The Foresters (1-1) shot 61% in the second half to pull away from the Cardinals of Concordia University and notched their first victory of the season with the 67-57 win in the opening game of the Huntington AmeriHost Tournament.
The Foresters jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the early going and were able to maintain a 4-5 point cushion most of the half. Concordia held a brief lead at 21-20 with just under four and a half minutes to play, but Huntington closed out the half on an 8-3 run to take a 28-24 lead at the break. Both teams went 9-27 from the field in the first half with the Foresters earning their lead with a 9-9 performance at the charity stripe.
In the second half, the lead seesawed back and forth through the first seven minutes of play. With the score knotted at 37-37 with 13 minutes to play, Huntington gained the momentum with an 8-0 run over a three minute stretch. The Foresters pushed the margin to 10 on three occasions and had a 60-50 advantage with 5:46 left to play. Concordia then put together a 7-0 run capped by two free throws from Jackie Marr with 1:52 on the clock. On Huntington’s next possession, the Foresters worked the ball around using 26 seconds of the shot clock before they found Kendra Stahl open at the top. Stahl nailed the three to push the Foresters’ lead back to six at 63-57 with 1:26 to go. Concordia’s Katie Schweiger missed a three at the other end and the Cardinals were forced to foul. Amy Berry and Lauren Davenport both knocked down two free throws in the final minute of play to seal Huntington’s win.
Berry led all scorers in the game with 18 points. Davenport chipped in 13 points and five boards and Amy Wanemacher came off the bench with a 10-point and 5-rebound performance for the Foresters. Richelle Gerstenberger led Concordia with 16 points and Marr added 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
After shooting 61% in the second half, Huntington finished the game at 46% (23-50) and went 19-20 from the line for 95%. The Cardinals shot 36% (19-53) for the game and hit 13-15 free throws for 87%.
In the second game of the evening, it was the Ohio Dominican Panthers that outlasted the Trinity Christian Trolls 61-57. Ohio Dominican’s Krissy Haines took game-high honors with 30 points and 11 boards. Emily Thomasson led the Trolls with 20 points.
Tomorrow’s consolation game will pit Trinity Christian against Concordia at 1:00 p.m. and Huntington will face off with Ohio Dominican in the championship game at 3:00 p.m.