TONTOGANY — Lakota avenged a regular season loss to Woodmore, holding off a second half comeback attempt to down the Wildcats, 41-36, in a Division IV girls basketball district semifinal at Otsego High School Thursday.
The Raiders advance to take on Toledo Christian Saturday at Otsego, tipoff at 6 p.m., for the district championship and the right to advance to the regional tournament.
“A quick turnaround to play a great basketball team in Toledo Christian,” Lakota coach Ryan Lozier said. “Our girls have worked hard to put themselves in position to play for a district title Saturday night.”
The Raiders, who are 22-2 and won the school’s first girls cage league championship in 25 years, taking the Sandusky Bay Conference River Division title with a 15-1 record, had just one non-league regular season loss this season, to Woodmore, 49-46.
Thursday night, Emma Gregg had 16 points, four steals and two rebounds, Carlie Foos had 12 points and four assists and Aubrey Vitte had nine points and six caroms to lead the Raiders.
The game was close from the first horn with Otsego leading 6-5 after one quarter, but Gregg hit three 3-point shots in the second quarter as the Raiders took a 19-11 lead into intermission.
The third quarter saw Woodmore’s Macey Bauder scored six points as the Wildcats took the lead, 28-24, entering the final stanza.
In the fourth, Gregg hit a key field goal and the Raiders were 15-for-18 from the free throw line down the stretch in holding off the Wildcats. Carlie Foos was 7-for-8 from the line in the final eight minutes.
“As a staff were really proud of our group,” Lozier said. “They gave us everything they had tonight against a very good Woodmore basketball team.
“We battled through adversity and runs all night and were able to piece together a few good possessions in the fourth to finish it.”
Kaiya Mompher and Riley King scored two points each to round out the Raiders’ scoring. Gregg finished with four of Lakota’s six triples and the Raiders were 17-for-24 from the line.
Woodmore, the Northern Buckeye Conference co-champions along with Fostoria, saw their season end at 21-4. Bauder led the Wildcats with 10 points. Next year Woodmore moves to the SBC River, so these two teams will be league foes.
Kara Schneider and Mackenzie Krukemyer scored eight points each, Paige Helmke scored four points and Jordan Beam, Cameran Quisno and Alayna Hahn added two points apiece for the Wildcats.
Lozier says almost as impressive as his team’s win was the fan base that showed up at Otsego.
“Thank you to our community and fans tonight. What an atmosphere they gave,” Lozier said.