Sports Writer

HAVILAND - Defense wins championships.

That is saying in sports and it proved to be true again Saturday afternoon as Wayne Trace dominated visiting Holgate defensively and cruised to a 41-24 win over the Lady Tigers in a showdown of Green Meadows Conference leaders.

The victory also gives Wayne Trace at least a share of its third straight conference championship, one the Raiders will try to claim outright when they host Hicksville on Thursday.

“It’s always a goal to win the conference,” stated Wayne Trace head coach Bethany DeJarnett. “But we don’t want to be satisfied with where we are. We need to continue to get better and improve each day and that is a challenge for us here in the next week before we play Hicksville.”

After giving up only 16 points at Ayersville on Thursday, the red-white-and-blue were just as dominant on Saturday in giving Holgate only 14 points through three quarters.

Wayne Trace also forced the Lady Tigers into 18 turnovers in the first three periods.

“Defensively, we played very well again today,” noted DeJarnett. “Our defense leads into our offense and I thought the girls did a good job of putting pressure on them and it resulted in some easy baskets for us.”

The Tigers jumped in front early, getting a Madilyn Hohenberger 3-pointer to start the game before Grace Wenzinger added a basket for a 5-0 Tiger lead.

From there, it was all Wayne Trace.

Nine straight points to end the first quarter, including a pair of Sadie Sinn baskets and single buckets from Kaylee Shepherd and Miriam Sinn as the Raiders took a 9-5 lead after one quarter.

“It was big to have that run,” added DeJarnett. “They came out and hit a couple of shots but we answered with good defense and we manufactured points. I was very pleased with the effort today.”

The Lady Raiders then seized complete control in the second quarter.

A basket by Claire Sinn and 3-pointers by Sara Edwards and Katrina Stoller put Wayne Trace on top 17-6.

After a bucket by Holgate’s Raena Willett and a free throw from Justin Eis got the Tigers within 19-9, the Raiders answered with two-pointers from Miriam Sinn and Kaylee Shepherd before a 3-pointer by Claire Sinn put Wayne Trace on 26-9. The Raiders took a 26-12 lead into the locker room at the midway point of the contest.

“We did a good job of moving the basketball and the girls found the open person,” commented the Lady Raider mentor. “Everybody came in and made plays and that is what it is going to take.”

Holgate opened the third quarter scoring with an Eis basket but the Raiders responded by scoring the final 10 points of the period.

Claire Sinn hit two straight 3-pointers with Sadie Sinn and Katrina Stoller adding baskets as Wayne Trace expanded the margin to 36-14 at the end of three quarters.

Claire Sinn topped all scorers in the contest with 15 points while adding seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Sadie Sinn chipped in seven markers, six steals and two boards while Katrina Stoller posted seven markers, three rebounds and two assists. Miriam Sinn also finished with five points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals. Kaylee Shepherd added four points and two rebounds and Sara Edwards connected on a 3-pointer.

Hohenberger paced Holgate with eight points and Eis chipped in six.

The Lady Raider junior varsity improved to 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the Green Meadows Conference with a 40-5 victory over the Tigers. Wayne Trace’s reserve squad is also playing for an outright league title when it hosts Hicksville on Thursday.

Katie Stoller recorded nine points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals to lead the Lady Raiders. Christina Graham added eight markers, four steals and three boards while Kenadie Daeger chipped in eight points, six rebounds and three steals.

Katrina Stoller (five), Rylee Troth (four), Tiffany Sinn (two), Carlee Mead (two) and Abbie Stoller (two) also scored for the Raiders.