Not an artistic success, but Royals will take it

UPPER SANDUSKY – Upper Sandusky’s girls basketball proved a theory Friday night against Wynford.

Quality is better than quantity.

Despite getting 21 more shots, the Rams fell in North Central Conference play to the Royals, 32-26.

For Wynford, it wasn’t exactly what one would call great quality, but it was better than the competition and Royals coach Amy Taylor-Sheldon will take an ugly win over the alternative.

“It was an aggressive physical game and at times we didn’t respond well to that on offense but we took care of it on defense,” Taylor-Sheldon said. “We’ll take it.”

The Royals were just 11 for 35 from the floor. But compared to Upper’s 11-for-56 performance, the shooting numbers look markedly better.

“I thought our effort was there. We obviously didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Upper Sandusky coach Brent Fahle said. “Everyone gave great effort. I can’t complain about that. We just didn’t shoot the ball very well and that’s what happened.”

Defensively, this is exactly what Fahle wanted to see, holding one of the NCC’s top teams to just 32 points. But his squad couldn’t convert despite 21 offensive rebounds.

“Our defensive effort was very good. To hold a team to 32 points, you hope you give yourself an opportunity to win and we did, but we just didn’t convert down the stretch,” Fahle said.

It was the offensive rebounds that killed Wynford in the first half, as the Royals (13-3, 9-1 NCC) gave up 17 offensive boards and had 13 turnovers to help Upper Sandusky overcome its shooting woes and a six-point deficit to lead 17-15 at halftime.

“It’s one of those things where we didn’t master the things we could control in the first half, which was defensive rebounding. We didn’t block out,” Sheldon-Taylor said. “We just turned and looked and didn’t get the loose balls. So at halftime, I just asked them ‘Are you going to take over what you can control or not?'”

A more patient Wynford team showed up in the third. They used a 10-5 rebounding advantage, including five offensive boards, to rally back.

Upper Sandusky led 21-18 on Kalene Johnson’s bucket with 4:40 to go in the third. But from there, the Rams went silent for nearly eight minutes before scoring again. By then, Wynford led 29-23 and despite the Rams’ efforts to foul the Royals and mount a comeback, they could never get closer than three the rest of the way.

“We told them (Wynford) was going to give us open looks from the outside. We just told everybody, ‘Follow your shot. Crash the boards.’ We did a very nice job in the first half of following our shot, crashing the boards and that sort of got us into a decent rhythm,” Fahle said.

Wynford’s Brenna Quinn had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Taylor Graboski had nine points and 12 boards for the Rams (7-8, 5-5).