Riders' D Traps Bears

St. Marys Jill Schmitmeyer closes in on Bryan's Delaney Miley during a Division II sectional semifinal.
Sports Editor

As the weather changes, it opens the door for cold and flu season and the Bryan Golden Bears were dealing with a cold.

That cold, the St. Marys Roughriders, forced the Bears to commit 26 turnovers, shut out Bryan in the first 8:31 of the second half, recorded zero offensive rebounds in the second half and just  could not escape that cold’s defense.

Four quarters, or 32 minutes it didn’t  matter what the Golden Bears took, the Roughriders were all over them, prevailing for a 54-39 Division II sectional opener at Leipsic High School on Wednesday.

St. Marys will play Bath in its third straight sectional final at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Leipsic. The Roughriders defeated the Wildcats, 42-33 in a regular season matchup on Jan. 26.

The turning point in the contest was the third quarter.

Leading 27-20 at the half, the Roughriders did not allow a point against the Golden Bears (12-10) in the third, forcing 12 turnovers in the process while Bryan 0-of-6 from the field.

From the 3:00 mark of the second quarter, to the 7:29 mark of the fourth, St. Marys outscored Bryan 23-5 during that span — including a 12-0 run in the entire third quarter — taking a 39-20 lead.

Maykayla Koch led the team in scoring in that third frame, tallying eight of the team’s 12 points.

The trio of Koch, Sydney Cisco and Jill Schmitmeyer was Bryan’s kryptonite ad the three constantly pressured the Bears’ ball carriers throughout the night, help forcing 26 turnovers on the evening and 14-of-43 (32.5 percent) from field and scoring 16 points off turnovers.

St. Marys out-rebounded Bryan 19-10 in the first half, but the Riders limited the Golden Bears to just one offensive rebound in the entire second as St. Marys accumulated 33 total rebounds to Bryan’ 23 on the night.

For the full story, be sure to gran Thursday's print edition of The Evening Leader.