Willard Lady Flashes Capture Second Straight District Title in Win Over Margaretta

Willard Lady Flashes Capture Second Straight District Title in Win Over Margaretta

SHELBY, OH – Top-seeded Willard Lady Flashes hold off Margaretta 65-56 to win a second straight District Championship on Saturday afternoon at Shelby High School. After winning the Division II District Title last season the Lady Flashes added a Division III Shelby District Title to their trophy case this season. The two teams split their two regular-season meetings before the District Championship was the rubber match in the series. In the first quarter, the Willard Lady Flashes would race out to a 12-6 lead by using their size advantage to create easy buckets inside. Led by Willard’s Mckenna Stephens and Layla Dials driving ability the Flashes would increase the lead to 18-8 by continuing to dominate inside the paint. Margaretta would come fighting back with a 10-0 scoring run to close the quarter at 18 apiece. Lady Bear’s Ellianna Schaefer would orchestrate the comeback with defensive steals and the ability to find space in the Lady Flashes defense. Willard was able to make a run despite Kalli Sowers being in foul trouble for most of the first half. In the second quarter, Margaretta would take their first lead of the contest but that lead would not last long as the Lady Flashes would again dominate points in the paint to regain control at 27 to 22. The Lady Bears would battle hard to only trail 32-28 at halftime. Willard was led in scoring by Stephens, Dials, and Tristian Buurma who all had eight points in the 1st half for the Lady Flashes. Most of those points for the trio were the ability to get easy buckets in the paint using the size advantage they had over Margaretta. In the third quarter, Willard’s Grace Hall would hit two three-pointers to give the Lady Flashes a 40-32 advantage to start the second half. Margaretta would have some costly turnovers that gave the Willard Lady Flashes their largest lead of the contest since the 1st quarter. Margaretta’s Kylie Leibacher would have seven points in the third quarter as the Lady Bears would cut the deficit to just five points late in the third quarter. Willard would finish the quarter strong to head into the final quarter of play with a 48-42 lead. In the fourth quarter, Willard’s Buurma would dominate inside the paint and Hall would hit a timely three to give the Lady Flashes a 10 point lead with under four minutes to play in the contest. Margaretta would come back and cut it to four points with two minutes to play at 57-51 after some nice plays by Schaefer. Unfortunately for the Lady Bears, the Willard Flashes were clutch from the free-throw line to win the championship 65-56. Willard was led in scoring by Buurma and Dials who had 16 points in the victory for the Lady Flashes. Also in double figures was Stephens and Hall who each finished with 14 points apiece. Margaretta (20-5) was led in scoring by Schaefer who finished with 20 points in the loss for the Lady Bears. Leibacher and Eisenhauer had 12 points to round out the double-figure scoring for Margaretta. With the win, the Willard Lady Flashes (21-3) move on to a Division III Regional Semi-Final against Columbus Africentric on Wednesday, March 3rd at Lexington High School.