HURON — The Freeman Flyers took a lead in the first quarter and while Warner rallied late, the Flyers controlled the game from there, en route to a 53-46 victory over the Monarchs in the opening round of the State Class “B” Girls’ Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon at Huron Arena.
Warner’s Ashley Fischbach hit a three to open the scoring, but Emily Miller fed the ball to Hannah Eberts for a 9-6 Freeman advantage midway through the period. But the Flyers went on a 15-2 lead to close the quarter, including threes from Eberts and Josie Fuhrmann, ending the first at a score of 18-8.
Warner rallied in the second to bring the difference down to four points by halftime with another three from Fischbach, plus a pair of two-pointers by 6-foot-1 senior All-stater Laurie Rogers. The teams went to the locker rooms at a 24-20 score at halftime in favor of the Flyers.
Fuhrmann made back-to-back shots from three-point territory to open the second half, before another three from Eberts, as the Flyers raced out to a 34-20 lead with five minutes gone in the period.
Fischbach broke the 10-0 Flyers run with another three-point shot, and some interior buckets from Rogers got the lead down to nine heading to the final quarter of play.
Needing to get out of the blocks quickly over the final eight minutes, the Monarchs caught fire as first Laura Oschsner, then Fischbach drained three-pointers, cutting the Flyer lead to three, at 41-38, with 6:30 left in the game. Both teams went cold for several possessions, until Dayna Roth hit a bucket for the Flyers.
Miller scored to push the lead to seven, at 45-38, but Rogers countered with a bucket in the paint for the Monarchs. Then the lids came off the baskets, as Miller and Eberts sandwiched two-pointers around a baseline jumper from Keeley Fischbach over a one-minute span.
Sydney Leidholt scored in the paint for Warner to cut the margin to five, at 49-44, but the Monarchs were forced to foul and Freeman went 4-4 from the line in the final seconds of play to hold off Warner and punch their ticket to the championship round.
Freeman, now improved to 20-4 on the season, will take on the undefeated Ethan Rustlers at 6 p.m. tonight in semifinals game at the Huron Arena. Warner fell to a record of 21-3 with the loss, and will tangle with Waverly-South Shore at noon in the consolation semifinals.
Freeman 18 24 41 53
Warner 8 20 32 46
Freeman (20-4): Rijjy Peterson 1 0-0 2; Josie Fuhrmann 4 0-0 12; Isabel Sayler 1 0-0 2; Emily Miller 3 3-4 9; Jaimie Glanzer 0 2-2 2; Dayna Roth 3 2-4 9; Hannah Eberts 7 0-0 17. Totals: 19 7-10 53.
Warner (21-3): Laura Oschsner 1 1-3 4; Sydney Liedholt 2 1-2 5; Keeley Fischbach 2 0-0 5; Ashley Fischbach 5 1-2 15; Laurie Rogers 7 3-4 17. Totals: 17 6-11 46.
FG: F - 19-50 38%; W - 17-34 50%. 3-pt FG: F - 8-21 38% (Fuhrmann 4, Eberts 3 and Sayler); W - 6-13 46% (A. Fischbach 4, Ochsner and K. Fischbach). Rebounds: F - 23 (Miller 7); W - 29 (Rogers 7). Turnovers: F - 5; W - 18. Fouls: F - 16; W - 11.