BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath got off to a little bit of a sluggish start.
The Wildkittens needed a jump start to get going.
Enter Tara Herr off the bench.
Herr hit six 3-pointers for 18 points to power the Wildkittens to a 65-27 girls basketball victory over Celina on Thursday at Bath.
Herr hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to give Bath an 11-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the Wildkittens didn’t look in sync.
Herr then hit two long-range 3-pointers to start the second quarter. Bath’s man-to-man press also began paying dividends and Wildkittens were on their way.
“The team kept setting me up for the threes and I just kept trying to make them,” Herr said. “I was feeling good. I kept getting open and if I was the slightest bit open, I was going to shoot it.”
Bath led 30-10 at the half. By halftime, Herr was 5 of 5 on 3-pointer for 15 points.
“I like coming off the bench, there’s not as much pressure,” Herr said.
For the game, Herr hit 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
“Tara did what we know she can do, and that’s shoot the basketball,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “She sure shot it tonight, and we needed it tonight. Offensively, in the first half, we were not very efficient at all.
“We’ve been looking for some other people to come in and give us a boost off the bench like that and when Tara’s making shots, that’s a good thing for our team.”
Bri Smith had nine points, four rebounds and one 3-pointer for Bath. Madison Dackin scored nine.
And Bath 6-foot-1 senior Danielle VanDyne had eight points, six rebounds and two blocks. It’s the first time VanDyne has played school ball since grade school.
“Her freshman year she decided to play volleyball and played volleyball the last three years,” Mauk said of VanDyne. “I heard she was working out and I said the door is open if you want to give it a shot again and there were no promises. And she’s been a very pleasant surprise.”
Bath is 5-0, 2-0 in the Western Buckeye League. Celina is 0-7, 0-2 in the WBL. Celina lost nearly everyone from last year and only returned three points per game in Heather Heiby.
“Basically we’re starting from scratch. We are very young,” Celina coach Toma Hainline said. “The score tonight didn’t show what we’ve made improvements on in the last week or so. We’re taking baby steps. It’s tough when you’re 0-7 to keep the attitude of the kids up. … The big thing for us is trying to box out better.”
Bath won the boards, 35-31. But the big difference was shooting.
Bath shot 46 percent from the field and hit 10 of 20 on 3-pointers. Celina shot 26 percent from the field and was 1 of 6 on 3 pointers.
Bath’s variety of presses forced Celina into 23 turnovers.
“I thought our defensive intensity carried over to what we were doing, offensively,” Mauk said.
Heiby led Celina with seven points and one 3-pointer.
Bath’s press-and-run game took over in the third quarter, with the Wildkittens pulling out to a 53-19 lead.
“This is much more a running pace than last year. I like it,” Herr said.