Girls Basketball: Columbus Grove holds off Gibsonburg

Mar. 6—ELIDA — Wednesday's Division IV regional semifinal girls basketball game at the Elida Fieldhouse between Columbus Grove and Gibsonburg had a slow start.

Then, Columbus Grove junior standout Lauryn Auchmuty gave the Bulldogs the jolt they needed.

Auchmuty scored a game-high 29 points, including two 3-pointers and 9 of 12 shooting from the free-throw line, and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to help lead Columbus Grove to a 53-44 victory over Gibsonburg.

With the win, Columbus Grove (21-5) will face Northwest Conference-foe Crestview (25-2) for a regional championship on Saturday at the Elida Fieldhouse with tip-off set for 1 p.m.

Columbus Grove lost to Crestview in the regular season, 54-43.

In Wednesday's other regional semifinal at the Elida Fieldhouse, Crestview rolled past Tiffin Calvert 65-41.

"(The) last couple games, we've been starting off pretty slow," Auchmuty said. "We realize that once you lose, you're done. So, the intensity definitely picked up a lot more throughout the game. I just can't wait to play on Saturday."

Along with Auchmuty's stellar performance, teammate Nicole Nesby, a 6-foot sophomore post player, had 12 points.

Elly Evarts led Gibsonburg (23-3) with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Jazmyne Morant added nine points for the Golden Bears.

Columbus Grove led the entire game.

The Bulldogs led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter, and 24-12 at the halftime break.

Columbus Grove had a 37-25 advantage by the third stop.

"Obviously, we weren't really familiar with them," Columbus Grove coach Brian Schroeder said about Gibsonburg. "We haven't played them in the last few years. So, you start to get into the film and watch them — and they resemble us a lot.

"They have one very dynamic point guard (Evarts) and a secondary scorer in (Jazmyne) Morant, and they have some nice players around them. So, when we look at them, it's kind of like looking into a mirror. So, we knew if we could make things hard for her (Evarts), we thought we would give ourselves a good chance. And I thought some of our role players did a really nice job of locating her (Evarts) and making her shots tough. Then, Lauryn (Auchmuty) was able to get us going in transition."

Columbus Grove shot 40 percent from the field. Gibsonburg connected on 26 percent of its field-goal attempts, after shooting just 13 percent from the floor in the first half.

"Tournament time — especially when you're at a neutral site and you're not used to playing in the (Elida) Fieldhouse — a lot of times you aren't going to shoot great," Schroeder said. "But we told them at halftime, that they (Gibsonburg) are not going to shoot like that in the second half. ... They're going to shoot a lot better. They're a good team, and we were lucky they had some good looks that just didn't fall. They hit some big shots in the second half to keep within striking distance."

Columbus Grove committed 17 turnovers on the night, while Gibsonburg turned it over 11 times.

"I thought that anytime they (Gibsonburg) went on a run, we did a nice job of responding and finding a bucket or getting to the free-throw line," Schroeder said. "But we had way too many turnovers. You're not going to win too many tournament games, turning the ball over 17 times. We were way too loose with the basketball, but credit Gibsonburg with that too. They started pressuring us a little bit more and double-teaming Lauryn."

Columbus Grove controlled the boards, 37-27.

Last year, Columbus Grove was defeated in the regional finals by Toledo Christian, 43-21.

"Every year is a new experience," Schroeder said. "We had three senior starters that graduated last year. So, we knew we were going to be young this year, and we had a good group of seniors coming in. We knew it would be tough to get through (sectionals and districts). We were thankful to do that. We knew tonight, playing Gibsonburg would be a tough game. So, I'm just thankful to get an opportunity to play (for a regional championship)."

Columbus Grove 53, Gibsonburg 44

Score by quarters:

Columbus Grove 15 9 13 16 — 53

Gibsonburg 4 8 13 19 — 44


Lauryn Auchmuty 29, Ruth Myers 1, Kendal Palte 5, Abby Stechschulte 3, Nicole Nesby 12, Allison Thompson 3. Totals: 18-12-53.


Ansley Fleming 3, Sophia Paul 5, Elly Evarts 22, Jazmyne Morant 9, Emily Henderson 2, Emma Jividen 3. Totals: Totals: 13-10-44.

3-pointers made: Columbus Grove — L. Auchmuty 2, K. Palte 1, A. Stechschulte 1, A. Thompson 1; Gibsonburg — A. Fleming 1, Sophia Paul 1, E. Evarts 4, J. Morant 1, E. Jividen 1