FOSTORIA - For a time Saturday, it looked like Fostoria might be headed for its first win this season.
Behind strong first halves from Jada Hampton (9 points) and Alexus Smith (7 points), and an aggressive defense that forced Columbian into 13 first half turnovers, the Redmen never trailed and went to the break up 22-19.
For Tornadoes' coach Katie Fazekas, the message for her team was simple:
"I told them, 'once we get the lead, we're not gonna give it back,'" she said. "And we didn't."
The game turned early in the third quarter, when Valesha Province beat the Fostoria defense three times for unanswered layups, giving TC a 25-22 advantage.
The Tornadoes never relinquished the lead, holding off Fostoria 40-30.
Province finished the game with a game-high 15 points, 13 of which came after halftime, as the Tornadoes moved to 5-5.
"(Province's) a spark plug," Fazekas said. "When things aren't going well we can usually count on her to bounce out, get something going for us, whether it's pretty or not."
Mat Swortchek said his team was focused on containing Jocelyn Cole, who made a pair of 3's in the first half.
"On defense all of a sudden, we decided to allow everyone else other than Cole to score," Swortchek said. "That was not the game plan, to let other girls have wide open layups, I think that was what really changed things for us."
Fostoria also struggled offensively after halftime. It turned the ball over 12 times and scored just eight points.
"We made some defensive adjustments," Fazekas said. "[We] switched our defense up, even in possession once in a while, and it seemed to catch them off guard."
Michaela Miller had eight points and eight rebounds for Columbian.
Fostoria was led by Hampton's 13 points, and by Taylor Tucker, who had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with six points.
Swortchek said Fostoria didn't have much of a bench Saturday, which became a problem when it's players got fouls called on them.
"We were in such bad foul trouble, which created numbers issues because of our bench," he said. "We essentially didn't have a four-quarter player on our bench at all. So as soon as we get into foul trouble, our substitution pattern is all out of whack."
Columbian led 31-26 at the end of three quarters, and made only one basket in the fourth. But the Tornadoes got to the foul line 10 times in the period, making 7.
"We play a different style, definitely, than the team we played today," Fazekas said. "(The Redmen) play hard, they play aggressive and for a little bit we looked rattled. Once we settled down and got a little more into the offense, things flowed a little better."