It was a tale of two halves for the Woodridge girls basketball team in the sectional opener.
A strong second half wasn’t enough for the 10th-seeded Bulldogs to oust seventh-seeded Revere in a first round Macedonia Division II sectional game in Bath Township Feb. 15.
Woodridge outscored Revere 26-20 in the second half, but a big first-half deficit was too much to erase as the host Minutemen (13-10) posted a 52-40 victory.
Fueled by a huge first half by Emma Drushell, Revere led 11-3 after the opening quarter and extended that cushion to 32-14 at halftime.
"We got down and to the kids’ credit, we made a few runs in the second half, but just couldn’t catch up," said head coach Chris Nauer.
"I thought we did a good job with our game plan and we mixed some defenses, and we fought back," Nauer added.
Held to just 14 field goals, Revere was a blistering 15-of-19 at the free-throw line as Woodridge was 9-17 at the stripe.
Drushell, a forward, exploded for 11 first-half points and finished with 14, but she had plenty of help.
Wing Adison Novosel was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line as the 5-foot-11 senior pumped in 24 points.
Pacing the Bulldogs were seniors Emma Francis and Libby Howard, who each netted 13 points as Woodridge finished the year 11-12 overall.
Francis buried a trio of 3s in the contest while Howard had six buckets and helped on the glass.
"Both Emma and Libby played well and scored as we did well running in transition," explained Nauer.
Nauer and his coaching staff will miss a potent senior class that includes Francis, Howard, wing Madison Randall, forward Kayla Kearns and post Bella Chirakos.
"This was my first senior class from the start and this is a great group of girls," pointed out Nauer.
"It’s been a great four years with these ladies and they have given everything to this program."
Thanks to using a deep player rotation, Woodridge will have solid experience coming back next season as 11 different athletes saw action this winter and could return next year.
"We had a lot of underclassmen, including freshmen and sophomores, who got some good minutes this year," noted the coach.
Nauer pointed to veteran juniors Olivia Woods (post), Layla Foster (guard) and Bella Owen (guard) as athletes who will become leaders next winter in a program that is still laden with youth.
The offseason will be critical for the Lady Bulldogs.
"It’s a tribute to our seniors for their work in the summer and in the weight room and moving forward, their example will make a big difference," explained Nauer.
Sophomores who saw some varsity action are wing Izzy Best, forward Emma Stekelenburg, guard Kendal Gregory and forward Jasmine Green.
Also seeing some varsity play were freshman point guard Leah Mencer, guard-wing Anna Rorrer, post Corrine Betts and guard Taryn Graham.