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July 24, 2019

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Grove girls grab share of NWC title with win at Ada

By Cort Reynolds
ADA - Visiting Columbus Grove earned a share of the Northwest Conference girls basketball crown with a 66-15 victory over Ada Thursday evening in the regular season finale.

Ada finished 1-20 overall and 0-8 in the NWC with the defeat. Meanwhile, Grove improved to 16-5 and ended up 7-1 in the NWC to tie Bluffton for the league crown with the decisive win.

CG came into its final league game tied atop the league standings with Spencerville and Bluffton at 6-1. Crestview was close behind at 5-2.

In the last NWC games of the season Thursday night, Spencerville lost 54-43 at Crestview while Bluffton whipped Delphos Jefferson 59-37 to earn a share of the championship.

Hot-shooting CG knocked down 14 three-point goals among its 24 baskets at Ada to decide the outcome early.

"Grove is a really good team and they can shoot the ball well," said Ada head coach Morgan Bass.

Grove raced to a 24-0 lead after one period and extended it to 32-0 before Ada scored on a Miranda Wills free throw with 5:42 left in the first half.

After Grove netted four fast break layups, freshman guard Kenzie King nailed three consecutive trifectas to end the first quarter with the big cushion.

CG senior guards Rylee Sybert and Amy Vorst each drained triples to start the second stanza. Angel Schneider followed in her own missed layup to make the lead 32.

After the Wills free throw, junior Abby Gladwell and freshman Kam Utendorf each drilled treys for Grove. Ada sophomore guard Brenna George bounced in a lane shot for the first purple and gold basket to make it 38-3 at intermission.

Sybert opened the second half with yet another triple. Ada sophomore post Megan Light knocked in a step-through bank shot, and freshman teammate Kirsten Poling swished a high-arching 18-footer to make it 41-7.

Trifectas by Utendorf and Savanah Ridenour, sandwiched around a successful lane banker from Wills, made it 50-9 heading to the final quarter.

Grove reserve freshman guard Koryn Halker buried three triples in the fourth period. Sophomore Sara Diparine added CG's 14th trey from the right wing with a minute left in the game.

Wills sank a 10-foot baseline shot and two free throws in the fourth quarter. Poling later splashed a 17-footer off the left baseline to close out the Ada scoring.
Sybert and King led 13 Grove scorers with 10 points apiece. Halker added nine, all in the final period.

The hustling Wills led Ada with seven points, while Poling added four points.
Ada finished the season 1-11 at home.

In the meeting between the NWC co-champs, Grove beat Bluffton 56-38 on January 24. The Lady Pirates nipped Spencerville 44-43 Jan. 17, and the Bearcats handed CG its lone league loss 31-30 on Jan. 10.

Spencerville fell into a third-place tie with Crestview at 6-2 after its season-ending loss to the Knights, which cost them a three-way share of the NWC title.

Allen East finished fifth in the NWC at 4-4, followed by Paulding (3-5), Delphos Jeff (2-6), Lincolnview (1-7) and Ada (0-8).

Ada 15 (1-20, 0-8 NWC)
Wills 2 3-6 7, Poling 2 0-0 4, Light 1 0-0 2, Waugh 0, George 1 0-0 2, Phillips 0, Blankenship 0.
Totals: 6/3-6/15. 3-pointers: none.

CG 66 (16-5, 7-1 NWC)
Schneider 3 2-2 8, Witteborg 1 0-0 2, Schafer 0, Sybert 4 0-0 10, King 3 1-2 10, Vorst 2 0-0 5, Gladwell 2 0-0 5, Ridenour 1 0-0 3, Utendorf 2 1-2 7, Halker 3 0-0 9, Diparine 1 0-0 3, Thompson 2 0-0 4.
Totals: 24/4-6/66. 3-pointers: Halker 3, King 3, Sybert 2, Utendorf 2, Vorst 1, Gladwell 1, Ridenour 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Ada    0    3    6    6    15    
CG    24    14    12    16    66
No JV game.

The Ada girls next play the winner of top seed Arlington and 11th-seeded Hardin Northern in the Div. IV sectional finals at Allen East Saturday, February 23 at 6:15 p.m.

The winner advances to the district semifinals at Ottawa-Glandorf February 28.
"We have a week off before we play Arlington," said Bass. "We just have to stay up, stay positive and get better."