WAPAKONETA — Before tipoff and for the ensuing four quarters, Madison Dackin had a fierce look in her eyes.
And whether it was Dackin’s game-high 19 points, her offensive rebounding, her defense or her overall court presence, the senior forward was a big reason Bath handed host Wapakoneta its first Western Buckeye League loss Thursday, 50-34.
Bath stayed unbeaten in the WBL at 4-0 (11-1 overall) while Wapak fell to 9-3, 3-1. It was also Bath’s 37th straight league win, which stretches back to Jan. 6, 2011.
And while Mauk said the streak means nothing at the moment, he was very impressed with his seniors and Dackin in particular Thursday.
“She was laser focused,” Bath girls basketball coach Greg Mauk said. “She was the key in the locker room before the game. She’s talking to the girls about how we need to play, what we need to do. She just had a laser focus in what she needed to do tonight, and I knew she was going to have a great game.”
Dackin made plays from just about everywhere on the court, especially under the basket.
“Madison hurt us more on offensive rebounds than anything,” Wapak coach Rusty Allen said. “I think that’s what hurt us most, letting Madison get loose on some points.”
Fellow senior 6-foot forward Bri Smith sunk four 3-pointers for 12 points in the Bath effort, Cassie Best had 10 points and Alyssa Manley added seven points.
“It means a lot to us and going forward it’s awesome to get another WBL win,” Dackin said. “It’s a WBL game, and we knew they are a good team, so we needed to be focused.”
Bath bolted out to a 13-2 lead to start the game before Wapakoneta mounted its best attack. During a 4:16 stretch that reached into early in the second quarter, the Wildkittens didn’t score another point as the Redskins got the ball into the post to 6-foot senior Carly Buzzard, who led the team with 12 points.
The result was a 9-0 Wapak run to cut the deficit to 13-11. And after Buzzards’ 10th point of the game, Bath led just 19-15 with 5:03 remaining in the second.
“We did a good job of getting the ball into our post, that’s something we felt we could exploit,” Allen said. “Unfortunately, we got away from it. We were still preaching it. I still felt in the second half our post players had position, we just weren’t getting the ball to them for whatever reason. That was frustrating.”
Once the Wildkittens got back into pushing the ball, the result was a 12-5 run to finish the half for a 31-20 lead. That run continued in the third quarter when Bath outscored Wapak 13-3 for a 44-23 lead at the 2:35 mark.
All told, the Wildkittens turned in a 25-7 run in which they made 9-of-15 shots from the field. In the third quarter, Bath made 6-of-9 shots compared to Wapak’s 3-of-11 shooting for a 46-29 deficit to start the fourth quarter.
“We knew going into the locker room we had to come out and stomp on them, and we couldn’t give them the chance to come back,” Dackin said.
Bath made 21-of-48 shots for the game (43 percent) while Wapakoneta was held to 12-of-42 shooting from the floor (28 percent).
“We shot the ball really well in some instances tonight,” Mauk said. “Bri Smith was a real catalyst in terms of what we were doing.
“Our kids, this senior group has tremendous focus. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a group that can get as focused as they can become when they decide they want to get something done. And they bond and band together to do that. It’s a fun group to coach.”