Post play keys Arcadia over NR

ARCADIA — You could almost sense that New Riegel needed just one more rebound.

However, dealing with a pair of 6-foot-1 posts was the biggest problem.

Emma Saltzman grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to halt any thoughts of a Blue Jackets comeback as Arcadia escaped with a 48-38 non-league win over New Riegel Saturday.

“I think we gave Arcadia too many second chances,” New Riegel coach Cindy Walerius said. “They had 12 offensive rebounds and I think they made us pay when they got an offensive rebound.”

The Blue Jackets (9-9) were outrebounded, 34-27. Kennedy Pratt nabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 14 points, while Saltzman added seven rebounds.

“We have outrebounded almost every team this year and that killed us,” Walerius said. “We are used to getting those rebounds. Give Arcadia credit though. They went to the boards really well. We knew they would go to the boards down low.”

The loss came less than 24 hours after a 57-26 home conference win over Tiffin Calvert.

“I thought we played great defense, but we were so tired,” Walerius said. “We do not go very deep, but I do not want to make that as any excuse. It is tough. I think it would be tough for boys teams to play one night and come back the next day and play.”

Two free throws by Pratt pushed the Redskins (15-3) ahead 40-30, with 6:09 remaining in the game. But, the Blue Jackets did not go quietly.

Brooklyn Gillig scored and added two free throw makes after an Arcadia turnover. Pratt scored on the other end, but Brianna Gillig responded to keep the deficit at just 42-36 with 3:29 left.

The teams exchanged empty possessions before Brianna Gillig scored on a putback to slice the lead to four points — the closest New Riegel had been since 11-7 at the end of the first quarter.

However, Saltzman’s score on the offensive rebound was followed by one of the Blue Jackets’ 18 turnovers. Samantha Watkins nailed two free throws and Megan Mock scored to put the final nail in the coffin.

“That was a key rebound we missed where she (Saltzman) scored,” Walerius said. “I think, if we got that rebound and came down and scored, the pressure we had was affecting Arcadia. We will look at those key defensive rebounds we did not get.”

It took the Redskins a bit to get going. They missed their first six shots before Watkins and Pratt scored, and Danielle Barnett drilled a 3-pointer. 

Arcadia started to build on its four-point lead after eight minutes when the second quarter began. Barnett hit another triple and after Kaitlyn Kirian scored for New Riegel, Saltzman converted a 3-point play and split two free throws for an 18-9 lead.

Brianna Gillig hit a 3 for the Blue Jackets, but Pratt scored and Caity Cramer converted a 3-point play to help the Redskins to a 25-15 lead at halftime.

“We knew how good Pratt was,” Walerius said. “We tried to push her out as much as possible, but she has a great outside shot as well. We were willing to give her that outside shot more than the inside shot. We tried to push her out of the key as much as possible.”

Kirian connected on a trey to open the second-half scoring for New Riegel, but Arcadia again began to flex its muscles. Saltzman and Pratt scored for a 29-18 lead. The Redskins maintained a nine-point lead throughout the quarter and took a 35-26 lead into the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn Gillig and Brianna Gillig each scored to open the fourth quarter, but Kayla Brubaker split two free throws before Pratt made four straight free throws for a 40-30 lead.

Brianna Gillig paced the Blue Jackets with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Kirian scored 12 points. Brooklyn Gillig grabbed six rebounds.

“There were times when somebody took a shot and we just did not box them out,” Walerius said. “They just got too many chances.”

Barnett tallied 10 points for the Redskins, who defeated New Riegel, 51-30, in last year’s district semifinals at Fostoria.

“I thought it was very physical inside,” Walerius said. “I thought, here or there we could have got a call, but that is the way it is. The foul trouble definitely hurt us.”

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