Clyde grad Robles seals Wilmington’s win over ’Berg

Spencer Robles wasn’t sure if it was a steal or a rebound.

All the Clyde graduate knew was the play had sealed a win for Wilmington.

Robles blocked Heidelberg’s Jackie Abrecht’s 3-pointer from the left wing with the Quakers up five and about seven seconds left. By blocking the shot and then grabbing the rebound, Robles clinched what became a 75-68 Quakers victory.

“I just knew they needed a 3 to [have a chance to] win,” said Robles, who finished with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks. “(Abrecht), she’d been hot all day. I just knew I needed to be up on her.”

It was something of a homecoming for Robles, as well as for Arcadia graduate Kirsten Glick, who finished with four points. Robles said she had a contingent of friends and family watching her play at Seiberling Gymnasium. She also was going up against some familiar competition. She played against HU’s Megan Miller (Columbian) and Kathleen Phillips (Sandusky St. Mary) in high school.

Wilmington coach Jerry Scheve said it was a good game – and has been a good season for Robles.

“She’s a player, she’s gotten better and better each year,” Scheve said of the junior. “She’s worked at it in the offseason, and this year she’s really improved her defense and improved her rebounding to where she’s a complete threat on the court. She’s always been able to shoot the ball great, so she’s been a real important player for us all year.”

Wilmington (11-8, 8-4 Ohio Athletic Conference) took advantage of a big first-half rebounding advantage to take a 40-23 halftime lead. At the break, the Quakers had nine offensive rebounds.

Heidelberg had 10 overall. The Quakers went on to win rebounding 37-20.

“I thought every time Heidelberg made a run, we’d hit a big shot, and some of those came off of offensive rebounds,” Scheve said. “I think that’s an extremely important part of the game, something that we’ve been not very good at this year, but hopefully we’re improving.”

Something HU hasn’t been very good at in recent games is starting. In losses to Baldwin Wallace, Capital and now Wilmington, The Student Princes have gotten off to slow starts and had to try to erase big deficits.

“I don’t know why we keep coming out so flat,” Heidelberg coach Morgan Shriver said after her team fell to 10-8, 2-8 in the OAC. “They got every hustle play in that first half. That’s the reason we got down by 17 in the first half. They wanted it more than us.”

Behind Phillips, who finished with 29 points, Heidelberg did come back in the second half, cutting Wilmington’s lead to 70-66 after a Shelby Dearth 3 with 1:37 left.

“I think coming out in the second half, we got a taste of what Wilmington was bringing today,” Phillips said. “We thought to ourselves, ‘you know what? We can do this.'”

Abrecht hit four 3s to finish with 12 points for Heidelberg. Dearth had eight points, with teammate Carli Patrick registering six points and six rebounds.

Wilmington’s Haley Howard had 17 points, with Hannah Haeseker collecting 13 points and Makenzie Wippel 12.

Heidelberg plays at home Monday, when it will make up last week’s game with Mount Union that was postponed due to weather.

Shriver is hoping for a better start to that game.

“Maybe we can play a game where we’re down 10 points to start the game, and maybe they have that sense of urgency,” she said. “This one stings a little bit, especially since we haven’t beaten Wilmington since 2000, and they know that.”