PERRYSBURG — The Perrysburg and Bowling Green girls basketball teams are on similar missions right now — they both just want to get better.
While Perrysburg defeated BG, 58-38, in the opener of a varsity doubleheader on the Yellow Jackets’ floor Friday, the reviews are in.
Even though Perrysburg won behind freshman guard Kallie Thames’ 15 points, five rebounds and two steals, and senior forward Megan Gibbs’ 12 points and five rebounds, coach Todd Sims saw some stretches where his team was not at its best.
“I don’t think we played very hard in parts of the first half, but there were some segments in the middle I thought we played OK,” Sims said. “We’ve got to play better Thursday (at Sylvania Northview), that is for sure.”
Even though the Bobcats lost, despite 11 points, five rebounds, and three steals from senior post Jamie Sayen, the reviews from BG coach Jake Vanneman are favorable.
“I was very proud of their effort tonight,” Vanneman said. “I think team-wise we were playing harder than we ever have. I also think we’re executing our press break better and we are getting quality shots.”
BG went toe-to-toe with Perrysburg for the first six minutes of the game. BG senior guard Londyn Thompson drove to the basket and scored, tying the game 6-6 as the quarter began to narrow down, but Perrysburg responded.
Thames scored in the paint off a feed from junior center Wrigley Takats and Takats followed seconds later, scoring on an offensive putback, putting the Yellow Jackets up 10-6 with 1:40 remaining.
Perrysburg sophomore guard Chloe Kilbride was fouled driving to the basket, and she made both ends of her free throws, and the Jackets were enjoying a 12-6 lead after eight minutes and continued to pull away from that point on.
Still, the Bobcats managed to lose by just 20, which is a long way from the 43-point loss (56-13) to Perrysburg when the two teams met on BG’s floor on December 6.
“You’re not just going to blow everybody out all the time,” Sims said. “They do practice, they try, and they play hard. I must give them credit — they gave the effort.”
Perrysburg shot 39% (24-for-61) from the field, made 4-of-9 free throws, had 12 turnovers, and outrebounded the Bobcats, 42-30. BG shot 33% (14-for-43) from the floor, made 10-of-15 from the stripe and had 16 turnovers.
BG junior guard Macyn Dean-Scheele had eight points and five rebounds, Londyn Thompson scored five points, and junior guard Lola Thompson scored four points.
Junior post Allison Fry had two points and five rebounds and senior guards Sydney Maas and Shayle Greiner, sophomore post Anne Konecny and freshman guard Lila Vanneman added two points each for BG.
For the Jackets, Kilbride had nine points and two steals, Takats contributed eight points and 12 rebounds, and junior guard Taylor Jockett scored six points on consecutive three-point goals.
Sophomore guard Ayla Turk had two points and three steals and junior center Gabby Ortyl and senior forwards Kelsey Cloyne and Aubrey Petree added two points apiece.
BG falls to 6-14 overall and 2-11 in the league, and Perrysburg, at 12-6 and 8-4, has been eliminated from winning a league title. Still, Sims likes where his team is at despite his criticism of their play Friday.
“I don’t care about that (league race). We are better than we were. I don’t know about tonight at the end,” Sims said.
The Jackets are currently without one injured starter, but Gibbs sees her team coming a long way since the start of the season, despite a couple key NLL losses Perrysburg believes they could have won.
“I think we’re doing well,” Gibbs said. “We started the season a little slow, but we’ve picked it up a lot.
“We had a little bit of a roadblock when we played Springfield and Anthony Wayne, but I feel like we’re climbing back up,” Gibbs continued.
“We have a big game next Thursday against Northview, but I feel like everybody is playing well together. We are all contributing and making smart decisions, so I feel like we’ll be pretty good for the rest of the season.”