MT. ORAB — The Western Brown Lady Broncos entered Monday night’s Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference match with the New Richmond Lady Lions looking to build on the squad’s victory over Batavia last week.
Thanks to a dominating fourth quarter, Western Brown was able to do just that. They knocked off New Richmond 44-32 Monday night.
The Lady Lions jumped out in front early. Maren Hance scored eight of the team’s 13 first-quarter points while Lexi Ring and Hannah Sininger combined to score seven for the Lady Broncos.
In the second quarter, Western Brown’s defense limited the Lady Lions to just one field goal, a three-point shot by Hance. The Lady Broncos scored 11 points, four of which came from Sugaree Shaffer. New Richmond led 20-18 at halftime.
Neither team could pull away in the third quarter. The teams traded baskets throughout the period, until the Lady Broncos used a basket from Shaffer and a three-point play from Nena Taylor to take a one-point lead with 39.3 seconds left in the quarter. However, roughly 30 seconds later, Bergen Workman hit a two-point shot for the Lady Lions, putting New Richmond back in front by one point at the end of the third.
Head coach Dennis Overstake said the Broncos’ offense struggles at times during the season, but the team is constantly working to put points on the board.
“We missed a ton of shots all over the place,” Overstake said. “We can’t put the ball in the basket when we needed to. We’ve been working really hard, spreading the offense out, trying to find the right people and the right combination. It’s just a matter of when we get them the ball, they have to finish.”
The fourth quarter was a display of dominance on both ends of the court by Western Brown. The team started off the period with a three-pointer from Sininger, then proceeded to steal the ball back. Emma Wells, who had not scored yet in the game, hit another three-point shot, giving Western Brown a quick 6-0 run and turning their one-point deficit into a five-point lead.
“We got on a positive roll,” Overstake said. “You have to go with that. A lot of times, our problem is that we’ll put two or three turnovers together and that allows the other team to get on a roll.”
The Lady Broncos weren’t done. MacKenzie Brooks hauled in a rebound off the Lady Lions’ next missed shot and threw a long pass to Shaffer, who caught it and converted the layup. Wells hit another basket at the 5:40 mark of the quarter, giving her five points in just over two minutes.
New Richmond finally got on the board thanks to a Hance free-throw, but Wells scored five more points in the next 50 seconds to increase Western Brown’s lead to 42-29. Shaffer then banked in a hook shot for the Lady Broncos, putting the team up by 15 points. Lindsey Williams converted an old-fashioned three-point play for the Lady Lions, which was the only field goal made in the quarter.
Sininger led the squad with 11 points, six of which came at the free-throw line. Wells scored 10 for the Lady Broncos, all in the fourth quarter, while Shaffer and Brooks added eight and six, respectively. Overstake said Wells’ offensive output is exactly what the Lady Broncos’ needed.
“At this time of the season, that’s what we need,” Overstake said. “We need someone to step up and score points like that. That’s the positive thing that we need to do as we go into the league tournament and the sectional tournament.”
The Lady Broncos have one more regular-season game remaining before the SBAAC Tournament this weekend. The team welcomes Amelia to town on Thursday, Feb. 4 for senior night.