Jackets squash Cougars, 67-20, to advance


By Nicholas Huenefeld

Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

PERRYSBURG — The Perrysburg girls basketball team forced 26 turnovers to secure a 67-20 win over Sylvania Southview in a Division I sectional opener on Wednesday.

Those 26 turnovers, which included 21 in the first half alone, led to a 30-4 advantage in points off turnovers. The Yellow Jackets (17-6) also made 10 from long distance, including 6-of-10 in the second half alone, while cruising to their second win over Southview this year.

“I think we’re a really good team defensively,” Perrysburg senior guard Taylor Jockett said. “I feel like definitely going in the tournament, we knew we had to pick it up because it’s a tournament game. You win or go home, so we really thought our defense had to be on top tonight.”

Perrysburg forced turnovers on the first four Southview possessions to open the game. Junior Chloe Kilbride scored seven points during that stretch, helping her team to a 9-0 lead.

The second quarter started the same as Southview (1-22) coughed it up on the first four possessions while sophomore Sophie Mitchell scored five points to help Perrysburg complete a 12-0 run dating back to the opening frame. That gave the Yellow Jackets a 21-2 lead less than two minutes into the quarter.

“We’re pretty athletic in the full court,” Perrysburg coach Todd Sims said. “We pressed them the first time we played them, and we hurt them. Once we scored, got a little rhythm going offensively, then we could press and things would be okay.”

Five players had at least four points in a 27-point second quarter for Perrysburg, including six apiece from Jockett, Ayla Turk and Hayley Griggs. They shot 11-of-23 from the field as a team in the quarter, and the Yellow Jackets had 16 made field goals in the first half, which matched the total number of attempted field goals for Southview over the first 16 minutes.

Griggs exploded for 10 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter as Perrysburg outscored Southview 18-9 while making 4-of-6 from long distance. Jockett added her third and fourth 3-pointers of the game in the final eight minutes as the Yellow Jackets capped off a decisive win.

“It was good,” Sims said of the win. “Get the tournament off to a good start. That’s all you could ask.”

Aside from the 19 for Griggs, Kilbride added 14 points while Jockett (12) and Turk (10) combined for 22. Perrysburg had six players with at least five points. Defensively, they forced Southview into a 9-of-36 performance from the field, including 0-for-9 from long distance.

The victory represented the ninth in 10 games for Perrysburg, which has included six wins by double-digits. They will face Clay (5-17) — a team they beat 78-27 on Feb. 5 — on Saturday at 7 p.m. for a district semifinal berth.

“I feel like we’re sharing the ball a lot, and I feel like defensively, we’ve really improved,” Jockett said. “I also feel like we’ve been a lot more focused at practice, and we’ve bonded a lot as a team recently, especially because we’ve been playing with each other for a couple months now. We really have a good connection.”

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