Waterford and Hiland to Battle for State History

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In baseball, being successful one time out of three makes a player one of the best.  For the Waterford Lady Wildcats, going one out of three is a nightmare.

Waterford will play in its third-consecutive State Championship game on Saturday.  After a full season of passing doubts, overcoming a lost player and wild comeback wins, the Lady ‘Cats will try and defend last season’s State Championship.

Waterford will have its hands full with Berlin Hiland, the state’s top team.  Hiland sits at 28-1, the lone loss coming from Gilmour Academy.  Gilmour Academy will be at the Schottenstein Center as well, one step ahead in the Division III State Finals.

Hiland defeated Ottoville 44-41 in the Semi-finals to reach Waterford.  Hiland and Waterford both won their games from buzzer beaters.  Waterford’s Hayley Duff got under Jackson Center’s defenders for a layup and Hiland’s Kennedy Schlabach made a three-pointer to clinch the win.

This will be a matchup of the long-time winners and the new kids on the block.  Waterford has three appearances at the Schottenstein Center, all consecutively.  The last team to do that was Hiland.  The Lady Hawks came from 2008-10, and those weren’t Hiland’s first appearances.

Hiland has more appearances in the state Final Four than any other team in Ohio.  This year is the 15th time Hiland has made it to States.  The first came in 1989.

The Lady Hawks have dominated the entire season, scoring 100-points or more on three occasions and winning by 40-points or more 18 times.

Waterford has had tough games, but Hiland is unlike any team Waterford has seen this season.  The Lady Wildcats have proved doubters wrong this entire season and they can do it again.

Alli Kern will make her sixth start at the Schottenstein Center.  Megan Ball will only be making start number two, but she has played significant minutes and made the game winner against Fostoria St. Wendelin in the Finals last season.

Once the tipoff goes, it can be any teams’ game and any team’s championship.