SHELBY — The Whippets remained undefeated, but Ontario made Shelby work for it Thursday night.
Bailey Walter scored six of her game-high 14 points in the final two minutes as the Whippets pulled away late for a 47-31 win over the Warriors in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference action at Shelby.
Ontario (0-2, 0-2) trailed Shelby (4-0, 2-0) led 35-29 after a pair of Carleigh Pearson free throws with 5:47 remaining before the Whippets closed on a 12-2 run. Mallory Bishop sparked the run with an offensive rebound and putback with 4:14 to play, giving Shelby a 37-29 advantage.
“Mal Bishop came in and stepped up both offensively and defensively,” Shelby coach Natalie Lantz said. “She gets overlooked but she would start on a lot of teams around here. She’s a very good player.
“I don’t think we got off to a great start but the key is we finished strong and came away with the ‘W.’ ”
Neither team was especially sharp in the early going. Shelby led 16-9 after the first quarter and took a 25-16 advantage to the break.
“I don’t think we could have been more flat,” Lantz said. “We forced some quick turnovers, which is what we do, but we didn’t convert offensively.
“We didn’t carry that momentum and energy like we would have liked, but that said we went to the locker room having held a team to 16 points.”
The Warriors cut Shelby’s lead to 29-23 on a Pearson layup with 1:37 to play in the third quarter. Ontario stayed within striking distance throughout the fourth until the final three minutes of the fourth.
“We had spurts where we turn it over too many times and we kind of got deflated toward the end,” Ontario coach Mitch Willeke said. “We saw spurts where there’s that fight. These girls played their tails off.”
Shelby connected on just 28 percent of its field goal attempts and turned the ball over 23 times, but outrebounded the Warriors 44-26. Emma Randall backed Walter with nine points, while Cierra Gurney added eight and Bishop chipped in with seven.
“You’ve got to hold them to one-and-done,” Willeke said of the rebounding discrepancy. “They went heavy to the glass.”
Pearson led the Warriors with 11 points. Mecca Sewell added 10.
“I think they played this game very well,” Lantz said. “They hustled. They played positive and carried a lot of energy the entire game.”