ELIDA — Elida started its 59-40 boys basketball win over Piqua on Saturday night looking like a night off on Friday night had been energizing, maybe invigorating.
Piqua, on the other hand, came out looking a little like it had spent much of the day shoveling snow off the family sidewalk and driveway early in the game.
And that was much of the difference in the undefeated Bulldogs’ non-league win over the Indians. Elida dominated early and Piqua couldn’t get back into the game
Elida (11-0) started the game with a 7-0 run in the first minute and a half and jumped out to a 21-point lead late in the second quarter. It was up by as much as 26 points in the fourth quarter before Piqua (5-6) scored the last seven points of the game to make it look a little closer than it had been most of the night.
Daniel Unruh scored 15 points and Donte Johnson had 14 points to lead the Bulldogs. Isaac McAdams had 10 points.
Quirri Tucker’s 10 points led Piqua.
Elida’s defense was one of the reasons for Piqua’s struggles, coach Denny Thompson said.
“I really liked our intensity at the defensive end tonight,” he said. “I thought we made things very difficult for them. We thought, coming in, that our defense could hinder them.
“We thought their strong suit was their athletic ability and our intensity took that away from them,” he said.
“I was really liking it that they played man-to-man (defense) early and we were able to execute our sets and get shots that we wanted. Then they went to a match-up zone and it took us a little while to find the creases against it. But once we knew where to go and where to look, I thought we got some pretty good looks off it.”
Elida’s big early lead also allowed for more substitutions than in some games.
“We got some scoring from a lot of different areas tonight. We’re trying to deepen our bench a little bit,” Thompson said.
If there was a concern for Elida in the second half, it was that its momentum might be chipped away little by little.
Thompson called his only timeout of the night with two minutes left in the third quarter with Elida ahead by 20 points to make sure that didn’t happen.
“My message at halftime was come back with intensity and make good choices in what we’re doing,” he said.
Elida shot 46 percent on field goals (24 of 52). Piqua shot 39 percent (17 of 43). Elida had a 29-24 rebounding edge, led by Unruh with seven.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.