The Bucyrus girls basketball team didn’t waste any time in establishing their dominance on the neutral floor for its sectional match-up against Galion at Lexington High School.
The Lady Redman jumped out to a 23-6 halftime lead over the Lady Tigers and never looked back on their way to a 49-23 win.
Each team headed into the post-season from opposite directions. Bucyrus came into the contest, winners of four of five, while Galion lost its last four games.
In the opening quarter, Bucyrus used its decided height advantage to feed the ball to the post, scoring all its points in the paint. The Lady Redman also blocked three shots, pulled down 14 rebounds and outscored Galion 11-4 in the first quarter.
Galion pushed the ball up the floor, but was unable to get off many clean shots. The Lady Tigers were one of 10 from the field in the opening quarter.
‘We wanted to come out in a full court press and put them in situations where they have to react to us, for some reason we didn’t focus. From the get-go we weren’t our normal self,” said Galion head coach Nick Vukovich.
Bucyrus intensified its half-court defense in the second quarter, pressing the Lady Tigers and extending their defense and forcing five Galion turnovers.
Galion had no answer for Bucyrus’ Gabby Seibert, Shaina Oreweiler and Kelci Simms. Seibert had 10 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in the first half. Oreweiler had six points and five rebounds, while Simms pulled down seven rebounds.
“Our goal was to hold Simms to under nine points in the first half and Hawkins under three,” Vukovich said. “Number 14 (Seibert) came up big. Pick your poison, you shut down the two main scorers and someone else comes up big.”
Bucyrus out rebounded Galion 29-14 in the half. Galion shot two of 24 from the field in the half.
The Lady Tigers came out with more intensity in the second half. Galion scored 11 points in the quarter, but were unable to stem the Redman onslaught.
“We wanted to attack them and get fouls on them, we didn’t do that and that’s what hurt us,” Vukovich said.
Bucyrus added another 11 rebounds and scored 13 points in the quarter on its way to a 36-17 third quarter lead.
Both teams traded free throws in the fourth quarter with Bucyrus in command.
The game was decided under the basket, Bucyrus out rebounded Galion 51-31 and scored 40 of its 49 points in the paint.
“We’ve been short all year,” Vukovich said. “We’ve played against it all year (opponents size advantage), we just didn’t play to our potential.”
Galion was 7 of 42 from the field and 7 of 11 from the free throw line.
Bucyrus shot 32 percent from the field, 62 percent from the free throw line and recorded seven blocked shots.
Dani Schieber, Gabby Kaple and Taylor Valentine led Galion with five points each
For Bucyrus, Oreweiler finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Seibert had 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Simms scored eight points with 10 rebounds.
Bucyrus will play the Riverdale Falcons at Lexington High School in a sectional semi-final game on Feb. 20.
With the Galion season coming to a close, Vukovich plans to make his desired changes in the off-season.
“We need to get in the gym and shoot. Since I got hired late we didn’t get the chance to implement the shooting program I have for the girls,” he said. “This off-season will be different, we need to build confidence, it’ll be culture shock.”
Connect with Tanchevski on Twitter at @mtan62.