ELIDA — It’s amazing what you are able to do on two healthy ankles.
Elida guard Austin Allemeier is getting healthy and looking like his old self these days.
Allemeier hit 11 of 16 shots for a career-high 30 points to power the Bulldogs to a 63-52 boys basketball victory over Kenton Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Allemeier ended up hitting 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
“It’s been a matter of getting healthy and the sophomores getting more experience,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said of his team winning four of five.
Allemeier scored 13 points in the first quarter, hitting his first five shots, including going 3 of 3 on 3-pointers. That pushed Elida out to a 17-14 first-quarter lead.
“After the second one, I felt pretty good,” Allemeier said. “It felt pretty good coming off my hand and I knew then it might be a pretty good night.”
After Allemeier sank his fifth 3-pointer of the night, the Elida lead had grown to 29-16 with 4:45 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs led 33-24 at the half and weren’t challenged in the second half.
“We knew he was a good shooter coming into it and he got some easy looks to start the game and got his confidence going,” Kenton coach Matt McCullough said. “We had to adjust our game plan a little bit and face guard him to try to shut him down.”
Elida stands 7-9, 4-2 in the Western Buckeye League. Elida has gone 7-3 since starting the year 0-5. Kenton is 4-13, 0-6 in the WBL.
Josh Press added 12 points for Elida. Clark Etzler had six assists and four points. Jazz Howell had five points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
For Allemeier, it’s been a matter of his right ankle healing, after he started the year playing with a high ankle sprain and two lower ankle sprains. He limped his way through the second game of the Elida Tip-Off Classic.
“It’s a lot better now. I can play about three quarters now without pain,” he said. “At the Tip-Off was probably the most pain I ever played in. I was playing on one foot. Now with rehab, and our help from our trainer (Sarah Carpenter), I can go off both feet now and it’s a lot better feeling.”
Added Thompson, “That’s been it (getting healthy) and he’s put in a little extra time shooting the basketball. Through the injury, he resorted back to some bad things he did because of the injury. Now it’s gotten stronger and we’re getting him back to shooting the ball correctly like he was last summer. It’s hard work and getting healthy.”
Defensively, Elida used a lot of a triangle-and-two defense with Etzler fronting 6-foot-5 Austin Phillips and having two Elida post players stay behind him. Phillips, who entered with a 15-point scoring average, was held to 10 points.
Colyn Blackford led Kenton with 14 points.
“For the most part I thought it did a good job with it,” Thompson said.
Elida won the boards, 35-25.
“It’s been a lot of maturity with our team,” the senior Allemeier said. “The first few games guys weren’t used to playing at this level. Now our younger guys are playing huge.”