BATH TOWNSHIP – Bath flashed their versatility Saturday night one evening after scoring 85 points in its opening game of the Kewpee Tip-Off Classic.
The Wildkittens displayed a strong defense and that effort was good enough to claim the Bath Tip-Off girls basketball tournament title with a 48-40 win over New Knoxville.
Twenty Four hours after shooting 54 percent, including 13-of-22 on three-pointers, Bath shot a pedestrian 40 percent in the championship game that included a 5-for-15 effort from 3-point land.
But Bath (2-0) held the Rangers in check with a combination of zone and man to man defenses that held the New Knoxville squad to a 15-of-41 night that equaled 36 percent from the field.
“We were quick in the zone and Audrey Brandon is tough because of her physical play,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “Danielle VanDyne is tough because of her length. VanDyne hasn’t played since the 8th grade but has been working on her game all that time and has been a pleasant surprise.”
The Wildkittens jumped out to a 16-9 lead after one quarter of play thanks to 10 first quarter points from Madison Dackin, who would finish with a game-high 18 total on the night.
Bath continued to hold the advantage and went to the locker room for the half-time break with a 23-18 lead.
The Wildkittens would find their shooting touch in the third period and hit 7-of-11 from the field, including three big 3-pointers to expand their lead to 40-25 going to the final period of play.
The Rangers (1-1) had gotten to with-in 27-23 midway through the third quarter when Jenna Hollar connected on a trey followed by threes by Dackin and Cassie Best.
New Knoxville got eight fourth-period points from University of Findlay-bound guard Haley Horstman, but the Wildkittens hit just enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
“Jenna’s three was big one,” Mauk said. “Our shooting has been very up and down but we’ve got to hit free throws down the stretch. But taking care of the ball and defense are two positives we can take from this weekend.”
Besides the 18-point effort by Dackin, Bath got 7 points from both Brandon and Best.
New Knoxville was led by Horstman with 14 points, while Paige Lehman added 13 points. Meg Reineke chipped in with 10 points for the Rangers.
Bath pulled down 25 rebounds in the game, compared to 20 for New Knoxville while the Wildkittens committed 13 turnovers to 15 for the Rangers.
Elida held off a second-half charge by Findlay to grab the consolation game by a final score of 57-51.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 29-17 half-time lead before the Trojans rode a 16-point second half by Sarah Thomas to make it close.
Elida improves to 1-1 with the win while Findlay falls to 0-2 on the young season.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Sabrina Kline, who had a game-high 19 point effort and Torie McAdams chipped in with 10 points for the Bulldogs.
“We showed composure and were able to finish.” Elida co-coach Elisa Jenkins said.
“Ashley Lowry is the heart of our defense and Cassidy Slusher came off the bench and did a good job tonight.” co-coach Chrissy Billiter said.