Turnovers plague Waterford; Fort Loramie wins fourth state title

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DAYTON, Ohio (WOUB)– Fort Loramie’s defense shut down Waterford’s offense for their second state title victory in four years. Meanwhile, Fort Loramie relied on Avery Brandewie’s 17 points to lead the way on offense.  

Fort Loramie outscored the Wildcats in all four quarters as the Wildcats shot 8-25 from the field with 20 turnovers, solidifying the 42-29 victory. Fort Loramie’s converted 26 points off Wildcat turnovers. 

From the tip-off, a scoring duel between Fort Loramie’s Brandewie and Waterford’s Kendall Sury ensued to impress the crowd. Both players scored eight points in the opening quarter from all over the court.  

Outside of Sury, Waterford could not find a second scorer to help produce in the first and committed six turnovers through poor passing and ball control. Fort Loramie scored nine points off the turnovers and controlled an 11-8 lead after the first. 

Waterford opened the second with Avery Smitherberger’s three-pointer to tie the game at 11, but the Wildcats’ offense was held scoreless for the next seven minutes.   

Fort Loramie forced eight more turnovers and attacked the paint to draw contact, resulting in eight Waterford team fouls. The foul trouble affected the Wildcats’ starting lineup, momentarily subbing out Sury, the Wildcats top scorer, with her three fouls.  

Fort Loramie’s fast break and perimeter shots helped increase its lead to 20-11 at halftime.  

After the break, both squads found a groove on offense. 

Waterford hit the double-digit mark for points in a single quarter. Sury scored five points, and Avery Wagner scored her first three points of the game to help Waterford create a 7-0 scoring run.  

Despite the run, Fort Loramie had four different scorers tally 13 points in the third, including Brandewie’s 3-point bank shot at the buzzer to extend the lead to twelve points, 33-21.  

In the fourth, Waterford’s strong effort to fight back could not overcome the struggle of poor perimeter shooting. The Wildcats could not erase the deficit in the fourth, falling to Fort Loramie 42-29.  

“The length and pressure is what hurt us, we had 14 turnovers in the first half,” Waterford Head Coach Jerry Close said. “Girls did a nice job adjusting in that second half, but I think we just wore ourselves down.”

Waterford’s season ends with a 24-4 record and their second state-runner-up trophy. The Wildcats lose five seniors but will return four starters for the 2024-25 season including Sury and Wagner.  

“We plan on being back and that is what’s going to happen,” Wagner said after Saturday’s loss. 

Fort Loramie became the only team in Division Four with 28-plus wins and ended the year on a 15-game winning streak to win their fourth state title, all under Head Coach Carla Seigel who has coached Fort Loramie since 1999.