DEFIANCE – Coming in, winning four straight games, averaging 54 points per game, the Tinora Lady Rams looked to put their footprint in the fresh concrete of the early 2021 season.
The Tinora Lady Rams and the Archbold Lady ‘Streaks were meeting Tuesday night at Defiance High School for the right to hoist the 2021 Defiance Physical Therapy Classic trophy.
After a 2-20 season just two years ago, half of these same Lady Ram members are now reaping the benefits of hard individual work, and teamwork that is endless.
After seeing a first half in the previous day’s win that would rank as one of the worst of the season, head coach Kyle Tietje’s Lady Rams thought they would add a challenge to their quest of a tourney championship, playing their worst half of the season.
Both Tinora and Archbold traded missed shots, numerous turnovers, errant passes, and head coach gray hairs doubled in the first half from Defiance High School for both coaches.
Tinora took an 8-6 lead after the first quarter, in which both teams looked to find a rhythm.
The second quarter saw Lady Rams freshman Nova Okuley start to make a name for herself in this 2021-’22 young season. After Archbold took their first lead of the night, 16-15, Nova Okuley drained a three pointer from the right wing, in what seemed to be from the DHS parking lot, the shot hit the bottom of the net at the buzzer, sending the Lady Rams to the locker room with an 18-16 lead over the Lady Bluestreaks of Archbold.
The second half started with teams trading buckets halfway thought the third quarter. The full court pressure by Tinora most of the quarter caused Archbold several turnovers, and seemed to ignite the Lady Rams offense as well. Tinora caught fire the last three minutes, increasing their lead over Archbold to as many as 10 points, the Lady Rams went into the final quarter with a 35-27 lead.
Tinora Freshman Nova Okuley, and Junior Liv Mueller each with six in the third, The Lady Rams looked to increase the lead as they took the floor in the fourth. The Lady Rams did just that, leading by as many as 14 with just over five minutes left, Tinora looked like they would walk away with the championship.
Archbold 15 year head coach Brian Ziegler didn’t gather 258 career wins, a 79% winning percentage, by giving up. Seniors Addi Ziegler and Karsyn Hostetler both caught fire, Ziegler scoring eight second half points, 14 for the contest, while Hostetler hit nine second half points, leading the ‘Streaks with 15 points.
The Lady ‘Streaks cut the Lady Rams lead to just 46-42 with 90 seconds remaining. Tinora sent Liv Mueller, Nova Okuley, and Anna Gray all to the line over the next minute. The Lady Rams would come through, the closest Archbold would get would be three points with 11 seconds remaining. Gray would head to the line and nail one of two free throws to ice the Tinora DPT Championship, 50-46.
Nova Okuley, Karli Okuley, and Liv Mueller were named to the All-Tournament team.
Nova was also named the MVP of the DPT Classic.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game went to……..Nova Okuley who bucketed 26 points, 7 three point shots. Congratulations to Nova.
With the win, the Lady Rams move to 6-1, they will travel to Liberty Center on Saturday night.
Get on out and watch this Lady Rams team, they are exciting! Next home game is vs Fairview in the GMC opener, Thursday, December 16.
Archbold falls to 3-4.
Defiance Physical Therapy Championship Game
Quarter by quarter
1st: 8-6 Tinora
2nd: 18-16 Tinora
3rd: 35-27 Tinora
Final: 50-46 Tinora
Nova Okuley 26 points (7 3 pointers) *tied school record, 6 rebounds
Liv Mueller 12 points
Anna Gray 6 points
Karli Okuley 2 points 4 rebounds
Emily Harr 2 points
Amanda Meyer 2 points
Karsyn Hostetler 15 points (3 3 pointers)
Addi Ziegler 14 points 4 rebounds
Leah Mcquade 7 points
Addison Moyer 5 points (1 3 pointer) 5 rebounds
Sophie Rupp 2 points
Harley Phillips 2 points
Meg Mello 2 points
Team 3 pointers
JV: Tinora over Archbold 34-24
Team championship championship courtesy Mrs. Wells