PERRYSBURG — Three Perrysburg guards hit double figures as the Yellow Jackets defeated Sylvania Northview, 44-42, in a key Northern Lakes League girls cage tilt for both teams Thursday.
Perrysburg sophomore Chloe Kilbride hit three 3-point goals to score 11 and sophomore Hayley Griggs scored 11 points, including connecting on 8-for-8 shots from the free throw line.
Perrysburg freshman Kallie Thames came off the bench to score 10 points with a team-high nine rebounds.
However, nothing was as big as Thames’ defensive play in the final minute of action going one-on-one against Northview 6-foot-1 senior forward Madison Greene.
Perrysburg was able to maintain a one possession lead, but the 5-6 Thames held Greene to 1-of-3 in the paint in the final minute.
In the final seconds, Greene, who had already hit two triples in scoring a game-high 19 points, had a good look at a three-pointer at the buzzer.
However, Thames came out of nowhere and despite giving up seven inches, blocked Greene’s shot, securing the win.
“That was insane,” Perrysburg senior forward Megan Gibbs said. “She blocked one of her shots, she got right up on her, pressure defense on that last shot.
“I was watching her go up, and I thought, ‘Oh, Kallie has got this.’ As soon as we went onto the floor, Kallie said, ‘I’ve got No. 4 (Greene),’ and I thought, ‘We got this. We’re good.’
“She has stepped up so much as a freshman and guarding their best player is just insane,” Gibbs continued.
Perrysburg coach Todd Sims added, “I thought Kallie Thames did great things defensively and offensively. She hit some nice shots, too.
“She is playing a single post because we need to have her on the court even though she’s not really a post player, and I thought she did a great job with that for sure.
“She’s tough and that was a huge block. She is a really good player. I’m glad she’s on our team,” Sims added.
Plus, the Jackets had to stay composed in a game that was tight from beginning to end with neither team taking more than a two-possession lead, although the Wildcats once led 29-22 late in the third quarter.
“For us, as young as we are, I thought we still did well at times,” Sims said. “We still made some mistakes, but that’s fine.
“Hayley Griggs stepped up and hit big free throws. You have got to hit free throws at the end to put teams away and she did a great job with that.”
Perrysburg improves to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Northern Lakes League, suffering losses to Napoleon (32-23) and defending state semifinalist Anthony Wayne (54-43) in November.
Northview also came in with two league losses, so neither team wanted to get a third that would significantly lower any chances of a league title. Perrysburg has just four seniors, but Northview has just two.
“I feel like tonight was big,” Gibbs said. “I mean, we’ve lost to Northview the last five times we played them, especially since we started out the season real slow.
“Now, we’re picking up a lot of underclassmen and they are stepping it up and they are doing well,” Gibbs continued.
“We haven’t got many seniors, but the seniors, even if we don’t play the whole time, you can hear us on the bench constantly and that’s the biggest thing. That’s how this team is — we are such a good team chemistry-wise that it has really helped us step it up.”
Gibbs scored five points, 6-2 junior center Wrigley Takats scored four and junior guard Taylor Jockett scored three points for the Jackets.
Perrysburg shot 32% (14-for-44) from the field, made 11-of-14 free throws, and had 12 turnovers. Despite the heroics, Sims does not even want to hear about any championship talk yet.
“This is a real good win,” Sims said. “We’re not going to talk about what is going to happen league title-wise or anything like that, we are just going to play, but I like the win. We’ll take it, for sure.”
Northview, which drops to 2-3 overall and in the NLL, shot 38% (15-for-39) from the floor, but made just 5-of-14 free throws (36%) and committed 17 turnovers.
Sara Cannon, a 6-0 sophomore forward, had eight points, six rebounds and three steals and senior guard Madison Morgan had eight points and two steals.
Freshman guard Grace Krahl scored five points, freshman guard Jenna Clausius had two points and eight rebounds, and sophomore guard Allison Biggs had seven rebounds and two steals.
Greene pulled down five caroms as the Wildcats had a 32-26 advantage off the glass. Northview coach Pat Sayre says his team, like Perrysburg, is just now starting to come into its own.
“We lost to Anthony Wayne by 37, so we have a lot of room to cover and a lot of ground to cover,” Sayre said.
“We just didn’t make enough plays — we missed too many free throws and too many layups, but I think from a focused effort it was good to see us competing again. I’m real proud of our group — we’re showing a big jump in the last week.”