A Shellacking: Waterford defeats Wahama, 76-15

WATERFORD – You could say Waterford played well Thursday night.

All the Lady Wildcats did was hold Wahama to 15 points, force 28 turnovers and shoot 32-for-63 (51 percent) from the floor in a 76-15 blowout win at Waterford High School to improve to 12-3 on the season.

The win comes one night after Waterford dropped a tough 58-55 decision to Warren in a non-conference matchup.

“We responded well tonight,” said Waterford head coach Jerry Close. “Everybody played a lot of minutes. That’s good for (the players) to get out there and play.”

Close’s squad is currently in the midst of a seven-games-in-10-days stretch, which concludes with a home game against Fort Frye Saturday.

“We just need a day off,” said Close, whose team had been suffering from illnesses the past week.

“Hopefully everybody stays healthy. We’ve got a huge game Saturday night.”

Waterford came out and quickly set the tone of the game, jumping out to a 13-0 lead paced by nine points from Hannah Dailey. Kelsey Zuspan finally hit a 3-pointer to put Wahama on the board, but the Lady Wildcats would not allow another point the rest of the quarter, going on a 17-0 run to close out the first.

Wahama committed 15 of its 28 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

It was more of the same in the second quarter, as Dani Drayer and Randee Seevers hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 36-3. Later, Taylor Hilverding and Dailey closed out the half with consecutive layups to make it 56-8 at the break.

Brooke Drayer came out and hit a 3-ball on an assist from Chelsey Paxton to open the second half. Later, Regan Porter found Seevers open beyond the arch. Seevers proceeded to drain the 3-point attempt to extend the advantage to 70-10.

With the Wildcats just trying to chew up the clock in the final quarter, they scored only six points but allowed only two. Cassie Reed made a strong take to the hole followed by a Lakin Tolson bucket off an assist from Maddy Sury to close out the scoring.

Wahama scored no more than five points in any quarter.

In addition to the 28 forced turnovers, Waterford also notched 20 steals, led by Brooke Drayer’s five, and held the White Falcons to just 6-of-42 (14 percent) from the floor.

Waterford, which had been struggling with turnovers recently, committed 15 against Wahama. “We’ve been turning the ball over a little bit too many times,” Close said. “We need to start taking a little bit better care of the ball, and we did that tonight.”

Brooke Drayer led everyone with 19 points while Dailey added 15 of her own. Porter contributed nine points and Seevers had eight.

Sam Farley grabbed a game-high five rebounds while Brooke Drayer, Seevers and Porter each chipped in with four boards apiece.

“It was a good team win,” Close noted. “Everybody contributed and played hard tonight.”

The White Falcons were led by Rachel Roque and Zuspan, who each had six points.

Sierra Carmichael led Wahama with three assists and five steals.

In the junior varsity game, Waterford won 43-18. The Lady Wildcats are back in action Saturday when they host Fort Frye in a non-conference showdown. Fort Frye defeated the Wildcats 57-49 on Dec. 8.