WADSWORTH — The hyped showdown between Wadsworth and Green’s girls basketball teams turned out to just be a lot of hot air.
It didn’t take long for the Grizzlies to show why they have consistently been atop the Suburban League standings over the last two decades as they dismantled the Bulldogs 63-31.
The impressive win by Wadsworth (14-4, 12-0) clinched it a share of its 18th title in the last 20 seasons and turned a playoff-like atmosphere in the game’s opening minutes into a celebration for the Grizzlies fans.
“Most of the year, our defense has been pretty good,” Grizzlies coach Andrew Booth said. “These kids come to work everyday and put an emphasis on defense. To be able to hold these guys to 31 points, I wouldn’t have dreamed that that would be the case.
“Hats off to our kids, they just got after it tonight.”
After leading by as much as 13 in the first half, Wadsworth broke the game open by going inside to senior post Robyn Rotterschmidt.
The 6-foot-1 center had arguably the best game of her final prep season, scoring a game-high 14 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds. Three of those buckets came in a run that pushed the Wadsworth lead out to 16 early in the third quarter.
“She’s the one spot on the floor that we have a distinct advantage against Green,” Booth said. “Give the Green kids credit. They played hard, as hard as any team in the area, but they don’t have anyone that can match up with her inside.
“She did a great job of establishing position and more importantly when she got it inside, she finished.”
Every time the Bulldogs (12-7, 11-2) made a charge, Rotterschmidt was there.
Green got the game back to a manageable margin at 42-29 after back-to-back baskets from guard Lydia Corle, but the Ashland University recruit Rotterschmidt answered with a simple move inside to keep the Grizzlies up for good.
“Mainly, I wanted to be aggressive inside,” said Rotterschmidt, who had 11 points including the game-winning bucket in the Grizzlies’ 48-47 win over Green earlier this season. “They got the ball to be and I did my best to score and help the team out.”
The win was far from a one-person show. Wadsworth used its balanced attack featuring its patented transition offense to wear down a Bulldog team that typically plays just a handful of players.
Guards Jessie Gearhart (12 points, 3 steals) and Rachel Goddard (10 points, 2 assists) both had solid nights, along with All-SL guard Taylor Woods (9 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists), who like Rotterschmidt was enjoying the feeling of cutting down the nets in her last prep game in the Grizzlies’ West Gym.
“This has seriously been a dream come true,” Woods said. “I knew we could do it and it just feels so good to walk away with a 30-point win. It’s amazing.”
While Wadsworth was clicking on all cylinders, Green was struggling to find a spark.
Standout Green guard Logan Pastor was held to just two points on 1-of-11 shooting and had only one assist, forcing the Bulldogs to find different offensive options that were never there. Melissa Weinsz had a team-high eight points, while Corle chopped in seven as the team shot a paltry 10-for-46 from the field.
“I think we were very aggressive from the start, which over at their place it was the reverse,” Booth said. “I think tonight, for the most part, we kept our foot on the pedal and just tried to attack the whole game.”
It was a clean sweep for Wadsworth as the junior varsity team cruised to an easy 56-25 victory. Freshman Taylor Wyatt led the way with 18 points.
• The 1994-95 and 2008-09 seasons are the only time in the last two decades that the Grizzlies have not earned at least a share of the SL championship.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.