MEDINA — Inexperienced Amherst achieved the unlikely by winning a sectional title.
But for the green Comets, next up in the bracket was the No. 4 team in the state, the Wadsworth Grizzlies, in a Division I district semifinal.
The Grizzlies were just too much for the Comets and walked away with a 52-19 win Tuesday night.
“We started the season with three girls that had ever played varsity basketball,” Amherst coach Kevin Collins said. “One girl was a primary player on the team. They’ve been in a lot of tough spots this year and this is the first time we’ve had a real tournament atmosphere. I think it was a little bit faster than they were ready for. We’re going to get better from it and we’ll learn from it.”
The struggles began immediately for Amherst (11-13) as it managed just one basket each in the first and second quarters. After 16 minutes it was 25-4 Grizzlies.
Brooke Wallace (eight points, nine rebounds, two blocks) scored both of Amherst’s first-half baskets, and the Comets committed 33 turnovers and put up only nine shots for the game.
“Brooke is a special player,” Collins said. “Everybody knows we try to go through her in everything we do.
“She didn’t get off to a great start because we struggled to get her the ball. And when we did get her the ball she missed a few early and that seemed to get her off her game.”
The Wadsworth defensive pressure was something the Comets knew was going to be tough to overcome, having seen the Grizzlies (24-1) crush their first two tournament foes 158-26.
“They are the No. 4 team in the state for a reason,” Collins said. “Just the intensity they play with, all week in practice we tried to prepare for it by throwing seven or eight girls in the press against us. It’s almost something you can’t prepare for.”
It looked at times like the Grizzlies had even more players on the floor, as every pass was contested and the ball pressure was tight all night.
The Comets put together their best offensive quarter after halftime and actually outscored Wadsworth 9-6 in the final five minutes of the third quarter.
Wadsworth not only played tight defense, but had five players with eight or more points. Taylor Wyatt led the way with nine.
Behind Wallace and Sidney Roule (six), Amherst won the rebounding battle 28-26.
Contact Chad Grant at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wadsworth 52, Amherst 19
AMHERST (19): Sidney Roule 0-0-0, Mallory Sliman 0-0-0, Brooke Wallace 4-0-8, Sher Campe 0-0-0, Sara Elliott 1-0-2, Brianna Crapo 2-0-4, Gabrielle Basinski 1-0-2, Natalia Joseph 0-0-0, Zoe Papay 0-0-0, Olivia Henderson 0-0-0, Sydney Click 1-0-3, Jayla Hall 0-0-0, Skyler Klingshirn 0-0-0. Totals 9-0-19.
WADSWORTH (52): Peyton Booth 3-1-8, Laurel Palitto 3-2-8, Madison Gilger 3-2-8, Hannah Centea 1-1-3, Jodi Johnson 1-0-2, Taylor Wyatt 3-1-9, Olivia Thompson 0-0-0, Aubrey Virgin 3-1-8, Courtney Palange 0-0-0, Elizabeth Edurese 0-0-0, Brenna Murphy 0-0-0, Jenna Johnson 1-0-2, Annie Gilbert 0-0-0, McKenna Banks 2-0-4, Brennan Williams 0-0-0. Totals 20-8-52.
Amherst 2 2 11 4 — 19
Wadsworth 18 7 17 10 — 52
Three-point goals: Amherst 1-6 (Click 1-2, Roule 0-4), Wadsworth 4-8 (Wyatt 2-3, Booth 1-1, Virgin 1-1, Thompson 0-3). Rebounds: Amherst 28 (Wallace 9), Wadsworth 26 (Booth, Gilger 5). Assists: Amherst 3 (Roule 2), Wadsworth 11 (Palitto 3). Turnovers: Amherst 33 (Elliott 10), Wadsworth 17 (Booth 3). Total fouls: Amherst 16, Wadsworth 9.