Archbold downs Eastwood, 58-46, with second half blitz

By J. Patrick Eaken, [email protected]

Eastwood junior Kayla Boehler (4) drives to the basket against between Archbold defenders Leah McQuade (14) and Sophie Rupp (10) during the first quarter of a game on Tuesday at Eastwood High School in Pemberville. Archbold defeated Eastwood 58-46.

PEMBERVILLE — Eastwood 5-foot-7 junior Kayla Buehler hit five first half threes and the Eagles took a double-digit lead into the second quarter, but Archbold stormed back for a 58-46 victory Tuesday.

Buehler scored 19 first half points as the Eagles scored the first 10 points, led 21-9 early in the second quarter and were still up 29-21 at halftime.

But the Blue Streaks turned on the defense, forcing nine third quarter turnovers and outscoring the Eagles 21-4 in the third quarter to pull away.

The Blue Streaks were led by senior Leah McQuade, who had 19 points and five rebounds, and sophomore Alanna Pedraza and senior Carly Grime scored 11 apiece.

After making 6-of-15 field goals in the first half, Archbold made 16-of-22 in the second half to finish 22-for-37 (59%) from the floor.

Eastwood went 10-for-18 in the first half but made just 5-of-14 shots over the final 16 minutes to finish 15-of-32 (47%).

“I thought we came out to a slow start. Eastwood came out and hit a lot of shots, and we left them open, and they made us pay for it,” Archbold coach Brian Zielger said.

“I thought as the game got as the game got going our defense settled down and forced some turnovers, which led to some fast breaks.

“We got some confidence, and we ran our offense well. I thought it was two real good teams going at each other.”

For Eastwood, Buehler finished with a game-high 23 points, and she had five steals, junior Amelia Ward had 10 points and two steals, and junior Paige Hoodlebrink had four points and six rebounds.

Senior Sarah Spradling scored three points and sophomore Kyrie Henline, senior Grace Kingery and freshman Brogan Weaver added two points each. Kingery had two steals.

The Blue Streaks had a 19-17 advantage off the glass, and Archbold committed 17 turnovers to Eastwood’s 24.

For Archbold, Pedraza had three steals, Grime had two steals, freshman Makena Thiel had eight points and three steals, senior Sophie Rupp had seven points, five rebounds and two steals, and junior Alayna Perez added two points.

It was the Eastwood debut for first-year coach Brittany (Gross) Butler, an Elmwood graduate who played for her uncle, longtime coach Doug Reynolds.

Butler said she was not happy with the way her team succumbed to the Blue Streaks’ second half pressure, but she is taking over a program that saw multiple standout seniors graduate last year.

Butler said players are stepping up to fill in new roles, and it may be a work in progress learning how to win on the varsity floor.

Reynolds had a career coaching record of 437-193. At Hopewell-Loudon, his teams were 157-36 and won a state championship.

His Elmwood boys teams were 109-66 and his girls teams were 171-91, but before retiring he often talked about his players who turned into coaching prodigies, including Butler.

Reynolds retired at the end of last season, so Butler and Reynolds will not go head to head this season.

Butler said Reynolds is the reason she is coaching, and he still remains a part of her life, plus she reaches out to him for advice when necessary.

Before coming to Eastwood, Butler graduated from Elmwood in 2013 and was a four-year letterwinner in girls basketball at Capital University.

She coached in the Dublin school district four years and last year was the head coach at Botkins High School, where her team went 18-7 and reached the district finals.