Perkins Pirates watch a big lead slip away to Oak Harbor Rockets

SANDUSKY — Perkins couldn’t have picked a worse time in the season for its shooting to go cold.

After building a comfortable lead in the first half, and leading by as many as nine in the third quarter, the Pirates went stone cold from the field and watched rival Oak Harbor go on a 15-0 run to hand Perkins a heartbreaking 39-38 sectional tournament loss Wednesday night.

“It was turnovers and no offensive flow that did us in there at the end,” Perkins coach Ray Neill said. “We got a little tentative, and with the indecision came turnovers.”

The Rockets came out with a gameplan of trapping the Pirates, taking them out of their comfort zone and forcing turnovers. In the first half, it didn’t work all that well, as the Pirates built a comfortable lead and had little trouble evading the Rockets’ trap.

Oak Harbor didn’t abandon the plan, though, and when it started to make a run in the fourth quarter, the plan worked to perfection.

Of course, the play of Andrea Cecil didn’t hurt, either.

The Rockets certainly asked a lot of the 5-foot-10 freshman, as they assigned her with trying to stop Perkins’ senior Shannon Ebert, who stands at six-foot. In the first half, Ebert definitely had the advantage.

Cecil picked up three quick fouls in the first half, and struggled to do much of anything offensively. Still she held Ebert to just six first-half points.

“This is a young freshman who we are asking to do senior-type things,” Oak Harbor coach Tom Kontak said. “Every once in a while we have to realize she’s just a young kid, but at key moments, tonight, I think she did a great job.”

Those key moments certainly came in the second half, mainly the fourth quarter.

After picking up the three early fouls, she didn’t get called for another.

Instead of letting the foul trouble take her out of her game, she instead took it to another level.

“Andrea is smart enough to realize that she needed to play harder, yet smarter,” Kontak said. “She’s intelligent enough that maybe that worked to her advantage in her thinking process and help her with her defense.”

Cecil finished the game with 17 points, including six-straight points during the her team’s 15-0 run to regain the lead in the final quarter, to lead the Rockets in scoring. She also shut down Ebert down the final stretch.

Cecil was helped out by senior Abbie Gezo, who added 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

“You’ve got to talk about Abbie Gezo. She was phenomenal for four quarters,” Kontak said.

Prior to the Rockets’ run in the second half, it looked like the Pirates were well in control of the game.

After Oak Harbor tied the game at seven early in the first quarter, Perkins went on a 7-0 run to build a lead that would hold until the fourth quarter.

Ebert had a strong game in what would turn out to be her final as a Pirate, scoring 19 to lead all scorers. Fellow seniors Kayla Yost scored 11 and Darcy Daniel scored five. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they only had four players score, as sophomore Emily Wagner added three. Perkins finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field, but were well under that in the fourth quarter.

“In about a three possession span, we lost all momentum,” Neill said. “I take as much blame as anyone, we lost all offensive flow there in the fourth. Whatever we were trying to do, wasn’t working. Whatever I was calling just wasn’t the answer.”

Neill said he felt his team became overly tentative down the stretch, and passed up shots it usually would take.

Oak Harbor will now move on to play Port Clinton in the sectional final Saturday at 6:15 p.m. at Sandusky High School.

The loss ends the season for the Pirates, who will lose three key seniors in Daniel, Yost and Ebert.

“Unfortunately, it’s over with and we have to say goodbye to three seniors who have been pretty prominent for us in their four-year careers,” Neill said. “We’ll definitely miss them.”

Oak Harbor 39, Perkins 38

Division II Sectional Semifinal

at Sandusky High School

PERKINS — Darcy Daniel 2-0 5, Shannon Ebert 7-5 19, Kayla Yost 4-1 11, Emily Wagner 1-1 3. TOTALS 14-7 38.

OAK HARBOR — Makayla Carpenter 2-0 4, Maria Boers 3-0 7, Amanda Hetrick 0-1 1, Andrea Cecil 6-5 17, Abbie Gezo 5-0 10. TOTALS 16-6 39.

3-POINT GOALS — P: Daniel, Yost (2); OH: Boers.

Score By Quarters

Perkins 14 9 6 9 — 38

Oak Harbor 8 8 10 13 — 39

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Perkins 14 of 38 (37 percent), Oak Harbor 16 of 34 (47 percent).

Free Throws — P 7 of 10 (70 percent), OH 6 of 12 (50 percent).

Rebounds — P 17 (Wagner 7), OH 23 (Gezo 10).

Turnovers — P 21, OH 21.

@MJ_smahoney

Last Updated: 2/20/2013 11:54:32 PM EST

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