ADA — Two minutes.
That’s about all it took for Bath’s swarming defense to completely smother Willard.
Bath ran over Willard with his pressure and hot shooting 84-60 in the Division II boys basketball district semifinals Wednesday at the Ohio Northern King Horn Center.
Bath ran out to an 11-0 lead and trampled Willard from there.
Bath had four players in double figures, led by Taren Sullivan’s 20 points (4 of 9 on 3-pointers). Cole Chambers and Logan Rockhold both had 18 points, while Conner Rockhold added 13 points.
Bath (21-4) advances to the district title game at 7 p.m. Saturday against Elida (17-8). Willard is 18-7.
“We set the tone and got off to a good start, then we settled in, relaxed and played,” Bath coach Doug Davis said. “We saw them a couple of times and from what we saw, we thought we thought we could apply pressure and get some turnovers.”
Bath ran out to an 11-0 start behind two quick 3-pointers by Sullivan.
“I was going out there and tried to get the team rolling,” Sullivan said. “After the first shot, it felt pretty good. I came down again and took another shot and it went in. It felt like everything was going to fall the rest of the night.”
Bath quickly expanded its lead to 23-6 and led 27-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Wildcats forced eight first-quarter turnovers, which jump started the offense.
“Right from the beginning we got up 11-0 and obviously that’s huge for us,” Conner Rockhold said. “We were able to play off of that for the rest of the game. We like to put them away early and if we can get our starters not so much playing time it’ll help with legs so we’re ready for Saturday night.”
Sullivan had 11 points in the first quarter with three 3-pointers.
Bath expanded its lead to 51-27 at the half.
By the half, Bath’s pressure was smothering Willard and had forced 13 turnovers. Bath also shot 66 percent from the field in the first half, including 8 of 14 on 3-pointers.
“Their rotation really gets you,” Willard coach Dave Hirschy said. “They rotate to the next man and shoot gaps really well. They do the things you’re supposed to do in a run and jump style of defense. They put on a clinic.”
Bath’s lead was 68-40 after three quarters and it wouldn’t get much closer the rest of the way.
Bath got 44 points in the paint and also racked up 24 points off turnovers.
Bath ended up shooting 61 percent from the field, including 11 of 22 on 3-pointers. Willard shot 41 percent, 4 of 18 on 3-pointers.
In the end, it was the Bath pressing, trapping defense which caused the bulk of the problems, forcing 21 turnovers for the game.
“Their defensive intensity, their run and jump style is awfully difficult to simulate in a practice situation,” Hirschy said. “You can watch on film and you can rep it with the kids you have, but it’s really tough.”