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Cardinals dice up Tigers to advance to sectional final

SIDNEY — When Triad could not score efficiently from the inside, it looked to its long-range game to take over.

Triad-girls

Triad’s Faith Orecchio goes up for a basket past a Jackson Center defender during the second quarter of a Division IV sectional tournament semifinal game Wednesday at Sidney High School. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LaBATT)

The Cardinals’ girls basketball team leaned on nine three-pointers and a sturdy defensive effort here Wednesday to push aside Jackson Center for a 58-40 win in Division IV sectional semifinal action at Sidney High School.

“We didn’t finish at the basket,” said Triad head coach Jason Malone. “I think our three-point shooting was better than our (two-point) field goal percentage. We have to start finishing and we can’t have empty possessions like we did tonight.

“Jackson Center is pretty young this year. It is kind of a rebuilding year for them and we were able to take advantage of that.”

Triad (18-6) advances to play top-seeded and state-ranked Ft. Loramie (21-3) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the sectional title game at Sidney High School.

The Cardinals started Wednesday’s game on a 10-0 run and led 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Triad’s lead was 12 points (30-18) at halftime.

“Defensively, we started off pretty well,” said Malone. “We had to mix up our defenses a little bit and that kept them off-balance. It helped us get off to a good start.”

Jackson Center let the game slip away in the third quarter when Triad went on a 17-8 run. That allowed the Cardinals to extend their lead to 21 points at 47-26.

Faith Orecchio drained a three-pointer at the 6:02 mark of the fourth quarter to give Triad its biggest lead of the night (55-30).

“We were fairly efficient on offense,” said Malone. “It wasn’t one or two people getting it done and that was nice to see, too. It was everyone doing their job and contributing. It has to be that way and has to be a group effort.”

Orecchio led the Cardinals with a game-high 20 points, Dayna Ober tallied 11 points, Nicole Simonelli had eight points, while Jenna Welty and Anna McKenzie each chipped in seven points.

Triad now turns its attention to Ft. Loramie, which was ranked seventh in the final Division IV state poll.

“It will be a tough game,” said Malone. “If we can get some stops and play defense, we’ll have a shot at winning.”

TRIAD 58, JACKSON CENTER 40

TRIAD (18-6)

D. Ober 4 0-0 11; J. Ober 2 0-0 5; Welty 3 0-0 7; McKenzie 1 4-4 7; Simonelli 3 2-2 8; Orecchio 7 3-4 20. Totals: 20 9-10 58.

JACKSON CENTER

P. Meyer 7 0-0 14; Esser 1 0-0 2; Eichert 0 3-4 3; H. Meyer 2 6-6 11; Fogt 0 1-2 1; Zimpfer 0 3-4 3; Metz 2 0-2 4; Sailor 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 13-18 40.

Cardinals    17    13    17    11  —     58

Tigers    7    11    8    14    —    40

Three pointers: Jackson Center 1 (H. Meyer); Triad 9 (Orecchio 3, D. Ober 3, J. Ober, Welty, McKenzie). Team fouls: Triad 16; Jackson Center 11.

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