SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP – Defensive pressure can help overcome poor shooting.
In Thursday's Western Buckeye League game with visiting Elida, Shawnee's game plan was to take Elida's ball-handlers out of the game.
Shawnee's defensive pressure helped cause 31 Elida turnovers, en route to a 48-28 win over Elida in girls basketball action.
Right from the start, Elida struggled against Shawnee's pressure, turning the ball over 17 times in the first half.
Elida struggled from the field, shooting 25 percent for the game. Shawnee countered with 37 percent shooting from the floor.
“We were effective, defensively,” Shawnee coach Paul Moss said. “We put consistent pressure (on them); that's our goal. We don't always want to try to force a steal. …We just want to put ball pressure.
“We assigned a couple girls – Ali Quillen and Kaitlyn Gronas to (Abby) Waddle – to try to take her out of the game. We knew that she's a pretty good ball player. It was effective. We got a few turnovers, and we slowed their offense down.”
Waddle was scoreless for the game. The junior guard came out of the game late in the second half with an injury, but did return late in the second half for the Bulldogs.
Maryssa Herschler led Shawnee (7-9, 3-3 WBL) with 11 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Rachel Evans, Danyelle Hughes and Ali Quillen each scored eight points for the Indians. Hughes also got the job done on the boards, pulling down eight rebounds. Evans came up with four steals.
Torie McAdams led Elida (7-8, 3-3 WBL) with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Shawnee never trailed in the game. Elida tied the game at 17 apiece with three minutes left in the first half. The Bulldogs also came within two points on several occasions.
At the halftime break, Shawnee led 19-17. At the end of three quarters of action, Shawnee's lead was 31-25.
However, the bottom fell out for Elida in the fourth quarter. Elida was just 1-of-12 shooting from the floor as Shawnee outscored the Bulldogs 17-3.
“We rushed them into making some poor passes and maybe dribbling up the court a little bit too quick,” Moss said. “I think that kind of hurt them in the long term. We kind of wore them out and they got a little tired there in the second half.”
In the second half, Elida was just 5-of-26 from the field.
“We've played a lot of good teams, but we've also beat ourselves in a lot of games,” Elida co-coach Chrissy Billiter said. “I'm not taking anything away from Shawnee. It was a very physical game, and they had a game plan and it worked. But, we have to stop beating ourselves.”
Added Elida co-coach Elise Jenkins, “Mentally, I think we were out of the game right from the tip-off. And when it got to push-and-shove, they just collapsed.”