Versailles girls basketball end season at Regional Semifinals


By Drew Terhall

SPRINGFIELD — The Versailles girls basketball season has come to an end in the OHSAA Division III Girls Basketball Regional Semifinals. The fifth seed Lady Tigers lost to three seed Kettering Archbishop Alter, 63-40, at Springfield High School on March 6.

Versailles head coach Tracy White said once Alter threw the first punch and started to get hot from deep, it was going to be hard to comeback. Mix that with Versailles not being as aggressive as they’ve been in the past, it became a daunting task to complete.

“It was hard to battle back when they made that first punch. They were shooting the ball really well. Every single girl, I think, that shot the three knocked it down. Not that we were necessarily contesting the shot like we wanted to. But, they were the better team tonight. We didn’t show up to be aggressive,” White said.

Things didn’t go Versailles way early. The Lady Knights started the game on a 7-0 run. They led for the entire game.

Alter made four threes in the first half and were able get open cuts to the basket. Overall, the Lady Tigers looked out of sorts early.

On the offensive end, they looked out of sync. White said they tried to take advantage of the switching defense Alter runs and get mismatches inside and with their guards.

But, no one on the court looked to make something happen early. There was a lot of passing the ball around waiting for someone to make a move. White said the Alter defense made them feel uncomfortable.

“I felt like we were almost playing hot potato with the ball. No one really wanted to square up and look to score,” White said.

White said the team was passive on offense in this game and in games to start the season. She thought those tendencies were not going to show up again this season after the team worked hard to be more aggressive on offense.

The team could have played more uptight since they got into foul trouble early. White said her guards picked up some early fouls and weren’t as aggressive in hopes they wouldn’t pick up another foul.

“Early in the game, we got some early fouls called and our guards also started playing really passive, not wanting to get fouls. We got in some foul trouble, had to play with some adversity,” White said. “But throughout the year, we’ve had that adversity and we’ve been able to get over that. Tonight we couldn’t overcome it.”

At halftime, Versailles was down 29-12. Out of halftime, the Lady Tigers started to play better and the intensity was up for the beginning of the third quarter.

But the foul trouble killed any momentum Versailles was trying to build. Junior Sarah Stammen, a key piece to their defense, picked up her third foul with about 6:40 left in the third. Sophomore and main ball handler Katey Litten got her fourth foul with just under two minutes left in the quarter.

Some of the bench players had to step in to play some extended minutes in a bigger role than what they are used to be playing in.

The team did the best they could to try and climb back into the game. But whenever they looked like they could start a run, Alter came back and got a bucket or two to keep Versailles away.

Alter led 42-24 after the third quarter and outscored Versailles in the fourth quarter, 21-16.

Junior Taylor Wagner led the team with 12 points. Senior Jenna Dirksen finished with 10 points.

Versailles will graduate seniors Allison Schwartz, Heidi Stammen and Dirksen. White said the team has grown throughout the season and it all starts with the seniors. They led the charge by holding everyone accountable and getting everyone to commit to their goals.

“They’ve committed to being in the gym all the time, being early, being there extra and asking to go into the gym and getting their teammates in the gym. They’re three really good leaders that are going to become amazing leaders in life,” White said.

Versailles ends their season with an 18-8 record and a 7-2 MAC record while claiming a share of the MAC title.

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

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