ELIDA — It was a sluggish start that Kalida could not overcome.
Kalida dug itself a hole early on, and Wayne Trace capitalized, en route to a 53-28 victory in a girls Division IV regional basketball semifinal at the Elida Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
Wayne Trace (22-4) will face Minster (18-5) Saturday for a regional title at 7:30 p.m. at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Minster (18-5) defeated Toledo Christian (18-4) 58-50, in Thursday’s first regional semifinal at the Elida Fieldhouse.
This was Kalida’s first trip to the regionals since 2009.
Wayne Trace will be making its first ever appearance in a regional final.
McKayla Maag led Kalida (19-8) with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Grace Klausing added eight points and six boards for the Wildcats.
Katie Stoller led Wayne Trace with 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Katrina Stoller added nine points for the Raiders.
“My girls just played their tails off,” Wayne Trace coach Bethany DeJarnett said. “It started with our defense, and it went from there. That’s the way we play. … Everything stems from our defensive effort.”
Kalida struggled at the offensive end, early on, as Wayne Trace slipped out with a 12-2 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Kalida was just 1 of 9 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes.
Kalida committed eight turnovers in the first quarter, while Wayne Trace turned it over five times. Kalida turned the ball over seven more times in the second stanza.
By the halftime break, Wayne Trace led 21-9.
For the half, Kalida was 3 of 15 from the floor for 20-percent shooting. Wayne Trace was 7 of 20 from the floor for 35 percent.
Kalida battled back.
Maag scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter. However, Wayne Trace had an answer.
Katie Stoller’s two treys kept the Raiders in control.
Wayne Trace led 38-22 by the third stop.
For the game, Kalida shot 32 percent from the field. Wayne Trace countered with 41-percent shooting on its field goal attempts.
On the night, Kalida turned the ball over 23 times, while Wayne Trace turned it over 15 times.
Toledo Christian 50
A fast start for Minster set the tone.
Minster, the two-time defending state champion, raced out to a 16-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, and never trailed the rest of the way.
Ivy Wolf led Minster with 15 points, including 6 of 6 shooting from the free throw line. Janae Hoying and Ella Mescher each scored 12 points for the Wildcats.
Toledo Christian’s Madison Royal-Davis led all scorers with 28 points, including four 3-pointers.
Minster led 33-19 by the halftime break.
But Toledo Christian (18-4) did not go away.
The Eagles cut the deficit to 9, 39-30 on a fast-break by Cat Jones, with less then two minutes left in the third quarter.
Minster led 43-32 by the third stop
With six minutes left in the game, Toledo Christian cut it to 7, 43-36 on an inside move by Royal-Davis.
Then, with 3:13 left to play, Royal-Davis hit two free throws to cut it to 5, 45-40.
The Eagles cut it to 5 again, 49-44, on a 3-pointer by Royal-Davis with 1:36 left to play.
Toledo Christian cut it to 3, 52-49 on a 3-pointer by Brynn Beard with 40 seconds left to play.
However, Minster was able to stave off the Eagles down the stretch for the hard-fought win.
“In the first half, we had double-digits in missed layups, especially in the first quarter. … I’m going to attribute most of those (missed shots) to nerves,” Minster coach Mike Wiss said. “We just have to make sure we have a little more patience, and get our legs set on our shots.
“What I was really happy with, was our energy, especially in the first quarter. I think we set the tempo early.”
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