The Wildcats fell behind early and watched helplessly as Padua’s Savannah Heckelmoser connected on six 3-pointers as the Bruins easily advanced 58-33 in a Division II Elyria sectional game.
Keystone (6-17) was plagued by the same demons it battled all season — turnovers (23) and poor shooting (29 percent from the field). The Wildcats were outscored 22-2 over a 10-minute than began midway through the first quarter and lasted until the final two minutes of the first half.
“Padua was a tough opponent,” Keystone coach Scott Terry said. “They shot the ball well and made the game look easy. We did a good job in the middle and on the boards. You always say you want to make a team beat you from the perimeter and tonight they did.
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“This was a tough year for us, but if the girls take a different path in the offseason I’m optimistic about next year. If we take the same road as we did in the offseason last year we’ll probably see more of the same, or we’ll see a lot of young players on the court.”
The Bruins (12-11) were already up 35-9 at the half when Heckelmoser, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, made four 3-pointers in five minutes on her way to game-high 22 points.
“I was really in the zone in the past few games and it carried over to tonight,” Heckelmoser said. “We have to keep the pressure up on defense and keep looking for good shots if we want to beat Firelands.”
Padua will take on the second-seeded Falcons on Saturday night.
Junior post Jillian Peters led the Wildcats with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Peters came out of the locker room zoned in on the basket, scoring 10 third-quarter points.
Melissa Knepper, the only senior on the Keystone roster, left the court for the final time with around a minute remaining in the game after scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Padua never trailed in the game and let by at least 24 throughout the second half.
“That’s what we do best. We’re an excellent outside-shooting team,” Padua coach Scott Klingbeil said. “Savannah can get it going at any time and really take over a game. We talked about taking control of the game. We have a lot of young girls on the team, so I was a little concerned about how they would respond, but they really took care of business.”
Earlier, Rocky River rolled over Cleveland MLK 48-13, while No. 1 seed Fairview (19-4) overcame a furious fourth-quarter rally to defeat Bay 42-30. Junior Katie Smith, the leading scoring in the Patriot Athletic Conference, scored a team-high 13 points for the Warriors.
“Last year we would have folded in the fourth quarter but these girls really responded well,” Fairview coach Bill Harvey said.
Fairview will face No. 4 seed Clearview on Thursday in the sectional finals.
“The rivalry has really blossomed this year,” Harvey said. “I guess it’s the tie-breaker. We got them at our place, they beat us at their place. When they toss the ball up Thursday, whatever happens, happens.”
Padua 58, Keystone 33
PADUA (58): Jackie Hartman 1-0-2, Kristi Vopat 3-0-7, Savannah Heckelmoser 8-0-22, Jordan Mason 1-1-3, Lea Walsh 4-0-9, Elena Weisenseel 4-0-9, Julianna Pavicic 2-2-6. Totals 23-3-58.
KEYSTONE (33): Morgan Myers 0-2-2, Jennifer Schaffer 1-0-2, Darcy Irish 2-4-8, Jillian Peters 6-1-13, Melissa Knepper 4-0-8. Totals 13-7-33.
Padua 17 18 16 7 — 58
Keystone 7 2 14 10 — 33
Three-point goals: Padua (Heckelmoser 6, Vopat, Walsh, Weisenseel); Field goals: Padua 23-55 (42 percent), Keystone 13-45 (29 percent); Free throws: Padua 3-7 (42 percent), Keystone 7-15 (46 percent); Rebounds: Padua 27, Keystone 40; Turnovers: Padua 9, Keystone 23; Total fouls: Padua16, Keystone 7.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.