The fact that it was expected doesn’t make winning a sectional title any less enjoyable. Behind Andrea Cecil’s 28 points, Oak Harbor defeated Margaretta, 59-31, in the Division III Sectional Final last weekend at Port Clinton High School.
For the Rockets (19-4), it was their first sectional title in 11 years, a sign of how far they’ve come in the last few years. Last year, the team improved from 7-14 to 16-8 and won a game in the tournament before falling to Port Clinton, 52-45, in the sectional final. This season, Oak Harbor established itself with the area’s elite teams by going 18-4 and 11-3 in the Sandusky Bay Conference, good for a second-place tie with Port Clinton.
The Rockets, who defeated the Polar Bears, an SBC foe, both times in the regular season, controlled this one throughout as they slowly built a lead. Oak Harbor led, 16-9, after one quarter and 34-18 at halftime before outscoring Margaretta, 25-13, in the second half.
“I think our pressure defense was the difference,” said Oak Harbor head coach Tom Kontak. “We were in man-to-man and then went to our 1-3-1 trapping defense. We played a little bit of our 2-3 zone defense, too. What we tried to do (on offense) was give Andrea some space. And we wanted to give Maddy some a chance. We thought Maddy would have a quickness advantage. I think you have to give credit to Allie Kuhn, too. She hit a couple of big shots in the second quarter when Emma Barney was in foul trouble. I just wanted the kids to play in the moment and not worry (about anything else). The girls didn’t even know we were cutting down the nets. And I just want to say that I have the greatest group of coaches with me, Art Eli, Chris Rawski, Ralph Mills and Mark Boukissen. We’ve won five sectional titles in our eight years as a coaching staff together.”
On Thursday, the Rockets travel to Seneca East High School in Attica to face Bucyrus at 6:15 p.m. in the district semifinal. The winner will play either Bucyrus Wynford or Genoa in the district final on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Seneca East High School.
“We have incredible respect for this opporunity,” Kontak said.