One of the greatest runs in area girls basketball history came to an end Saturday.
Too many turnovers proved to be the demise of Clyde during Saturday night's district championship game against Toledo Rogers at Perrysburg High School.
The No. 5-ranked Fliers (24-2) committed 21 turnovers in the tight game, which proved costly in the end. No. 12-ranked Toledo Rogers (21-4) advances to face Lima Bath (21-2) at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Ohio Northern University.
“They are long and athletic and there is a reason they've got eight Division I college kids down the road,” Clyde coach John Cahill said. “They took us out of a lot of stuff we tried to do, but they are always going to create turnovers because they are so long and athletic.”
The game was back-and-forth throughout, and through the last three minutes of the first quarter until the six-minute mark of the fourth, neither team led by more than four points.
The Fliers got a hot start, racing out to a 12-4 lead at the 2:38 mark of the first quarter, as Indiana recruit Amanda Cahill put in back-to-back baskets, including a 3-pointer. But the Rams forced Clyde into seven turnovers in the opening quarter, and pulled within 13-11 at the end of the eight minutes.
Rogers went up 18-15 midway through the second, but the Fliers went on a 10-4 run to take a 25-22 lead on a basket from Kelsey Michaels. But again, the Rams settled down and got to within 25-24 at halftime.
Nothing much was resolved in the third quarter, however, in the closing seconds, Rogers got another 3-pointer to take a 36-33 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
To open the fourth, Amanda Cahill hit a pair of free throws to pull within one, but Kelsey Michaels then picked up her fourth foul. The tide appeared to then swing in favor of the Rams, as Sasha Dailey hit a basket and Tatyanna Austin hit a 3-pointer to make it 41-35 with six minutes to go.
But Clyde again came storming back behind Cahill, who then found Breanne Michaels for a 3-pointer to give Clyde the lead back at 42-41 with four minutes left.
But Rogers again surged ahead, and trailing 44-42 with under two minutes left, the Fliers again turned it over, and Dailey went to the basket for a layup and a 46-42 lead with just 1:35 left. Cahill made it 46-44 with 1:26 left, but two straight possessions came up empty, and the Rams slowly put the game away in the last 90 seconds.
“We tried to attack the basket, I thought we got pretty good shots, and in a different situation maybe we get some of those calls,” John Cahill said of the final two minutes of play. “There was contact, but maybe not enough in a district final game like that to do it, so we had to chase defensively, which is not good against them.
“But Rogers executed, and we did for the most part too, although we had one pretty bad turnover late,” he added. “Other than that, playing someone that athletic is tough, and a call here or there might change how we end the game, but we didn't, and they made plays and found a way to win.”
Clyde finished 13-of-48 from the floor, and went 14-of-22 at the free-throw line. Rogers had just 13 turnovers, and were 20-of-44 from the floor and 9-of-16 at the line. Dailey led the Rams with 20 points, while Akienrah Johnson added 11 points and nine rebounds.
In her final game of a career that featured more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, Amanda Cahill finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Kelsey Michaels added nine points.
John Cahill reflected on a four-year run that included a 99-6 record, four Sandusky Bay Conference championships, including 58 SBC games without a loss, along with three district titles and two regional championships among other notable accomplishments.
“We went 99-6 in the last four years,” he said. “That stuff was great, but this senior group had a shared dream with the coaching staff. You could count on them. They came to everything, and put the time in to know what every team was doing.
“They cared for each other, and it's great to have group to coach like that,” Cahill added. “They didn't care about stats and awards, and if we had open gym, you could guarantee those five players would be there. They were a coach's dream.”