BATH TOWNSHIP – Wadsworth came at Bath non-stop all night long.
The Wildkittens survived the press, but they couldn’t handle the relentless sticky defense and Wadsworth’s continual driving to the basket.
Wadsworth pulled away with a 58-38 victory over Bath to capture the championship of the 17th annual Bath McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Saturday at Bath.
It broke a string of 10 straight Holiday Tournament titles for the Wildkittens. Bath has won the tournament 14 times in 17 years.
“This is a huge win for us,” Wadsworth guard Peyton Booth said. “This is a great win for us and will help us in the second half of the season.”
Wadsworth is 10-0, while Bath stands 9-1.
“We’re going to learn from this. We’re going to grow from this,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “A loss this time of the year is a wake-up call for us. I think we were a little fat and happy with what we were doing. Now it’s time to get their attention again.”
In the consolation game, Minster posted a 66-48 win over Lima Central Catholic.
Wadsworth’s press and full-court transition game helped it pull out to an 11-2 lead. It led 21-9 after the first quarter and 38-18 at the half.
Wadsworth led by as many as 24, 37-13. The closest Bath got in the second half was 14, 44-30, with 2:36 left in the third.
Jodi Johnson led Wadsworth with 23 points, including 10 in the first quarter. Most of her points came out of transition and taking the ball to the basket.
“We knew Bath was a tough team and the key would be whoever would bring the most intensity at the start,” Johnson said. “Our defense really helps our offense and it did tonight.”
Added Wadsworth coach Andrew Booth, “Against a team as good as Bath and defensively tries to pressure as hard as they do, you have to be aggressive. If you are timid or not trying to attack down hill, you aren’t going to be very successful. Out of the gate, our kids had in their mind to play very aggressive. We got out on the break in transition and hit some early jumpers.”
For Bath, Jenna Hollar had eight points, while Danielle VanDyne had seven points and five rebounds. Alyssa Manley had five points.
Wadsworth’s man-to-man press forced only eight Bath turnovers, but the Lady Grizzlies were still able to run.
“What we didn’t get in turnovers, we made up for in transition,” Booth said. “And we did a good job on the boards.”
In the first half, Wadsworth hit 70 percent from the field and outrebounded Bath 15-7.
“I thought they played together, offensively and defensively,” Mauk said. “They were on the same page.”
Mauk said Hollar played well, as she had only one turnover against the swarming Wadsworth press.
For the game, Wadsworth shot 54 percent from the field. Bath shot 25 percent. Wadsworth won the boards, 31-23.
Guard Peyton Booth, who will play next year at New Hampshire, had seven points and 11 boards. She also sparked the team’s halfcourt defense.
“At the beginning of the year, our halfcourt defense was our worst thing,” Booth said. “But every single day we’ve worked really hard on it. I thought we did a great job of that tonight.”
It was the first appearance in the Bath Holiday Tournament for Wadsworth, which made the trip from northeast Ohio. Bath played at Wadsworth last year.
“It was fun,” Johnson said.
Minster 66. Lima Central Catholic 48
Minster started the third quarter on a 14-2 run to pull out to a 45-30 lead and pulled away from Lima Central Catholic.
Lauren Roetgerman paced Minster with 15 points. Alexis Wuebker scored 13, while Claire Fischer had 10.
For LCC, Elizabeth Kidd had nine points with three 3-pointers. Sydney Mohler had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman Madison Stolly had eight points and seven rebounds.
Minster led 31-28 at the half, but used its pressure man-to-man defense to help pull away in the third quarter.
Minster hit 47 percent from the field and was 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. LCC shot 31 percent, including going 6 of 28 on threes.