By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
HOUSTON — The Houston girls basketball team coached by Brad Allen is much better than its record.
And nobody knew that better than Bradford coach Chris Besecker, whose team was looking to snap a three-game losing streak Monday night.
And that was proven correct after the Wildcats took the Railroaders to the wire, before Bradford came away with a 49-46 victory.
Bradford improved 12-6 with the win, while Houston dropped to 3-15.
“That is a vastly improved team,” Besecker said about Houston. “We knew this was going to be a tough game.”
Allen was not surprised by the battle his team put up.
“I am really proud of the girls,” he said. “They just kept battling, right to the end.”
And the game came down to the final minute.
Typical of the back-and-forth in the game, Austy Miller had a basket and two free throws to put Bradford up 45-39 with 3:38 remaining.
But two free throws by Megan Maier and a 3-point play by Amber Stangel closed the deficit to 45-44 with 1:22 remaining.
After Stangel grabbed a rebound with 30 seconds to go, the Wildcats had the opportunity to go in front.
But, once again, Miller made the big play in the clutch.
After a jump ball was called, Houston inbounded with 17.6 seconds to go.
Miller was able to knock the inbounds pass loose and come up with the steal and was fouled at the other end.
With 12.8 seconds to go, she hit both free throws to put the Railroaders up 47-44, finishing a perfect 6-for-6 from the line for the game.
“She (Austy Miller) made some plays for us at the end,” Besecker said.
Houston had one last chance.
A 3-pointer would have tied it, but Booher was fouled with 7.6 seconds to go and hit both free throws to make it 47-46.
“I felt like we had a girl open for a three there,” Allen said. “We just didn’t get her the ball.”
On the inbounds, Rylie Canan hauled in the pass near midcourt, then fired it to Abby Gade for a basket as the buzzer sounded, making the final 49-46.
“We really didn’t need it (the basket),” Besecker said. “But, it (the pass and basket) allowed us to run the clock out.”
It was a back-and-forth game all night, with Bradford leading 10-8, 22-19 and 37-34 at the quarter breaks.
The Railroaders had the most success getting the ball inside to freshman post Remi Harleman, who matched Miller with a game-high 16 points.
“That is what we talked about before the game,” Besecker said.. “We haven’t been shooting well from the perimeter, so we wanted to get the ball inside.”
Allen was happy to hold Miller to five field goals and 16 points. Rylie Canan added eight points.
“She still got some points, but I thought Megan Maier did a great job on her defensively,” Allen said.
Houston’s strength was on the offensive glass.
“They probably had more offensive rebounds than we had defensive rebounds,” Besecker said with a laugh.
The Wildcats consistently got two and three shots at the offensive end.
Maier led Houston with 13 points.
Rylie Voisard scored 12, Booher added 10 and Stangel scored seven.
“That (rebounding) is something we have been working really hard on,” Allen said.
Now, Bradford will look to finish the season strong — starting with a game with Mississinawa Valley Thursday.
Austy Miller 5-6-16, Emma Canan 0-0-0, Rylie Canan 3-1-8, Cassie Mead 2-0-4, Remi Harleman 8-0-16, Alexis Barhorst 1-0-3, Abby Gade 1-0-2, Abby Fike 0-0-0. Totals: 20-7-49.
Kiannah Jones 1-0-2, Megan Maier 4-4-13, Amber Stangel 2-3-7, Rylie Voisard 5-1-12, Mariah Booher 3-4-10, Taylor Maxwell 1-0-2. Totals: 16-12-46.
3-point field goals — Bradford: Rylie Canan, Barhorst. Houston: Maier, Voisard.
Score By Quarters
Bradford 10 22 37 49
Houston 8 19 34 46
Records: Bradford 12-6, Houston 3-15.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected]
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