Ansonia girls basketball pulls off the upset for tournament win over Southeastern


By Drew Terhall

VERSAILLES — In the OHSAA Division IV Girls Basketball Southwest Sectional, the 14th seed Ansonia Lady Tigers pulled off the upset over fourth seed Southeastern, 54-46, on Feb. 17.

It’s the programs first tournament win in over 10 years. Head coach Connor Custenborder said while they were lower on the seeding, they were still able to get their spot. In the end, everything worked out for the best.

“Going into the draw, the 10 seed through the 14 seed pretty much all had the same record. It came down to strength of schedule. We got the short end of the stick there,” Custenborder said. “But I’m glad we could get a spot that we wanted in the draw and get a win.”

The Lady Tigers kept the game close in the first half with their defense. They were able to force turnovers and force Southeastern into some uncomfortable shots by speeding them up.

The offense had their spurts. They were able to get to the free throw line and make a few buckets to get close to the Lady Trojans.

But, some small mistakes by Ansonia gave Southeastern a chance to grow their lead. The Lady Trojans led 28-21 at halftime.

Things started to shift towards Ansonia’s favor in the third quarter. Despite losing one of their main scorers in senior Brenna Schmit to injury during the second half, the offense started to pick up.

The team made four threes in the third quarter. In the final minutes of the third quarter, Ansonia made an 8-0 run to tie the game at 36-36 going into the fourth quarter. Two threes by sophomore Olivia Schmitmeyer, a three by senior Bailey Schmit and a two by junior Gabby Leeper helped tie the game.

Custenborder said all season long, the team has worked in practice and outside of practice on their shooting. While it didn’t come together in the regular season, they hard work slowly started to pay off.

“Shooting has been somethings that’s been a struggle for us all year. The girls work hard. I tell them if they ever want to go in the gym, I’m not going to tell them no. Some of them try to get in before school. The extra work is paying off,” Custenborder said.

It was a 41-41 game with 5:02 left. From that point on, the Ansonia defense was able to generate some offense to help grab a lead.

Custenborder said they had some guys from Versailles and their JV girls run scout team for them and they did a great job preparing them for Southeastern. That preparation helped Ansonia shut down the Lady Trojans in stretches and held them off late in the game.

In a three-minute span, Ansonia went on an 11-3 run to go up 52-44. The Lady Tigers were able to do enough at the free throw line to hold off the Lady Trojans.

Ansonia was 18 for 32 from the line. Southeastern was 12 for 21 from the free throw line. Custenborder said Southeastern loves to get to the free throw line and they made it a prior to not give them a free pass to the line.

Freshman London Reichert led the team with 17 points. Custenborder said they told Reichert to be more aggressive scoring the ball and want her to get more shots up. Bailey Schmit finished with 11 points and Leeper had 10 points.

Ansonia will have a chance for revenge in their next tournament game. They will face the 10th seed Botkins next. They lost to those Lady Trojans, 45-21, in the regular season in the midst of a losing streak. Custenborder wants the team to see they have improved since then and not think too much about the last time they saw Botkins.

“They beat us by almost 20 points in the regular season. We got a big task ahead. But, it was in a stretch where we lost six straight and we were just down. I hope the girls see that we’re better than what we were against them the first time. Just believe in themselves,” Custenborder said.

That game will be on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. back at Versailles High School.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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