BATH TOWNSHIP — Taylor Dackin is back.
And that’s not the only bit of good news for the Bath Wildkittens.
The sophomores are quickly growing up.
Bath sophomore guard Alyssa Manley scored 17 points and Dackin scored 11 to power Bath to a 65-27 girls basketball victory over Lima Central Catholic on the opening night of the Bath McDonald’s Holiday Tournament on Friday at Bath.
Emily Ruhe, the team’s all-everything 6-foot center, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Wildkittens.
In the first game of the night, Findlay knocked off Rossford, 50-27.
That sets up tonight’s championship game at 8 p.m. between Bath (7-2) and Findlay (7-1).
It marked Dackin’s second game back after suffering a torn ACL in her knee at last year’s state tournament. She missed all of soccer and her first game back was against Wapakoneta just prior to Christmas.
Dackin said sitting and watching from this year helped her prepare for her comeback.
“Watching the game helped me learn the game a lot more,” she said. “Being on the sideline, you see the things you shouldn’t do and the things you should do. Then, there’s the mental part. You have to get over the whole ACL thing.”
On Friday, Dackin hit 4 of 6 from the field, including going 2 of 3 on 3-pointers. She also drove through the heart of the lane and created scoring opportunities for her teammates.
“I’ve got a smile on my face because she’s back,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “We had been struggling, offensively, but over our last two games we’re scoring 56.5 points-per-game. Before that, our offensive average was in the low 40s. …With her in the lineup, it’s given us a boost because people have to pay a lot of attention to what she can do and it’s opening up a lot of things for other people.”
Manley, the 20-plus goal scorer from the soccer team, is taking on more of an offensive role of late. She hit 7 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers.
“I think I’m more comfortable with my shot now than I was before,” Manley said.
Another sophomore, 5-9 Madison Dackin, had eight points and five rebounds from down low.
“Maddie is really good at attacking the rim,” Mauk said. “She makes things happen. Alyssa reads screens better than anyone on our team and is our best shooter. She’s hitting 38 percent from the 3-point line. I’m ecstatic about those two sophomores because it’s taking a lot of the load off Emily Ruhe.”
Taylor Dackin’s driving layup gave Bath a 7-0 lead and the Wildkittens would lead 20-6 after the first quarter.
“With Taylor back, we’re a lot quicker,” Manley said. “She’s a great player so it brings a lot of intensity.”
Bath took a 38-17 lead into halftime and were never challenged in the second half.
Bath won the boards, 33-25. Bath shot 51 percent from the field. LCC shot 29 percent.
Meredith Shepherd led LCC (3-5) with 11 points and six rebounds. Sydney Santaguida scored eight.
Findlay 50, Rossford 27
Findlay’s size and quickness were way too much for Rossford.
Findlay’s 6-foot Taylor Stanfield scored 15 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Trojans. Christine McQueen, a 6-3 center, added 10 points and five rebounds.
Findlay won the boards, 27-15.