ELIDA - Basketball coaches preach about playing all four quarters.
Thursday's girls game between Elida and Bath was a prime example.
After being down by just five points at halftime, 30-25, Elida found themselves struggling to get back into the game in the second half, as Bath rolled to a 66-38 Western Buckeye League win at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Bath (15-0, 6-0 WBL) outscored Elida 36-13 in the second half, holding the Bulldogs to just three points in the fourth quarter.
Stefanie Mauk led Bath with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Rachel Mauk poured in 16 points and came away with six rebounds and three assists. Stephanie Sanders scored 15 points, including 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Kylie Prince led Elida (6-7, 2-3) with 13 points, including four 3-pointers. Chelsy Simpson added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Bath coach Greg Mauk said he was not pleased with his team's first-half performance.
"To not take anything away from Elida," Mauk said. "I thought they (Elida) played with passion in the first half and they really did a good job of handling our pressure. (But) I thought we did not come out as aggressive as we should."
In the first half, it was Bath that struggled at handling the basketball.
"We had 11 turnovers at the half. ... That's not us," Mauk said. "That was the point of emphasis at halftime."
Mauk's halftime speech on taking care of the ball worked, as his team committed just four turnovers in the second half.
Elida, on the other hand, turned the ball over 18 times, nine in each half.
Elida coach Steve Fersch said his team has to find a way to play with the same intensity for all four quarters.
"We have to find a way to sustain it," Fersch said. "I thought the difference in the game was that we lost our momentum. Then we went into that (scoring) drought there in the third and fourth quarters.
"We worked so hard to break their press and we could not finish. We have to be able to finish."
For the game, Bath shot 46 percent from the field, while Elida connected on 33 percent of its shots from the floor.
Mauk pointed to the play of Sanders in the second half as a key to his team's strong finish.
"She played a great second half," Mauk said of Sanders. "She came out and drove into the gaps in the second half. Stephanie played a great game tonight."
Fersch said he knew, coming in, his team would not be able to pressure Bath from end-to-end.
"We did not want to press them," Fersch said. "We wanted to slow them down. When you go up against a team with that much talent, you have to try to slow them down."