By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY —- It was about defense.
And that was enough to advance the Russia girls basketball team to another Sidney D-IV sectional title game.
The Lady Raiders shut down Botkins 33-21 Saturday to advance.
Russia improved to 15-9 after a third win over the Trojans this season and will play 22-2 Legacy Christian for a sectional title at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Botkins closed at 10-13.
“The one thing we know we can do is play good on-ball defense,” Russia coach Andy Timmerman said. “And we did that today.”
Russia got two free throws from Jenna Cordonnier and a basket by Kendall Monnin, while Botkins countered with four points by Janell Greve to leave the game tied at 4-4 late in the first quarter.
Ashley Scott had a three-point play with 10.6 seconds left in the opening quarter to put Russia up 7-4 and the Lady Raiders would never trail.
“We have had a few games like that (with slow starts on offense),” Timmerman said. “But, our defense has been a constant.”
Russia held Botkins without a field goal in the second quarter and Laurissa Poling got untracked with five points to give Russia a 17-6 lead.
Scott hit a three and Katie Heuing scored four points in the third quarter as Russia took a 29-16 advantage to the fourth quarter and put the game away.
On Russia’s first possession of the quarter, the Raiders ran nearly two minutes off the clock before Poling got an easy basket inside — the Raiders only field goal of the quarter, to go with two free throws. The defense did the rest, again holding Botkins without a field goal in the final eight minutes.
“I told the girls if we were patient, we would get a good shot,” Timmerman said. “And that is what happened.”
Poling led Russia with nine points and five rebounds, while Scott scored six points and Cordonnier had five points and five rebounds.
Greve paced Botkins with seven points, Boston Paul scored six and Carmen Hueker had six points and six rebounds.
Russia was 11 for 34 from the floor for 32 percent and 10 of 18 from the line for 56 percent.
Botkins was five of 30 from the floor for 17 percent and eight of 14 from the line for 57 percent.
Both teams had 21 rebounds and Botkins had 15 turnovers to Russia’s 18.
“Wednesday will be a challenge and I am looking forward to it,” Timmerman said about the matchup with Legacy Christian.
As Russia had shown all season, their defense will be ready for it.
Jenna Cordonnier 1-3-5, Laurissa Poling 3-3-9, Shea Borchers 0-1-1, Ashley Scott 2-1-6, Jessica York 1-1-3, Kendall Monnin 1-0-2, Ella Hoehne 0-0-0, Olivia Moorman 1-1-3, Katie Hueing 2-0-4, Andrea Monnin 0-0-0, MaKenna Borchers 0-0-0, Jessica Colby 0-0-0. Totals: 11-10-33.
Janell Greve 2-3-7, Taira Greve 0-0-0, Carmen Hueker 1-3-6, Boston Paul 2-0-6, Grace Homan 0-1-1, Makenna Maurer 0-0-0, Jill Greve 0-0-0, Sydney Meyer 0-1-1, Kinley Topp 0-0-0, Madison Gerstner 0-0-0, Madison Wendel 0-0-0. Totals: 5-8-21.
3-point field goals —- Russia: Scott. Botkins: Hueker, Paul (2).
Score By Quarters
Russia 7 17 29 33
Botkins 4 6 16 21
Records: Russia 15-9, Botkins 10-13.