SPENCERVILLE — Spencerville’s defensive pressure totally smothered Elida.
And when the Bearcats began hitting 3-pointers, it was too much for Elida to handle.
Spencerville notched a 43-32 girls basketball victory over Elida on Tuesday night.
Spencerville is 2-0. Elida is 1-2.
“This is a great win,” Spencerville coach Greg Ekis said. “Our seniors were 0-3 against Elida.’’
Spencerville’s 1-2-1-1 press and various halfcourt defenses held Elida to 21 percent shooting and 3 of 19 on 3-pointers.
“We had an 11-day layoff so we tried to switch things up (defensively) when we were practicing,” Ekis said. “We were trying to get a lot of different looks at them and the girls executed very well.’’
Spencerville also forced 22 Elida turnovers.
“That’s what Spencerville does, but we’ve had a whole week and that’s what we’ve worked on,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said. “And it wasn’t even the press. Most of our turnovers were in the halfcourt. We have Shy (Wheeler), who can jump out of the gym and we’re trying to force a bounce pass (to her).’’
Spencerville senior guard Jayden Smith held Elida’s top scorer Shyah Wheeler to 11 points.
“Jayden is a great defender, and no matter the size, she isn’t going to back down from anybody,” Ekis said.
Hayleigh Bacome added nine points for Elida. Cienna Kuhn had seven points.
Alissa Cuffy had eight rebounds for Elida.
“That basketball IQ I thought we turned the corner on, it came back to haunt us tonight,” Billiter said. “We have some people who aren’t used to looking to score, but I’m saying, ‘You have to.’ … It was one of those games.’’
Spencerville sophomore Nelaya Burden led the Bearcats with 16 points and five rebounds.
Smith had 10 points.
Alex Carter, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, had five points and nine rebounds.
Spencerville took the lead to stay 27-25 on Abbygayle Satterfield’s three-point play with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
That kicked off an 11-0 Bearcats’ run.
The key to the run was Smith and Kaiden Grigsby hitting back back-to-back 3-pointers to start the final quarter.
“We lost our defensive assignments,” Billiter said.
That put the Bearcats on top 33-25 with just under seven minutes to go.
Smith, who was 5 of 6 at the foul line, made four straight free throws and the Spencerville lead went to 37-26 with 4:50 to go.
Spencerville led 9-5 after the first quarter.
Elida outscored the Bearcats 13-8 in the second quarter to take an 18-17 lead into halftime.
Both teams pressed from the opening tap and both struggled to get into the early flow of their offense.
The Bearcats shot 49 percent from the floor and were 3 of 9 on 3-pointers.
Spencerville won the boards, 36-34.
“To me, this is a huge win for us,” Ekis said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.