ELIDA — Lima Senior didn’t have an answer for Minster’s Bridget Geiger.
In Thursday’s opening game of the Vicki Mauk Holiday Invitational at the Elida Fieldhouse, Geiger’s inside play led the way for a hard-fought 57-56 win over Lima Senior in girls basketball action.
Geiger led all scorers with 23 points and had seven rebounds and two blocks. The 5-foot-10 Geiger kept Lima Senior defenders guessing as she scored several times down low off of head fakes and ball fakes. Geiger traveled to the free throw line often, making 11-of-12 shots from the line. Claire Fischer added 11 points, including two 3-pointers for Minster.
With the victory, Minster (6-3) will face Sylvania Southview (7-2) in the championship game today. Southview defeated Elida 74-49 in Thursday’s nightcap.
The consolation game will tip-off at 12:30 p.m. today with the championship game to follow.
Essence Cowan led Lima Senior (5-4) with 16 points, including a 3-pointer. Indiya Benjamin scored 13 points and had four rebounds and a steal.
Minster led 15-12 at the end of the first quarter, but found themselves down 30-29 at the halftime break.
It was a back-and-forth third period with the Spartans coming away with a 43-42 lead to begin the fourth.
In the final stanza, Minster went 8-of-10 from the charity stripe, while Lima Senior went 5-of-6 from the line.
“Obviously, we didn’t have an answer for her (Geiger) inside,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “We tried different guards (to defend Geiger), but we didn’t have an answer.
“But the bottom line is that it comes down to one possession. …One defensive rebound. If we box (No.) 13 (Geiger), then it’s the ball game. We didn’t. …We fouled her and she doesn’t miss (free throws). So, that’s the way it goes.
For the game, Lima Senior shot 36 percent from the field, while Minster connected on 39 percent of its field goal attempts.
Minster committed 13 turnovers, while Lima Senior turned the ball over 10 times.
“It was a ‘W,’” Minster coach Nann Stechschulte said. “I wasn’t happy at the way we took care of the ball, especially in the second quarter. They scored a lot off of our turnovers. I wasn’t happy with our defense, obviously. We average about 36 points per game, defensively. I tried three or four different defenses and it was the same end result. It was very frustrating. I honestly did not know what defense to call.”
Sylvania Southview 74, Elida 49
Southview started out strong and never let up en route to a relatively easy win over Elida.
Southview’s size proved to be a tough matchup for Elida as the Cougars dominated the boards 46-30.
Four players scored in double figures for Southview. Natalie Harlan and Sarah Khepzig each scored 14 points. Lauren Huntsman and Taryn Stanley each added 13 for the Cougars.
Kylie Downton and O’sha Owens each scored 14 points to lead Elida (6-3).
Southview led 20-10 after one quarter of action. By the break, the Cougars’ lead was 36-25. In the third quarter, Southview pulled away, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-11.
“They would take five (players) out and it was like a bigger bench than their starting five,” Elida co-head coach Elise Jenkins said. “We couldn’t sub in our height quick enough and we kept getting mismatched. But they’re a very good team and we didn’t play our game tonight.”
Added Elida co-head coach Chrissy Billiter, “We came out flat and we didn’t have any enthusiasm, which means our crowd didn’t feed off us. They just really took it to us.
“The bottom line is that their bench outscored ours 32-4, or something like that. But we’ll just have to bounce back. We either go up or down from here. We want to go up.”