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Willard clinches share of SBC Bay title

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated Feb 11, 2018 at 12:19 AM

MILAN — Willard junior Lydia Wiers' face lit up with a smile when talking about teammate Cassidy Crawford.

The two were on a mission Saturday and were not going to be stopped.

Wiers scored a career-high 19 points and Crawford came up a rebound short of a double-double as the Crimson Flashes came away with a convincing 64-36 Sandusky Bay Conference Bay division win, clinching a share of the league championship.

"We knew we had to work hard because Edison would be coming after us to knock us off," Wiers said. "Our team plays really well together. It is a team effort. The league championship is exciting."

Willard (15-5, 10-1 SBC) will be heavy favorites when they look to clinch the league title outright on Thursday, as they host Huron (0-18, 0-11). Willard defeated Huron, 82-20, on Jan. 9 in Huron.

"I know Edison did not play well at our place the first time and we had our way with them," Willard coach Jon Dawson said, referencing a 62-23 win for the Flashes on Jan. 5. "We knew it was not going to be the same thing coming over here to play. As much as you tell high school kids that, sometimes they lose their focus a bit when you beat a team as badly as we did the first time."

Crawford added 17 points and nine rebounds for Willard, who never trailed against the Chargers (12-9, 6-5).

"We knew we had to handle the pressure better than the first time," Edison coach Tracey Moyer said. "We struggled mightily with it the first time. This time, it was hit and miss. We made some bad choices with our passes."

Madie Secor scored just three seconds into the game before consecutive buckets from Wiers opened a 6-0 lead for Willard. The Chargers bounced back and trailed 8-6 later, and 13-8 after eight minutes.

The Flashes pushed the lead to 17-8, before a bucket from Hannah Vitaz and two free throws from Aliyah Caporini cut the lead back to five points.

"I did not think we had great focus at the beginning," Dawson said. "We missed a lot of bunnies and did not execute on a lot of stuff. We got settled in and did what we had to do."

Mckenna Stephens made two free throw, then Felicia Rosvanis added a bucket. After Edison scored, Presley Feltner split two free throws before Crawford and Wiers each scored 3-point plays. Wiers scored again for a 30-14 lead.

"I can not say enough about Lydia and Cassidy," Dawson said. "They are in the front of our press and got their hands on a lot of ball. They played good defense and both got good shots offensively. Lydia is someone that does not score a lot. She is usually someone I have to beg to score. She is capable of it."

A score from Alana Fidler cut the lead to 30-16, at halftime, but Willard was relentless defensively. Edison committed 16 turnovers in the first half, often caused by tips from 5-foot-11 Wiers, 5-10 Crawford or 6-0 freshman Feltner.

Wiers' layup was followed by a 3-pointer from Secor. Crawford added another 3-point play and two buckets inside from Wiers pushed the lead to 42-17.

"We may not always have the greatest shooting nights, but the defense is there every night," Dawson said. "The last couple of games, I think our defense has been really, really good. I thought that carried into today."

Edison played better in the third quarter, but could not string series of buckets or positive plays together for momentum. Scores from Crawford and Kaiten Weiss gave Willard a 52-28 lead after three quarters.

Caporini and Fidler each scored 11 points for the Chargers, who finished with 25 turnovers. Willard made 15-of-19 free throws.

"Willard is not in first place for nothing," Moyer said. "They are long, they are athletic and it is hard to get around them. I thought as the game went on, we took better care of the ball."

The Flashes were picked second in the preseason poll behind Oak Harbor, a team they beat twice this season in close games.

"The league championship is something we are proud of," Dawson said. "Sometimes when you are in the moment, you do not always appreciate it as much. It is something where we look back at all the work in the summer and off-season and we are happy. It was our top goal."

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