Columbian graduate Lexi Rohrbach was ready to go.
From the looks of it, so were her teammates.
Baldwin Wallace held Heidelberg scoreless for the first 8:55 of the game, grabbed an 11-0 lead, and - despite a spirited HU comeback - held on for a 69-64 Ohio Athletic Conference win.
Heidelberg’s Megan Miller (32) is defended by Baldwin Wallace’s Lexi Rohrbach Wednesday night at Seiberling Gymnasium. Also pictured are BW’s Jessica Lairson (3), Ally Dehart (34) and Heidelberg’s Allie Hawkins. Miller and Rohrbach were high school teammates at Columbian.
Baldwin Wallace’s Lexi Rohrbach, a Columbian graduate, goes to the basket while being defended by Heidelberg’s Kathleen Phillips. Rohrbach had seven points and five rebounds in BW’s win Wednesday.
It was a homecoming for Rohrbach, who scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds as the Yellow Jackets improved to 13-3, 8-1.
"I was just looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd one last time," said Rohrbach, a senior. "We don't get a lot of (Tiffin) fans at BW, because, well, I'm two hours away. I liked facing Megan Miller one last time."
Miller, Rohrbach's teammate on Columbian teams that were undefeated in the regular season in back-to-back seasons, didn't start for HU, but did finish with nine points and six boards. She also broke up 'Berg's scoreless stretch to open the game, making a 3 at the top of the key with 11:05 left in the first.
|Baldwin Wallace (13-3, 8-1): Jessica Lairson 6-3-16; Lexi Rohrbach 2-3-7; Shari Mangas 2-0-5; Mackenzie Columbo 0-0-0; Audrey Smolik 5-4-14; Janaya Feaster 0-1-1; Allyson Helleis 1-2-4; She’Kiera Brooks 0-0-0; Alissa Munro 4-2-12; Clara Lemmon 1-0-2; Megan McKean 1-1-3 Sam Hamar 1-0-2; Ally DeHart 0-0-0. Totals: 23-18-69.|
|Heidelberg (10-6, 3-6): Carli Patrick 0-3-3; Allie Hawkins 0-0-0; Paige Ricketts 1-0-3; Nicole Payne 0-0-0; Kathleen Phillips 13-6-33; Molly Schriber 3-1-8; Gina Miccinilli 0-2-2; Kyra Dorney 0-0-0; Jackie Abrecht 2-0-6; Erin Pacholski 0-0-0; Megan Miller 2-3-8; Abbey Geraghty 0-0-0. Totals: 21-15-64.|
|Halftime: Baldwin Wallace 26-21.|
|Field goals: Baldwin Wallace 23-54; Heidelberg 21-60.|
|3-point goals: Baldwin Wallace 5-17 (Munro 2-5, Mangas 1-4, Lairson 1-2, McKean 1-2, Smolik 0-3, Feaster 0-1); Heidelberg 7-23 (Abrecht 2-4, Miller 2-5, Schriber 1-1, Phillips 1-5, Payne 1-5 Hawkins 0-3, Miccinilli 0-2).|
|Rebounds: Baldwin Wallace 36 (Lairson 6); Heidelberg 37 (Patrick 9).|
|Turnovers: Baldwin Wallace 17; Heidelberg 14.|
|Assists: Baldwin Wallace 8; Heidelberg 14.|
Yellow Jackets coach Cheri Harrer said her squad's defense started out strong.
"I thought early on we did a better job of pressuring the ball, and we lost that pressure later on," Harrer said. "That's what we hang our hat on, jumping to the ball, and trying to disrupt."
Before Miller's basket, Heidelberg had missed 10 shots from the floor and turned the ball over six times.
Still, Heidelberg came back, going on a 9-2 run to get within 15-12 after a Jackie Abrecht 3 with 9:02 remaining in the half.
From then on, the game followed a pattern. Heidelberg would battle to get within two or three points of the Yellow Jackets, but BW would then make some stops and push its lead back up. More than a few times, HU - behind Kathleen Phillips' 33 points - got within two or three points, with the ball.
After a Phillips 3 with 6:19 left in regulation, the BW lead was down to 51-50. A Phillips three-point play with 2:52 left got Heidelberg within 60-58. HU made a stop after that, but Miller missed a 3 and Phillips missed a jumper. BW got the rebound, and recovered, scoring six of the next eight points to break away.
"We were trying to make our run, and we were trying to play at the speed they wanted to play at which would rush our offense a little bit," Heidelberg coach Morgan Shriver said.
Rohrbach said BW knows how to close out games.
"That's what the best teams do," she said. "We have our downs... we couldn't make a shot, but we'd get stops."
Phillips was the only HU (10-6, 3-6) player to score in double figures, while Molly Schriber had eight points and Carli Patrick had nine rebounds to go with three points.
BW's Jessica Lairson scored 16 for the Yellow Jackets, while Audrey Smolik had 13 and Alissa Munro 12.
Harrer said it's big to get through the first half of the conference schedule 8-1.
"This is a brutal league," she said. "Anybody on a given night can beat anyone...Anytime you go on the road in this conference and get a win, you've got to be happy about that."