By Drew Terhall
SIDNEY — It was a close game at Sidney High School between the sixth seeded Ansonia High School girls basketball team and the seventh seeded Troy Christian girls team on Feb. 11. The Lady Tigers could not come away with the win in the first round of the Division IV Southwest District Sectional as they lost 46-43 to the Lady Eagles.
Head coach Joey Schmitmeyer said they knew it was going to be a tough game. Both teams had some common opponents during the regular season.
“They beat some teams we lost to and we beat some teams they lost to. We had an idea it was going to be a dogfight going into it,” Schmitmeyer said.
It started out as a defensive battle. Both teams were scoreless for the first four minutes of the game. Troy Christian only led 7-6 after the first quarter.
But early on, Ansonia got into foul trouble. They had eight team fouls in the first quarter. The Lady Eagles scored nine first half points on free throws. They were 9 for 17 from the free throw line.
Schmitmeyer said the team had trouble finding how aggressive they can be without getting called for fouls. It’s not an excuse for having that many fouls in the first quarter, it’s more of a challenge they faced early on.
“We try hard to not make any excuses, whether it be reffing or anything like that. We try to own all of our own mistakes on that,” Schmitmeyer said. “But, we found it very challenging to find out how we can play and not get into so many fouls.”
Troy Christian had a 24-21 lead heading into halftime. The Lady Eagles made three three-point shots to help give them a lead. Ansonia was able to start making more baskets and held off the Troy Christian offense in stretches to keep the game close.
Then Ansonia came out in the second half and started to play better on both ends of the floor. They hardly turned the ball over and held Troy Christian scoreless for about six minutes in the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers had their chances when they pushed the pace and drove to the hoop. They also were able to slow it down a bit and move the ball to get the right shot.
Defensively, the Lady Tigers did not allow a three-point shot make in the second half. They forced the Lady Eagles to try to drive in or settle for a mid-range shot.
At the end of the third quarter, Ansonia was leading 36-29. They outscored the Lady Eagles 15-5 in the third quarter.
But Troy Christian settled down on defense and started to force turnovers. From there, the Lady Eagles started to put some points on the board and kept the game close.
With 4:23 left in the quarter, Troy Christian tied the game at 40-40. Ansonia was able to grab a lead late, but Troy Christian responded and grabbed a lead late.
In the fourth quarter, freshman Olivia Creager was the only Ansonia player to score. She was able to get a go-ahead basket late, but the team couldn’t get the stops they needed.
Creager led the team with 12 points, all in the second half. Junior Brenna Schmit had 11 points in the game. Free throws proved big in the game. Ansonia was three for nine from the free throw line. Troy Christian was 18 for 34.
Schmitmeyer said most of the team should be back next season. There are no seniors on this team and only has a few juniors. The future is bright for the program. Schmitmeyer said they do have a solid eighth grade class coming in that will help the program.
Ansonia ends their season with a 8-15 record and a 3-8 conference record.
Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]