ELIDA — Elida can expect to see a lot of gimmick defenses as teams try to slow down Dakota Mathias, the Bulldogs junior scoring machine.
Coldwater tried a triangle-and-two Saturday night at the Fieldhouse, but it was to no avail as Elida (5-2) pulled steadily away for a 62-38 nonconference win.
Despite all the attention paid to him, Mathias still managed to break loose for a game-high 20-point effort.
But it was early contributions from Ebin Stratton, Austin Allemeier and David Diller that paved the way for the Bulldogs victory.
“When we get production like that from other people, we are tough to defend,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “The kids are starting to get some confidence and that is a wonderful thing.”
Stratton finished with 13 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots but had nine big first half points as the Bulldogs pulled out to a 38-27 lead at the break. Allemeier would end the contest with 11 points and Diller chipped in with 8, all of them coming in the first half including two 3-pointers in the second quarter.
“We tried to keep Mathias in check, but he still winds up with 20 points,” Coldwater coach Mike Bruns said. “Diller and Allemeier hit those three’s so they are a tough team to defend. We had a couple of mental breakdowns, and they can run of 6 or 7 points in no time.”
Austin Bruns paced the Cavaliers attack with 18 points that included four first half treys. He was the only Coldwater player to score in double digits.
Coldwater (1-2) only scored 11 second half points as fatigue set in. The Cavaliers were playing only their third game of the season after winning the state football championship.
“They got tired but they will be a much better team the second half of the season,” Thompson said.
Elida shot 44 percent in the game on 22 for 49 from the field and an excellent 10-of-11 effort from the free throw line.
Coldwater only managed 25 percent shooting as it struggled to a 12 of 48 effort that included 7 of 26 on 3-pointers.
Elida won the rebound battle by a 37-30 margin and Bruns pointed to that statistic as a key factor.
“We have to rebound better, that really hurt us,” Bruns said. “It’s still early and we are a work in progress. We have got to get better.”