Delphos Jefferson shoots down Columbus Grove

DELPHOS – One shot. An opportunity.

Delphos Jefferson head coach Denise Lindeman preached this to her team all week and it resulted in a 65-49 victory over Columbus Grove and a second consecutive North West Conference title ahead of an overflowing crowd on Thursday evening.

“Amazing,” Lindeman said. “It was a great performance for us from top to bottom. These kids came out with determination and they fought and I can’t say enough about this team. It’s amazing with their selflessness and top to bottom they are phenomenal kids.

The win gives the Bulldogs an unblemished record in the conference and the outright NWC crown. Overall, Delphos improves to 21-1. Columbus Grove slips to 6-2 in conference action and 14-6 for the season.

It’s the first time since 2011 that Delphos Jefferson has won back-to-back NWC titles. The Wildcats added a third in 2021

“I just think we’ve come up against a really good team,” Columbus head coach Brian Schroeder said. “They are long and athletic and they have very good ball handlers. They made plays that very good teams make and we didn’t really respond well to them and it’s a learning experience for us.

The third quarter was when Columbus Grove took over the game. In the first half, the two teams fought evenly, with neither team holding a lead greater than four points and as the half-time buzzer sounded, Delphos held a slim 33-32 advantage.

In the first 16 minutes, the point guard changed hands eight times and was tied four times.

Early in the third quarter, the Wildcats went on a 13-1 point streak that saw their lead shrink from one point to 13 points. in the goalscoring rampage, Aly Lindeman, who finished with a game-high 22 points, hit a trio of treys. The standout sophomore had six 3-pointers on the night.

Jefferson beat Columbus Grove 17-3 in the third quarter and limited the Bulldogs to one field goal.

Lindeman told his team at halftime to keep playing defense and rebounding.

“There’s no magic pill, just playing defense and rebounding and these girls delivered today,” Lindeman said.

The Bulldogs never recovered and couldn’t reduce the double-digit lead the Wildcats had forged. Jefferson’s Lyv Lindeman, who had eight points in the fourth quarter, finished the night with 2o points. Lauren French finished with a double-double performance on the night scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Columbus Grove’s Kenzie King finished the night with 17 points but only managed three in the second half. Savanah Ridenour added 10 points. King was 4 of 7 from behind the 3-point arc in the first half but 1 of 6 from treyland in the second half.

“I don’t know if we necessarily had a good attack (in the first half) and that worried me a bit,” Schroeder said. “Kenzie was shaking her daughter and hitting a few steps back and keeping us in it but our ball movement wasn’t great in the first half and in the second half we kind of stalled and we didn’t hit a few knocks and it got us in trouble.

Delphos Jefferson’s Lauren French sets up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Jaylen Sautter, left, and Sage Clement (12) and Savanah Ridenour during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Columbus Grove’s Brynn Fortman shoots against Delphos Jefferson’s Josie McGue during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Delphos Jefferson’s Aly Lindeman watches the basket against Columbus Grove’s Kenzie King during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Columbus Grove’s Kenzie King throws a shot against Delphos Jefferson’s Aly Lindeman during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Delphos Jefferson’s Lyv Lindeman, left, and Columbus Grove’s Brynn Fortman battle for the ball during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Columbus Grove’s Savanah Ridenour attempts a shot against Delphos Jefferson’s Josie McGue, left, and Lauren French during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Delphos Jefferson’s Aly Lindeman sets up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Lauren Auchmuty during Thursday night’s game at Delphos Jefferson.

Wildcats Claim NWC Title

Contact Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.

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