Danhoff gets magic numbers in?Willard win

WILLARD – Against Columbian Friday, Willard’s Laura Danhoff’s numbers were good.

The milestone she reached was even better.

Danhoff finished with 10 points and three rebounds in Willard’s 59-30 Northern Ohio League win over the Tornadoes. With a jumper at the 2:46 mark of the first half, Danhoff reached 500 points and 500 rebounds in her career.

The game was halted briefly while the 6-foot-2 senior was honored.

Willard coach Jon Dawson said Danhoff’s a complete player.

“It’s kind of neat,” Dawson said. “Points is one thing, but when you throw in the rebounds and the number of blocks she’s had and the amount of assists she’s had, she’s put up some crazy numbers. It’s never been about scoring for Lauren … I think every year she’s always had more rebounds than points. That’s kind of a special thing to happen to a good kid.”

On Friday night, rebounds did play a major role in Willard’s win. The Flashes (11-8, 5-3) outrebounded Columbian 29-19. But what crippled the Tornadoes was the amount of offensive rebounds they gave up, as the Flashes were continually able to take advantage of second chances.

Willard registered 13 offensive rebounds.

“They have 6-1 and 6-4 [players],” Columbian coach Katie Fazekas said, referring to the height the Flashes have on their roster. “But the problem is, we weren’t boxing out tonight. I don’t know. We’ve got to do a better job on the boards, whether we’re small or not.”

Another problem – for both teams – was turnovers. Columbian and Willard combined for 15 first quarter miscues, and the Flashes led 14-10 at the first stop. But the Tornadoes turned the ball over six times and and shot 2 for 9 in the second quarter, at one point missing five consecutive shots and going on a scoreless stretch that lasted more than four minutes. As a result, Willard was able to pull away, outscoring the Tornadoes 14-4 and grabbing a 28-14 halftime lead.

Dawson said the rebounding was key.

“I thought we did a nice job of controlling the boards,” Dawson said. “We talk about having five people rebound on the defensive end, not leaking out. Here in the past, sometimes we depend on Laura and Gabi (Baldridge) to rebound. We get some kids leaking out, and we stress in practice having everyone crash the boards. I thought we did a nice job of that tonight.”

Baldridge, a 6-foot-4 freshman, finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Columbian made a run in the second half, coming out and scoring five straight points on a Jocelyn Cole trey from the right wing and a Michaela Miller layup. The Tornadoes cut the Flashes lead to 28-19 with 5:24 left in the third. In doing so, they kept Willard scoreless for the quarter’s first 3:10.

The problem was the Tornadoes offense couldn’t match its defense. It managed just one basket the rest of the quarter.

Meanwhile, Willard got going.

Hannah Schloemer snapped the Flashes drought with the jumper, then the Flashes knocked down four consecutive shots – an Olivia Bauer 3 from the right side, a Marie Thornton layup, a right-side trey from Maggie King, and a Hannah Adams layup.

Eventually, the Willard run reached 13 unanswered points, and it went up 42-19.

Fazekas said it came down to a lack of offense for TC.

“We’re having a hard time offensively just putting the ball in the hole,” Fazekas said after her team fell to 6-12, 1-7. “I think the kids are executing the offense well, we’re just missing too many shots.”

Columbian shot 12 of 39 from the field. Jocelyn Cole and Valesha Province each scored seven points for the Tornadoes.

Thornton had 11 for Willard.