BATH TOWNSHIP — It started with Alyssa Manley hitting a quick bucket and ended with her zipping a jaw-dropping pass to Madison Dackin for a nothing-but-net 3-pointer.
The 9-0 run midway through the second quarter was short but furious, and it illustrated exactly what the Bath girls basketball team is capable at any given time. The Wildkittens put a few of those runs together en route to a 55-37 victory over visitng Ottoville on Tuesday in a nonleague game.
Bath improved to 10-1 while Ottoville fell to 6-6.
Leading 12-8 at the 4:31 mark of the second quarter, the aforementioned 9-0 run shot Bath ahead 21-8 at the 2:51 mark and helped the Wildkittens reach halftime with a 25-11 lead.
Bath then sprinted out of the gates after halftime with an 11-3 run to go up 36-14 with 4:26 remaining in the third.
“Our kids right now are really starting to catch their stride,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “We’re starting to do some of the things we want to as a group, and our transition game is really starting to come around.”
The catalyst for that potent attack is senior point guard Manley, who delivered a game-high 17 points and constantly pushed the action — either scoring or quickly distributing.
“Jeez, she’s a pistol-and-a-half,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “She’s a great little player, she’s one of the best guards I’ve seen around. We were within eight (early in the fourth) and she just decided, it ain’t happening in my house and she took over.”
While Ottoville spent much of the first half trying to work a half-court game and set up perimeter shots that didn’t drop, in the third quarter things started to click for the Big Green.
Following that 36-14 deficit, Ottoville made six of its next seven shots — four of them 3-pointers — and hit a pair of free throws to cut it to a 40-32 deficit with 5:44 remaining in the game.
Then Manley took over again. She scored on Bath’s next three possessions, with a pair of treys, to put Bath back up 48-32.
“Alyssa is playing with such energy right now that it’s become contagious,” Mauk said. “It’s spread throughout our team. She has that fire burning in her and it infects everyone on our team to the level where everyone steps their game up and, man, we get going.”
Madison Dackin also turned in a nice effort with 16 points for Bath. Annie Lindeman hit five 3-pointers for Ottoville for a team-high 15 points and Brooke Mangas added nine points.
For an Ottoville team that starts two sophomores and a freshman, taking on a senior-loaded and highly talented team like Bath was a solid experience.
“We try and challenge ourselves with playing good teams,” Kleman said. “(Bath) has five seniors who have played together for a long time and it’s really hard to compete against that. We’re trying to get that experience with our group right now and we’re getting there.
“We battled and we fought them. I was real happy with our effort, we were just out-manned.”