Girls Basketball: Allen East beats Coldwater for return trip to district

HARROD – You couldn’t ask much more from a timeout than the one Allen East called early in the fourth quarter of its 56-47 win over Coldwater in a Division III girls basketball sectional championship game on Saturday night.

After Coldwater reduced what had been a 14-point Allen East lead to five points, 43-38, with 6 ½ minutes left in the game, Mustangs coach Aaron Montgomery signaled for a timeout.

Savana Brooks, who led Allen East with 17 points, said the message was “We’ve just got to slow down and go our pace. We were forcing too much, which is giving them easy buckets. So settling down, going our pace would help us.”

On Allen East’s first possession after the timeout, Rilynn Jones drove through Coldwater’s defense, got to the rim, was fouled, and hit two free throws.

Twelve seconds later, after a quick Coldwater turnover, Brooks hit a 3-pointer to push Allen East’s lead to 10 points, 48-38, with 5:59 left on the clock. Coldwater never got closer than seven points the rest of the game.

There also was some strategy formulated during that timeout, Brooks said.

She said the goal on both of the two possessions right after it was to have Jones get a mismatch to make the defense choose between helping out on her as she drove or covering the perimeter.

“It goes either way – either she’s open, or I’m open, and we hit it,” Brooks said.

Jones scored 16 points for the Mustangs (21-2) and Soraya Jackson had a career-best 14 points. Madison Wendel had 23 points and eight rebounds for Coldwater (8-13) and Becca Wenning scored 10 points.

Montgomery said he called the timeout to tell the players “just to kind of settle down.”

“We were getting out of what we normally do. We were getting a little scattered. We were kind of losing focus. I told them to kind of take a deep breath and relax. Everything is fine. We’ve got the lead. Let’s get a bucket here and get back into our press,” he said.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” Montgomery said about a game in which the two teams combined for 37 turnovers.

In addition to having problems against Allen East’s pressure, Coldwater had some struggles with its shooting in the middle two quarters.

The Cavaliers hit only 1 of 11 field goal attempts in the second quarter, and Wendel had all but four of the 19 points they scored in the second and third quarters.

“I’m happy for our girls, I’m proud of our girls. We worked and worked and talked about trying to get back to where we were last year in the district semifinals,” Montgomery said.

Allen East will play Delphos Jefferson at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in a Division III district semifinal at the Elida Fieldhouse. The Wildcats beat Allen East in a district semifinal last season and won this year’s regular-season matchup in a game where Jefferson’s Lyv Lindeman scored a school-record 40 points.

Allen East 56, Coldwater 47

Score by quarters:

Coldwater 14 3 16 14 — 47

Allen East 16 9 18 13 — 56


Becca Wenning 10, Claire Steinke 7, Madison Wendel 23, Emma May 3, Mia Knapke 4. Totals: 16-10-47.


Savana Brooks 17, Dylan Miller 4, Soraya Jackson 14, Aubrey Young 1, Rilynn Jones 16, Taylor Nickles 3, Rylie Jordan 1. Totals: 18-14-56.

Three-point goals: C — Wenning 3, May 1, Knapke 1; AE — Brooks 3, Jones 2, Miller 1.

Records: Allen East 21-2; Coldwater 8-13.