|West sweeps District 8 Girls clashes|
|Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:33 AM|
The West team had the better of the proceedings in both games, with the West downing the East 74-51 in the Division IV clash and grabbing the Division I-II-III clash 71-53.
In the Division IV nightcap, the West was led by Ottoville’s Rachel Beining with a double-double — 23 points and 12 boards. Fort Jennings’ Macy Schroeder added 12 points, seven boards and three assists and Marion Local’s Chelsea Winner added 12 counters and six boards. The West totally owned the backboards 57-26 (22-6 offensive) with the 6-1 Beining and the 6-2 Winner the main culprits. Miller City’s rebounding demon, Melissa Michel, took down nine and Continental’s Leva Weller added nine.
“It’s a lot of fun to play with this kind of talent. I had played against all but three of them during the regular season but it was fun to be on the same team,” Beining noted. “We didn’t have a lot of practice time; I had already started track practice, so I hadn’t picked up a basketball since we lost at State.”
With some, like Beining and fellow Ottoville senior Rachel Turnwald (5 points, 5 boards), having played in the Division IV State semifinals and others not having played since sectional action a month ago, it was Beining who scored 10 points in the first five minutes of the first 20-minute half.
As well, with the All-Star format of a running clock, 5-girl substitutions every five minutes and not much preparation time before the game, it allowed players to strut their stuff in ways they might not have been able to in the regular season; pushing the ball and running very few true set plays, relying on the skills honed in the backyard or in the driveway as youngsters.
All told, the West unleashed 71 shots and made 31 (5-of-24 downtown) for 43.7 percent and the East 62 attempts — making 20, including 7-of-27 triples, for 32.3 percent. As well, with referees “encouraged” to “let ’em play,” the West hit 7-of-11 free throws (63.6%) to the East’s 4-of-7 (57.1%).
Despite that lack of preparation, the West only had 16 turnovers and the East 10.
The West, using its height advantage inside, started to take control in the last half of the first half — with Beining dropping in 16 the first half — and took a 37-26 halftime edge.
Beining added seven points the second 20 minutes but with Schroeder getting loose for 10 markers (two bombs), Winner nine points and Minster’s Bridget Geiger six, the West continued to maintain control. With the East struggling to score from the field, the West built as big a lead as 26 late in the contest.
“I’m going to play ball at Bluffton University. I was thinking of going to Bowling Green State University and not playing basketball,” Beining added. “When I decided to play ball at college, Bluffton was the only Division III school that had the major I have always wanted to do: dietetics. This gives me an idea I can play at the next level because these are the types of players I will be playing alongside and against.”
In the bigger-school clash, the West outscored the East 38-14 the second half to pull away.
The West had a trio of players in twin digits: Celina’s Kylee Bader with 19 (5 bombs), Shawnee’s Britt Lauck 16 (4 treys) and Elida’s Osha Owens 10 (3 assists, 3 steals).
Courtesy of defense, the West forced 21 turnovers to only nine of their own, allowing them to have 19 more shots: 28-of-69 (including a stellar 12-of-18 trifectas) for 40.6 percent versus 21-of-50 for the East (2-of-11 treys) for 42 percent.
In the first half, the West used its height advantage, especially Findlay’s 6-1 Christina McQueen (double-double of 16 markers and 11 boards) and Bath’s 6-0 Emily Ruhe (14 counters, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks). With those two alternating every five minutes, they held off the quicker West in erecting a 39-33 halftime edge.
With the West turning up the defensive pressure, venturing to go full-court at times, they turned the East over 12 times the second half and that fueled even more of a fast-break attack than usual for an all-star game. Bader poured in three bombs (9 points), Lauck two treys (8 markers), Celina’s Katie Stahl seven of her nine points and Owens six in the half as the West used a 23-6 spurt in the first 10 minuets of that half to take a 56-45 edge
The West continued to neutralize the East’s height and built up a 22-point edge at one point late in the contest.
The East did outrebound the West 39-30 (8-10 offensive) and hit 9-of-10 freebies (90%) to 3-of-4 for the West (75%).