By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
Shelby bid farewell to their four seniors and put the wraps on a 20-2 regular season with Saturday’s 64-34 thrashing of Norwalk in a non-league girls basketball clash.
“I’m really proud of the way these girls finished strong,” lauded coach Natalie Lantz.
Lady Whippets Emma Taylor, Jenna Holloway, Cierra Gurney and Bailey Walter made their final home appearance before an appreciative crowd.
“Jenna, Emma, Cierra and Bailey contributed big in their final game on our home court. I couldn’t be more happy for them. They’re all great leaders and have worked very hard to have the season they did,” said Lantz.
The seniors totaled 20 points on the day, led by Gurney with nine points and eight rebounds while Walter scored six and collected seven missed shots.
Winners of the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference with a 14-0 record, Shelby had a school record nine made three pointers in the game.
Five of those triples were tallied in the third quarter as the Whippets stretched their lead to 54-22.
The last triple of the afternoon - courtesy of Taylor - made is 59-22 with 5:08 remaining in the game.
With a minute to go in the opening quarter, SHS was clinging to a slim lead, but a trey by Olivia Baker and then her steal and layup put the red and gray ahead 10-4 at the first quarter rest.
Shelby broke the game open in the second quarter with a 22-4 run that featured 14 unanswered points.
During the run of points Emma Randall produced 10 of them in succession. She tallied 13 of her 21 game-high points during the opening half as the Whippets led 32-8 at the half. Her remaining eight came in the third quarter.
Lantz says this group of girls is special.
“The girls celebrate and are happy for each other on a good defensive play or score or assist. (Assistant) coach Gurney and I are proud of how far these girls have come this season,” said Lantz. “They’re very unselfish. They’ve become a family on the court.”
SHS now turns its focus to the postseason. They’ll open Division II Sectional tournament play 6:15 p.m. Wednesday against Vermilion at Bucyrus High School.
“We have some tweaks to make defensively and offensively heading into the tourney, but these girls are competitors. One thing we know is they’ll battle every night for us. Now it’s one day at a time, one game at a time beginning with Vermilion,” said Lantz.
Horner 2 0 5, Koenig 2 3 7, Barber 3 2 8, Maurer 1 0 3, Nolan 1 0 3, Story 3 2 8, Totals 12 7-15 34.
Taylor 1 0 3, Niese 1 0 2, Bishop 3 0 8, Seibert 1 0 3, Holloway 0 2 2, Randall 7 3 21, O. Baker 3 2 9, Perez 0 1 1, Gurney 4 1 9, Walter 3 0 6, Totals 23 9-11 64.
Norwalk 4 4 14 12 -32
Shelby 10 22 22 10 -64
Three-point field goals - Horner (N), Maurer (N), Nolan (N), Taylor (S), Bishop (S) 2, Seibert (S), Randall (S) 4, O. Baker (S).