WINAMAC | Halftime came at the wrong time for Rensselaer on Tuesday night.
The Bombers battled back from an early 14-point deficit and had a chance to cut the game to one possession early in the second half, but Delphi ultimately pulled away for a 62-46 victory in the first round of the Class 2A Winamac Sectional.
Rensselaer senior Courtney Schleman scored two baskets in the final 20 seconds of the first half to cut the early deficit to seven points and give the Bombers some energy heading into the locker room.
Rensselaer couldn’t keep the momentum after the break and quickly fell behind by double figures after cutting the deficit to four points. Delphi’s Myka Roth scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the second half.
“Give Delphi all the credit; they came out and hit the open shots,” Rensselaer coach Jeff Marlow said. “We had a lot of energy after the break, but we just didn’t take care of the ball and we fell into some lapses.”
Tatum Minier scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half as the Oracles had four players in double figures, including Danielle Swayze with 11 points. The sophomore guard helped key a 17-4 run midway through the third quarter when she pulled down a rebound and drove the length of the court before converting an acrobatic layup in front of a pro-Delphi crowd.
“It was just a struggle for us to score tonight and I think that affected our defense,” Marlow said.
The Bombers (7-14) were playing in Winamac for the first time after winning their 3A sectional crown last season. Tuesday’s loss represented the final games in the high school careers of Schleman and Aimee Mattocks (eight points, five rebounds).
“It’s a hard realization for it to end on a Tuesday night,” Marlow said. “I loved this team and I told our seniors that when they come back and look up at the banner from last season, they’re responsible for putting that number up there. I really enjoyed this group of kids.”
Delphi (11-8) will play host Winamac in Friday’s nightcap while North Newton will take on North Judson in the opener.