfered a handful of passes to set up her own teams scores.
Through the first half neither team was able to connect on a shot from outside, but in the games penultimate period it was the nights designated visitors who struck from downtown first and second behind the duo of Madison Peterman and Eliyana Floyd.
Three Roughriders in Mele, Sydney Cisco, and Lauren Cisco pushed the game into the fourth quarter tied at 25-25 as they each dumped in one or two buckets from inside the arc for their squad.
As she had done earlier on, Stahler put up a pair of made baskets off of offensive rebounds but was forced to become a spectator nearly half way through the final quarter when she picked up her fifth foul.
Free throw shooting and one timely three pointer by St. Marys 9th highest all-time scorer Sydney Cisco put the Riders up for good late in the ball game as she hit on 5/6 in the final period to help secure the victory and sectional finals date on Saturday night.
Shawnee sees their season come to an end at 11-12 as well as the career of their longtime head coach Jeff Heistan with the loss to St. Marys for the second time in four seasons inside the Walk-In Closet at Spencerville.
With the win the Roughriders senior class moves to 48-47 overall, and 10-13 on the year. St. Marys will travel back up Route 66 on Saturday for a battle with WBL mate Bath at 6pm.
St. Marys (38):
Sydney Cisco 11
Makenna Mele 13
Lauren Cisco 6
Jill Schmitmeyer 6
Haley Felver 2
3PT: 1/12 (S. Cisco)
Samya Wright 2
Madison Peterman 3
Alissa Stahler 17
Tessa Jordan 4
Eliyana Floyd 8
3PT: 2/14 (Ma. Peterman, Floyd)
Game 2: Elida defeats Van Wert 61-44 and will face Defiance on Saturday