By MICHAEL BURWELL
OTTAWA — Dominating post play was on display in the Division IV sectional girls basketball finals at Ottawa-Glandorf High School on Saturday.
Pandora-Gilboa put the clamps on McComb to win its sectional final with a 57-38 victory over the Wildcats. Leipsic also advanced by knocking off Miller City 55-35.
The Rockets (16-8) have won eight straight games and will face Convoy Crestview Thursday at 6:15 p.m. in the district semifinals at Lima Senior. Leipsic (20-3), winner of 15 straight games, will face Ottoville Thursday in the second game at Lima Senior.
For Pandora-Gilboa senior Megan Maag, the Rockets’ victory came with a career milestone.
Maag’s 10-foot baseline jumper with 7:20 left in the third quarter gave her 1,000 career points as the 5-foot-11 center scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates,” Maag said of reaching the milestone. “They were there through all of it.
“It’s been fun to play with my teammates the past four years, and it’s been an awesome ride.”
Maag scored 11 of her points in the third quarter, including seven within a two-minute span, as the Rockets pushed its lead to 43-29 after three quarters.
Pandora-Gilboa wasn’t done. Shae Watkins scored four straight points to open up the fourth quarter and the Rockets scored the first 13 points of the quarter to extend its lead to 56-29.
“We really focused on coming out strong and not giving them anything easy in the beginning and just holding with it the whole game,” Pandora-Gilboa head coach Jessica Liedtke said. “We did exactly that. That was a team performance from everybody involved, and we played really well.”
McComb’s season came to an end at 12-12. Emily Clymer, the Panthers’ 5-foot-10 senior forward, scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while senior guard Brenna Dee was held to eight points and sat most of the game because of foul trouble.
“It’s a special group of girls,” McComb head coach Jeremy Herr said. “We have three seniors, and they have worked their butts off all year.”
In the first game, Leipsic’s Amber Gerdeman (6-foot-1) and Kelly Nadler (6-foot-2) owned the paint as they combined for 32 points and 14 rebounds.
Whether it was Gerdeman passing the ball down low to Nadler from the free-throw line, or vice versa, the two post players were feeding off each other.
“We’ve played with each other for three years. Then, we also play volleyball a lot together, so we’ve been playing together for a very long time,” Gerdeman said. “I think just over the years, it’s continued to ‘I’ll go down low, she’ll go high. I’ll go high, she’ll go low.’ And we’re both really good at getting position.”
The Vikings jumped out to a 22-7 first-quarter lead with the help of Gerdeman’s 11 points and four rebounds in the quarter. Nadler scored eight of her 14 points in the second quarter, including four in the final 50 seconds, to give Leipsic a 36-13 halftime lead.
Leipsic also outrebounded Miller City 21-6 in the first half and forced 10 Wildcat turnovers.
Leipsic head coach Gary Kreinbrink said his team was ready to play against somebody else instead of playing against themselves for a week and a half straight in practice.
“I thought we had some good things that we had planned for tonight and thought our defense stepped up and did some good things and gave Miller City one shot and out, especially in the first three quarters,” Kreinbrink said.
Liz Klear scored 11 points, including seven in the second half, to lead Miller City (3-20). Cassie Niese added nine points as well and Chrissy Berger grabbed a team-high six rebounds to go with her six points.
MILLER CITY (3-20)
Niese 4-1—9, Klear 3-4–11, Kuhlman 0-0—0, Lammers 3-0—6, Warnimont 0-1—1, Altman 1-0–2, Welty 0-0—0, Berger 3-0—6, Schroeder 0-0—0. TOTALS: 14-37 6-8—35.
N. Kreinbrink 0-1—1, Scheckelhoff 0-0—0, Rieman 2-0—4, Morman 2-1—5, Gerdeman 6-6–18, Nadler 7-0—14, Gerten 3-2—9, Steffen 0-2—2, Kaufman 1-0—2, Schroeder 0-0—0. TOTALS: 21-53 12-20—55.
Miller City 7 6 7 15 — 35
Leipsic 22 14 13 6 — 55
3-Point GOALS: Miller City 1-8 (Kuhlman); Leipsic 1-5 (Gerten).
rebounds: Leipsic 29 (Gerdeman 7, Nadler 6); Miller City 22 (Berger 6).
turnovers: Miller City 22, Leipsic 12.
Heminger 3-0—6, Dee 3-0—8, Clymer 7-3—18, Herr 1-0—2, Reigle 0-0—0, Hammond 1-2—4, Buck 0-0—0. TOTALS: 15-36 10-16—38.
McCullough 4-1—9, Hermiller 3-2—8, O. Maag 0-2—2, M. Maag 10-5—25, Abelovska 2-0—4, Watkins 4-0—9, Macke 0-0—0. TOTALS: 23-48 10-14—57.
McComb 10 5 14 9 — 38
Pandora-Gilboa 14 12 17 14 — 57
3-Point GOALS: McComb 3-9 (Dee 2, Clymer); Pandora-Gilboa 1-7 (Watkins).
rebounds: Pandora-Gilboa 34 (M. Maag 11, Watkins 9); McComb 21 (Clymer 9).
turnovers: McComb 24, Pandora-Gilboa 19.