Season Opener: Riders Ride Defense, Cards Come Back

St. Marys' Madi Howell plays defense in the second quarter of Friday's season opener.
Sports Editor

In his first game as a varsity head coach, Jon Burke was nervous on a number of occasions, but the defense settled his nerves down.

Clinging to a 37-36 lead to open the fourth quarter, Burke’s defense forced six turnovers in the eight minutes, transpiring into 11 points for St. Marys as the Roughriders won their season opener and awarded Burke his first victory as a varsity head coach with a 57-49 win on Friday night at Memorial High School.

The Roughriders (1-0) led 31-20 at the half after outscoring Fort Jennings 19-8 in the second quarter, but the Musketeers (0-1) opened the second half by scoring on four of their first five possessions — while limiting St. Marys to one bucket — to pull within four, down 33-29.

The Musketeers eventually took their only lead of the game at the 1:59 mark of the third stanza on a pair of free throws by Erica Rau for 36-35 lead.

From there, St. Marys forced eight turnovers the rest of the way as Madi Howell’s bucket with :20 seconds left in the quarter gave the Roughriders the lead back.

St. Marys opened the fourth like it opened the second quarter, on a run, as the Roughriders outscored Fort Jennings 7-0 to take a 44-36 after a bucket and free throw from Sydney Cisco.

The combination of Sydney and Lauren Cisco contributed to seven of the Roughriders’ first 11 points in the fourth quarter as St. Marys led by as much as 10 points to help pull away from Fort Jennings.

New Bremen 40, Anna 35

Trailing 29-24 entering the fourth quarter, the New Bremen Cardinals girls basketball team outscored Anna 16-6 in the final eight minutes to complete the comeback in a 40-35 non-league season-opening win on Friday.

Five players scored at least two points for the Cardinals (1-0) in the fourth quarter, while the New Bremen defense limited Anna's leading scorer in the game to a pair of free throws.

Macy Puthoff led the way with nine points, followed by seven points from Paige Jones.

Hanna Tenkman contributed six points, while Molly Smith and Jane Homan both chipped in with five points each.

Bath 43, New Knoxville 27

The New Knoxville Rangers girls basketball team opened the season by dropping a 43-27 game to Bath in the second game of the 14th annual Kewpee Tip-Off Classic on Friday night at Bath High School.

After the first quarter, Bath turned up the pressure as the Wildcats (1-0) will play another Western Buckeye League opponent in the Elida Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Bulldogs came back from a 9-0 deficit to start the game and defeated the Findlay Trojans 40-38, while the Rangers will face Findlay in the consolation game at 6 p.m

Tori Dackin hit a three with two minutes left, but New Knoxville used a couple Bath turnovers and a triple from Erin Scott to cut the Bath lead to 10-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Lindsay Singham opened the second quarter with a couple of baskets, but Megan Jurosic got New Knoxville on the board with a basket with 5:30 left.

The Wildcats started to pull away with a 3-pointer from Jordan Craig with 3:41 left.

Following a basket from Ruby Bolon, Scott answered with a three to keep the Rangers in the game at 19-14 with 1:50 left, but Bath ended the first half with a hoop and the harm with 1:17left to make the halftime score 22-14.

In the third quarter, Bath gained the double-digit lead with a basket and a free throw from Singham with 5:24 left. Hale drained a three with 4:27 left and that was followed by a three from Ketchum as Bath took a 36-19 lead into the fourth quarter.