MILAN — Kiyah Wentz broke out of her shooting slump in a big way Thursday night.
Mansfield Senior’s senior sharpshooter, Wentz bounced off the bench to knock down five first-half 3-pointers as the third-seeded Tygers cruised to a 53-35 win over No. 10 Madison in the nightcap of a Division II sectional semifinal doubleheader at Edison High School.
“On the first shot I was hot,” said Wentz, who connected on 5-of-6 treys on her way to a game-high 19 points. “We had to come out strong and play our game.”
Senior High led 13-10 after the first quarter when Wentz began to sizzle. She knocked down three triples in the final 4:05 of the second quarter as the Tygers opened a 26-13 halftime bulge.
“She gives us a good spark off the bench,” acting Mansfield Senior coach David Phillips said. “She’s been in a shooting slump for the last two games and I told her to just keep shooting.”
The Rams cut Senior High’s margin to 28-18 on a pair of free throws by Bri Bowles, but would get no closer. The Tygers led 35-20 after three and 40-20 early in the fourth to win going away.
Kiersten Bradley backed Wentz with 11 points. Monetta Hilory added nine points and five assists while Annaleise Norris chipped in with six points and nine rebounds.
“I tell the girls to shoot,” Phillips said. “They get down sometimes when they miss the first two or three, but keep shooting.
“You don’t know if you’re going to make the next one if you don’t try it.”
Chloe Ebeling led Madison with 12 points and eight rebounds. Savanna Rachel added nine points.
“Our kids played hard,” Madison coach Mike Leeper said. “We just ran up against a buzzsaw tonight.
“I thought we really got better as the season went on. I like our young group. Hopefully we can build on this for next year.”
Mansfield Senior will play top-seeded Norwalk for a sectional title at 8 p.m. Saturday at Edison.
“It’s going to be tough,” Phillips said of Saturday’s sectional championship game. “They’re similar to us. They’re physical and fast. It should be a good game.”