Quick start propels Elida to win

First Posted: 1/17/2015

ELIDA — Sometimes a game plan can be moved to a different night.

After trying to slow down St. Marys’ Quinn Zaerr (6-foot-5, center) in Friday’s 61-49 loss to the Roughriders, Elida came into Saturday’s non-league boys basketball matchup against Archbold with the same idea.

Archbold’s Luke Fisher, a 6-8 post player, was the target for Elida’s defensive scheme. Fisher, a senior, is headed to Bethel College to play basketball.

The Bulldogs shut down Fisher in the first half and got off to a strong start, offensively, en route to a 62-54 win over the Blue Streaks at the Elida Fieldhouse.

Elida (4-7) led from start to finish. The Bulldogs jumped out to an 18-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.

After scoring just six points in the first half (no field goals), Fisher came back in the second half and scored 15 points, ending the night with a team-high 21 points.

Austin Allemeier led Elida with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Allemeier poured in 16 points in the first half to help lead the Bulldogs to a 31-18 lead by the break. Allemeier also had three assists and two blocks.

Clark Etzler scored 15 points, pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, made two steals and dished out three assists for Elida. Teammate Josh Press added 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Elida’s largest lead was 16 points.

Archbold (9-3) did cut the deficit to seven, 59-52, with a little more than a minute left to play in the game. However, Elida made it to the free throw line often down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, Elida made 12-of-19 from the charity stripe.

“We kind of took what we did last night (against St. Marys) with Zaerr,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “And it was a good fit for us coming into this game, knowing how good Fisher was. We were bringing the backside guy and double-teaming, and trying to make him (Fisher) a passer. But, when you do that, you still have to make sure you get back to their shooters, because they’ve got good shooters. We’re really pleased at how our guys took our game plan from last night and implemented it tonight.”

Allemeier said it was important to slow Fisher down.

“Our biggest thing was to stop Fisher,” Allemeier said. “He’s a great player. We brought doubles (double teams) all night. We did a really good job in the first half. He got loose a little bit in the second half. But, the most important thing was to rebound and shut him down. And we did a pretty good job.”

Between the junior varsity and varsity games on Saturday, Elida’s Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed three new inductees: Raymond Sroufe (Class of 1959), Jenni McGraw (Class of 92’) and Chrissy Billiter (Class of 95’).

Billiter and McGraw were both standouts in basketball. McGraw scored 993 points at Elida, and went on to play at the University of Findlay, where she was First-Team All-American. McGraw also excelled in softball at Elida.

Billiter was a first team all-Ohio performer at Elida. She is the all-time leading scorer for girls basketball at Elida with 1,875 points. Billiter also was a standout in volleyball and softball at Elida. Billiter went on to play at Bowling Green State University. She is now the co-head girls basketball coach at Elida.

Sroufe was a standout in football, basketball, baseball and track.

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