By TED RADICK
TIFFIN — The Carey Blue Devils, matched inch-for-inch and step-for-step in the early going by Hopewell-Loudon, found a couple of advantages Tuesday in a Division IV sectional semifinal at Tiffin Columbian.
Carey’s transition game and ability to create second-chance opportunities off offensive rebounds proved key as the Blue Devils defeated Hopewell-Loudon 64-47. Carey (19-4) advances to play New Riegel (17-5), the sectional’s top seed, at 6:15 p.m. Saturday in a sectional final.
Hopewell-Loudon finished its season at 15-8.
In the nightcap, St. Wendelin fell behind by 13 points in the second quarter, roared back to take a five-point lead in the fourth, but faltered down the stretch as Tiffin Calvert defeated the Mohawks 53-47. Calvert (17-6) advances to play Arcadia (19-3), the No. 2 seed, at 8 p.m. Saturday at Columbian in the other sectional final. St. Wendelin finished 15-8.
In Tuesday’s opener, Hannah Draper hit a conventional three-point play late in the first quarter, then converted a fast-break layup seconds later after a Chieftains’ turnover. That began a 12-0 run that flipped a 14-12 Hopewell-Loudon lead into a 24-14 Carey advantage midway through the second quarter.
Time and again, Carey scored in the paint. When the Blue Devils weren’t racing down the court in transition, they were pounding the glass for offensive rebounds.
“Our posts did a good job of getting up and down the floor,” Carey coach Phil Vaughn said. “Our guards did, as well. And, we were able to get good position inside for those second chances.”
Carey’s Hannah Tong had 10 points in the second quarter as the Blue Devils took a 38-27 lead into halftime. Carey grabbed six offensive rebounds in the second quarter.
“It’s easy to give up second chances when you’re not boxing out,” Hopewell-Loudon coach Rod Daniels said. “Tong got great position on us. She really works well around the basket.”
Tong finished with a game-high 18 points. Draper, a 5-foot-7 guard, worked her way inside for layup and putbacks and added 14 to give Carey a formidable inside presence.
“The last time we played them, they hit a lot of 3s on us,” Daniels said. “We did a better job of defending that tonight, but they hurt us inside.”
Cassandra Hohman led Hopewell-Loudon with 14 points. Only four of those came in the second half, though, as the Chieftains were never able to cut Carey’s lead to less than nine points after halftime.
“We didn’t do anything different, except move our feet and not let her get past us,” Vaughn said of defending Hohman, who nearly matched her season average of 14.7 points per game but was on track early for much more.
Courtney Burns scored 10 points for Hopewell-Loudon. Sydney Wentling had 10 points and Johnson eight for Carey.
In the second game, Calvert used an 20-3 run spanning eight minutes sandwiched around the first-quarter break to build a 23-10 lead midway through the second quarter.
“That’s nothing new for us. It seems like we’ve been down 13 points all season,” St. Wendelin coach Aaron Smith said.
The Mohawks chipped away, getting several defensive stops and 3-pointers from Shelby Emerine and Heather Saalman in closing the Calvert lead to 27-22 at halftime.
St. Wendelin took its first lead since the opening minutes after Taylor Williams drained a pair of free throws with 1:08 left in the third. Colleen Fondessy’s layup in the final seconds of the period gave the Mohakws a 34-32 advantage, but Smith knew his team was tiring.
“We don’t have the quality of depth that Calvert has,” he said. “Heather and Colleen play the whole game, because right now they’re better tired than some of our girls are fresh.
“They are a lot faster than us, and they used that speed.”
The Senecas also tightened up on defense, forcing 11 St. Wendelin turnovers in the second half, and took the lead for good on an Olivia Smith layup with 4:15 left.
Smith finished with a game-high 17 points while Kate Brickner added 12. Fondessy led St. Wendelin with 13 points.
Burns 1-8—10, Daniel 2-0—5, Hohman 6-2—14, Trumpler 3-0—7, Brickner 1-2—4, Rohrbach 3-1—7. TOTALS: 16 13-14—47.
Tong 6-6—18, S. Wentling 3-3—10, M. Wentling 1-0—2, Rymer 3-0—6, Johnson 4-0—8, G.Wentling 1-1—3, Draper 5-4—14, Hoepf 1-0—3. TOTALS: 24 14-20—64.
Hopewell-Loudon 14 13 9 11 — 47
Carey 17 21 12 14 — 64
3-Point GOALS: Hopewell-Loudon 2 (Daniel, Trumpler); Carey 2 (Hoepf, S. Wentling).
St. Wendelin (15-8)
Fondessy 6-1—13, Saalman 1-0—3, Williams 2-4—10, Troike 3-2—8, Emerine 3-1—10, Birkmire 1-0—3. TOTALS: 16-45 8-12—47.
Beckley 1-0—2, Brickner 4-4—12, Funkhouser 1-0—2, Smith 5-7—17, N. Bickley 4-2—10, L. Bickley 3-1—8, Horn 0-2—2. TOTALS: 18-42 16-20—53.
St. Wendelin 7 15 12 15 — 47
Tiffin Calvert 12 15 5 21 — 53
3-Point GOALS: St. Wendelin 7-22 (Emerine 3, Williams 2, Saalman); Calvert 1-5 (L. Bickley).
rebounds: St. Wendelin 27 (Williams and Troike 7); Calvert 27 (Smith & N. Bickley 7).
turnovers: St. Wendelin 18, Calvert 15.