PERRYSBURG — Perrysburg took command of the game with a strong third quarter and led by five over
unbeaten Napoleon with less than two minutes to play in Thursday’s Northern Lakes League game.
But the Yellow Jackets turned the ball over twice down the stretch and Napoleon rallied to force overtime
before holding Perrysburg to just one point in extra time to claim a 54-46 NLL win.
“The whole game turned when we’re up five, with the ball, with a minute and 25 to go. That’s the game
right there,” Perrysburg head coach Todd Sims said. “We turned the ball over and then they scored and
then we turned the ball over again. … At least if they foul we’re shooting two and we’re up maybe six or
seven. That’s pretty much the game, give or take.”
Kylie Griggs, who led Perrysburg with 15 points including four 3-pointers, zipped a pass toward the right
sideline late in the fourth quarter leading 45-40. But the ball slipped through the hands of Gracie
Mitchell directly in front of the Yellow Jackets’ bench with 1:19 to play in regulation.
Napoleon’s Shae Pedroza, who was scoreless at halftime, responded by sinking a 3-pointer from the right
wing to cut the deficit to two points.
Struggling to advance the ball across midcourt due to a swarming 1-2-2 full-court zone press from
Napoleon, Perrysburg used a timeout with 51.7 seconds left. But just seconds after the timeout, Mitchell
through an errant pass out of a double team and Pedroza scooped the ball up and finished a layup
uncontested to tie the game.
Mitchell had the ball again with five seconds to play, but her layup was palmed by a Napoleon defender to
force a jump ball, awarding possession to the Wildcats.
“Three turnovers in the last 45 seconds (1:19). That’s a loser,” Sims said. “That’s like missing free
throws. If you miss six free throws in a row at the end of games, that’s a loser. You’re going to lose
“When you’re up five with the ball with a minute-15 or a minute-20, whatever it was, at home, you have to
win those games. Especially against a really good team like that.”
Pedroza finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Taylor Strock led Napoleon with 16 points and Caely
Ressler scored 15, including 11 free throws.
Perrysburg dropped to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in the NLL. Napoleon remained perfect and improved to 6-0 and
5-0 in the league.
With a 41-40 lead, Perrysburg pushed its lead to five when 6-foot senior center Jade Faris made a pair of
layups, the first coming as a result of the Yellow Jackets breaking Napoleon’s zone press. The second
layup pushed the lead to five with 2:23 to play.
Napoleon outscored the Yellow Jackets 14-1 the rest of the way.
“They had complete control of the game. We had to change the pace somehow,” Napoleon head coach Corey
Kreinbrink said. “That kind of got us going and we caught some breaks at the end to get it to overtime.”
Perrysburg, which had won three in a row after two losses to open the season, is still learning how to
finish games at the end.
“We have to learn how to win those games. We don’t now. We have to have seniors step up, it’s their time,
and we haven’t learned that lesson yet,” Sims said.
Griggs kept Perrysburg in the game with timely 3-pointers in nearly every quarter.
Her first three came from the top of the arc after breaking Napoleon’s pressure for an 8-5 lead in the
first quarter. She pulled up from the right wing and swished a transition triple for a 17-16 lead midway
through the second quarter, and buried another nothing-but-net 3 from the right wing for a 30-27 lead
with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
Mitchell finished with nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks for Perrysburg. Macie Stringfellow and
Faris scored eight points apiece.
Strock 5-0-7—17, Ressler 2-0-11—15, S. Pedroza 1-2-6—14, Rieger 2-0-2—6, E. Pedroza 1-0-0—2. TOTALS: 11 2
26-32 — 54.
Griggs 1-4-1—15, Mitchell 4-0-1—9, Stringfellow 0-2-2—8, Faris 3-0-2—8, Thomas 2-0-0—4, Vaillant 0-0-2—2,
Johnson 0-0-0—0, Wilhelms 0-0-0—0, Featherstun 0-0-0—0, Knowlton 0-0-0—0. TOTALS: 10 6 8-14 — 46.