DOUBLE DEFENSE: Shawe’s Meghan Scroggins (left) struggles to get a shot off inside against a Jac-Cen-Del double team. The Hilltoppers lost 51-23 in the sectional semifinals in Osgood. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
DOUBLE DEFENSE: Shawe’s Meghan Scroggins (left) struggles to get a shot off inside against a Jac-Cen-Del double team. The Hilltoppers lost 51-23 in the sectional semifinals in Osgood. (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Jac-Cen-Del outscored Shawe Memorial 16-1 in the third quarter to dash the Hilltoppers' hopes of ending a 19-year post-season drought. Shawe fell 51-23 in the semifinals of the Class A Sectional 60 girls basketball tourney Friday night in Osgood.

Shawe got off to a rough start to open the game and an ever rougher beginning to the second half as the host Eagles (11-11) advanced to tonight's sectional championship against Oldenburg Academy. The Twisters defeated Rising Sun 43-35 in Friday's second semifinal.

Shawe's cool shooting from the field and foul line combined with equally damaging numbers in turnovers worked to derail the Hilltoppers in disappointing fashion.

"It's just disappointing because that's really not the story of our season," Shawe first-year head coach Camille Deuser said. "Our season has gone so much better than that. We did not play near up to our potential ... of all days to have your worst game of the season. This was a tough one."

The Hilltoppers and Eagles both struggled through an ugly first half as turnovers and missed shots kept both teams from gaining any traction. Still, Jac-Cen-Del managed to double up Shawe 10-5 after one quarter and 22-10 at halftime due in large part to the solid inside play of center Brianna Volz.

Volz, a 5-foot-9 senior, was a woman among girls as Jac-Cen-Del pounded the ball inside to her for 16 first- half points.

"She's solid fundamentally and we've had that problem all year," Deuser said of Volz. "When we face a strong, fundamental post player, our girls - our post players - struggle with that. They're still learning to be physical, still learning how to play that way, still learning post play and that's all part of our learning curve."

Volz, who spent several stretches on the bench in the second half, ended the night with a game-high 22 points to nearly outscore the Hilltoppers by herself.

Shawe's struggles on offense were so thorough that the Hilltoppers couldn't even hit shots when they weren't being guarded. Jac-Cen-Del was whistled for 13 personal fouls - most committed while Shawe was in the act of shooting - but the Hilltoppers failed to capitalize.

Shawe missed 16-of-18 free throws including a 1-of-14 night at the line by point guard Taylor Grote. That was particularly damaging for the Hilltoppers since the bulk of Shawe's offense goes through the 5-foot-4 junior.

"Everything. Everything. Nothing was bouncing our way," Deuser said, noting that the Hilltoppers' offensive struggles were widespread. "As they get older and mature they will learn to overcome that. We're just trying to take this as a learning experience and make it something to build on."

Although Grote was cold at the foul line she did warm up from the field in the fourth quarter to hit a pair of 3-pointers to tally 12 points in the quarter en route to a team-high 17 point night.

Deuser said the Grote that emerged in the fourth quarter was the player she expected from the outset but that Grote's struggles were not all of her own doing.

"The one thing we're missing is that post player that can make a difference because if we have somebody we can go inside to that's going to take that pressure off Taylor," Deuser said. "When you don't have that post player (like Volz) it just compounds the problems your outside shooters face. Our post players are capable but they hesitate a lot. They have to think things through instead of just reacting to the game.

"They have to learn that we need five people - we need 11 people - and each one of them stepping up to do their part," Deuser added. "And that's what we need to build on to be successful."

And make no mistake, Deuser is looking to do just that. With no seniors graduating and two juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen returning - plus a pretty solid freshman class scheduled to arrive next fall - Deuser is quickly turning her focus to the future.

"The positives are that we get 11 girls back and we're going to have a strong freshman class so I feel like next year is going to really be our year. But it was bumps and bruises this year getting ready for next year."

Shawe, 4-17, already has a roadmap for the offseason that could put the Hilltoppers on the road to making sure their streak of sectional one-and-dones doesn't reach 20 seasons this time next year.

"We're already talking about the offseason. I've got the summer workouts and stuff planned and I've got planned out what tournaments we're going to be playing in, fundraisers, everything. I scheduled all that out months ago," Deuser said. "It hurt us so much this year that we missed out on so much last summer because I was hired so late so we're going to really just work on everything over the summer. I think that's really going to help us."



at Osgood


SHAWE 5 5 1 12 - 23

JAC-CEN-DEL 10 12 13 16 - 36

Shawe (4-17) - (g)Grote 17, (g)Waller 3, (f)Moore 2, Koehler 1, (g)Armstrong 0, (f)Storm 0, Goebel 0, Scroggins 0, Fry 0.

Jac-Cen-Del (7-15) - (c)Volz 22, (g)Keene 7, Day 7, (f)Ronsheim 6, Bowling 4, (f)Roberts 3, (g)Hughes 1, Wagner 1, Bruns 0, Menchhofer 0.

3-Point Goals - Shawe 3 (Grote 2, Waller 1), Jac-Cen-Del None. Total Fouls - Shawe 18, Jac-Cen-De 13. Free Throws - Shawe 2-18 (11%), Jac-Cen-De 9-16 (56%). Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Shawe's season ends. Jac-Cen-Del faces Oldenburg in tonight's championship.