Threes were the field goal du jour.
Wellington made eight of them, three by freshman guard Sam Sparks. Top-seeded EC (17-5) nailed six, five from Carandang’s hot hand. Combined, the teams made nearly half of their shots outside the arc, 14-of-30.
An odd statistic: Wellington made more 3-pointers (8-of-17) than 2-point baskets (6-of-28).
For their effort, the Panthers advance to a sectional final with No. 3 seed Lutheran West at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Coliseum. The game was originally scheduled for 7, but was changed because of a conflict. Wellington’s season ended at 3-20.
Elyria Catholic raced to a 10-0 lead in the first two minutes and never trailed. The Panthers were in control 35-21 at halftime and carried a 57-29 lead into the final eight minutes.
“My teammates just got me into a rhythm, the offense was moving and I just happened to be hot tonight,” Carandang said. “Going further into the tournament, our shooting is going to be really important, because these games are going to get tougher and tougher.
“We need to take this win and build on it to go further in the tournament. We need not to get too overconfident, because everybody’s going to be really difficult. We played Lutheran West during the season. We won, but I’m not sure by how much. We played them at their place and the next one is here.”
The Panthers had two big streaks in the first quarter, their 10-0 run to open the game, and an 8-0 surge late in the period. If their 14-point halftime lead seemed inadequate, they removed all doubt with a 17-0 outburst that consumed more than five minutes of the third quarter.
Dukes coach Chris Reuterpohler said the Panthers’ opening surge was a key to the game’s culture.
“We had a struggle, a hiccup, with that 10-0 run at the start, but we made a couple of quick substitutions, an extra guard to handle their pressure,” Reuterpohler said. “We knew it was coming. We scouted them and, really, we had a few turnovers that hurt us there at the beginning of the second quarter, but they (EC) just shot the lights out.
“They were hot tonight and when you come in and play the No. 1 seed, you need them to have an off-night, and that wasn’t quite the case,” he added. “They came out in the third quarter and just continued to shoot the way they did the whole game.”
With her sharpshooting, Carandang scored a game-high 17 points and point guard Riley Schill finished with 15. In all, 14 Panthers played and 11 scored. Senior Karly Rollin and junior Grace Buchanan each scored seven points for the Dukes.
“I thought we executed pretty well on offense, but defensively we got a little out of it early,” EC coach Eric Rothgery said. “We had some fouls early, so we got out of our press, and we’re not always pressing just to get turnovers. We’re pressing to dictate the pace of the game.
“That got us a little out of synch, but quite frankly, their (Dukes’) shooting was pretty good there at times. That was smart. Record-wise, we were the favorite coming in and if I was on their side, I’d say, ‘Let’s start gunning and see what we got.’ They started making shots and give them credit. They didn’t back down.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Elyria Catholic 75, Wellington 46
WELLINGTON (46): Elizabeth Bowman 1-0-2, Kayla Sparks 1-0-2, Jasmine White 1-0-2, Ala Hardoby 2-0-6, Grace Buchanan 2-3-7, Callie O’Connor 0-3-3, Karly Rollin 2-1-7, Sami White 0-0-0, Jenny Stumphauzer 1-0-3, Sam Sparks 2-0-6, Logan Simmons 1-1-3, M(egan McKnight 0202. Totals 14-10-46.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (75): Julia Scarpelli 4-0-8, Josie Carandang 6-0-17, Rachel Cairns 2-1-5, Riley Schill 6-3-15, Adrianna Davies 0-0-0, Sam Filiaggi 0-2-2, Meredith Ternes 3-1-7, Margot Novak 2-2-7, Maddy Johnson 0-0-0, Becky Horvatn 1-3-5, Natalie Tremont 0-1-1, Jessie Lee 3-0-6, Megan Janowicz 0-0-0. Totals 28-13-75..
Wellington 10 11 8 17 – 46
Elyria Catholic 18 17 22 18 – 75
Three-point goals: Wellington 8-17 (S. Sparks 3, Rollin 2, Hardoby 2, Stumphauzer); Elyria Catholic 6-13 (Carandang 5, Ternes). Field goals: Wellington 14-46 (30.4 percent); Elyria Catholic 28-67 (41.8 percent). Free throws: Wellington 10-18; Elyria Catholic 13-20. Rebounds: Wellington 24; Elyria Catholic 45. Turnovers: Wellington 15; Elyria Catholic 14.