Last updated: December 23. 2013 11:32PM - 1000 Views
ROSS BISHOFF sports@limanews.com



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DELPHOS — The Bath girls basketball team certainly didn’t seem to be in a “holiday break” state of mind Monday night.


The Wildkittens came out and wrapped up host Delphos St. John’s 64-27 in a non-league game to raise their record to 8-0. The Blue Jays fell to 3-5 overall.


“We wanted to come out and play hard,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “The biggest thing was, I wanted to see if we could come out and respond defensively.


“I thought we were a pretty energetic group for the holidays. Sometimes that’s not the case with your high school teams. Sometimes they get a little bit lethargic over the holidays. So I was happy with that.”


Bath’s stifling, full-court defense was simply too much for St. John’s throughout the game, and offensively the Wildkittens were incredibly balanced with 10 scorers.


Audrey Brandon had 10 points to lead Bath while Danielle VanDyne had nine points and seven rebounds. Madison Dackin and Bri Smith both delivered eight points and Alyssa Manley scored seven points. All of Smith’s points came in the first half.


“(Bath) is tough, they’re very tough,” Delphos St. John’s coach Dan Grothouse said. “They were just better, tons better than we were today. We were not confident enough to bring it up the floor. It’s as simple as that.”


Bath’s defense caused St. John’s fits early. The Blue Jays weren’t able to get the ball past half court on their first three possessions and their first four possessions ended in turnovers. Meanwhile, Bath built a 9-0 lead that extended to a 14-3 lead by the end of the quarter.


In that time, the Wildkittens forced seven St. John’s turnovers and were able to score from the outside and down low.


“I thought Bri Smith got off to a really good start tonight,” Mauk said. “That was a really good thing to see. As she grows and matures offensively, she’s going to get better and better.


“And it was nice to see some other people come off the bench and play well. I thought Ellie Dackin played really well off the bench, made a couple big steals and got us started into our transition game. It was good to see the balance tonight, we had a lot of kids putting the ball in the basket.”


The balanced scoring and the feisty defense never let up as Bath led 27-6 at halftime and 50-13 after three quarters. St. John’s finished with 27 turnovers.


“We just have to get tougher mentally,” Grothouse said. “We just weren’t confident with the ball. Once we started turning the ball over, it just snowballed. We just have to get better, fight through this and learn from it. Sometimes when you get kicked you have to move on, prove some things and get more confident.”


Jessica Geise scored 10 points for St. John’s, which plays host to Spencerville on Saturday.


Meanwhile, Bath will hold its McDonald’s Holiday Classic on Friday and Saturday with a strong field that includes LCC, Wadsworth and Minster.


“It’s a great field, probably the best field we’ve had in our holiday tournament ever,” Mauk said. “Wadsworth is a Division I powerhouse and they’re undefeated. Minster only has one loss and they just ripped Fort Loramie the other night. And LCC is playing extremely well.


“The field of teams coming in is what I like to see because I like to see how we respond against really good teams, and we’ve got four really good teams in the field.”


Minster plays Wadsworth at 6 p.m. Friday before Bath takes on LCC at 7:30 p.m. in the opening night of the Classic. On Saturday, the consolation game is at 6 p.m. followed by the finals.

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